Navy commander relieved of duty over COVID-19 vaccine refusal

A U.S. Navy commander has reportedly been relieved of duty over his refusal to comply with the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

“Cmdr. Lucian Kins was fired on Friday as the second in command of the USS Winston Churchill by Navy Capt. Ken Anderson, commander of the Naval Surface Squadron 14,” according to the Washington Examiner.

The case marks one of the highest-level military officials to be relieved of duty so far as a result of the Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for the U.S. military.

The details

“On December 10, 2021, Commander, Naval Surface Squadron 14, Capt. Ken Anderson, relieved Cmdr. Lucian Kins as executive officer of USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) due to loss of confidence in Kins’ ability to perform his duties,” Lt. Cmdr. Jason Fischer told USNI News.

Instead of being dismissed completely, the report noted Kins will be “reassigned.”

“Kins will be reassigned to the staff of Naval Surface Squadron 14,” Fischer added.

The mandate

A separate USNI report revealed the many members of the U.S. Navy are still unvaccinated in the wake of the deadline.

“More than 5,500 active-duty sailors remain unvaccinated nearly two weeks after the Navy’s deadline,” the report indicated.

“The 5,731 active-duty sailors include those who are in the process of being fully vaccinated, whether they have received one dose or both doses and are waiting to be two weeks post vaccination,” Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Andrew DeGarmo told USNI News.

The total includes a small number of Navy personnel with medical exemptions. No religious exemptions have been granted.

Boosters, too?

However, the battle may not yet be over. Just as the deadline for full vaccination has passed, the U.S. military is already discussing the option to include a booster shot mandate.

The ongoing mandates may certainly have an impact on military readiness and recruitment. The military has already dealt with multiple criticisms during President Joe Biden’s first year in office, especially regarding his military departure from Afghanistan, failed drone attack, and diversity requirements.

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