U.S. Navy SEALs Who Seek Religious Vaccine Exemptions Harassed and Threatened - Source
A new Navy guidance affecting the SEALs was released on Thursday, directing all active-duty sailors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 28. This means that they have to receive their final dose by November 14.
Although Navy SEALs were allowed to request an exemption over religious and medical reasons, a source told FOX News on Friday that sailors seeking religious vaccine exemptions were threatened and harassed into taking the jab against the notorious disease.
Punishments faced by those planning not to take the vaccine were reported to be pay cuts, demotions, and a ban on travel for SEALs and other servicemembers.
Meanwhile, the source pointed out that Navy SEALs seeking religious exemptions for the vaccine mandate face a process nearly impossible to complete to get the waiver.
The source also mentioned an incident where a Navy SEAL informed his commander that he planned to seek a religious exemption against the Navy's vaccine mandate. The commander then said SEAL would have to give up his special warfare pin known as "Trident."
Without the trident, a Navy SEAL is removed from the SEAL community, making an individual a regular sailor despite years of special operator status.
Navy Official Says Members Can Still Seek Religious Vaccine Exemptions
Lt. Cdr. Patricia Kruezberger disputed the claims of harassment and threats, reiterating that members of the Navy can still apply for religious exemptions.
"Servicemembers are entitled to seek religious exemptions and those requests will be considered in keeping with current Navy policy," Kruezberger said.
The official also pointed out that the Navy is in the process of reviewing those servicemembers who filed for the religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate on a "case-by-case basis."
Navy Members Who Refuse COVID Vaccine Face Discharge
Servicemembers who will refuse the COVID vaccine will face discharge, according to the guidance released by the Navy on Thursday, The Hill reported.
"With COVID-19 vaccines now mandatory for all military members, the Navy has announced plans to start processing for discharge to those who refuse vaccination without a pending or approved exemption," said the Navy in a statement.
The Navy also said that they formed a group called COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority (CCDA) to ensure that a "fair and consistent process" will be given in deciding how to handle the possible discharge of servicemembers who refuse to be fully vaccinated by November 28. Meanwhile, those in the Navy Reserve had to get their final dose on or before December 14 to meet their December 28 deadline to be fully vaccinated.
Aside from facing possible discharge from the Navy, servicemembers who refuse the vaccine will not be allowed to execute orders, be promoted, advance, and reenlist.
The vaccine deadline on the Navy came after their force experienced at least 164 coronavirus deaths since the onset of the pandemic, with 144 among them not vaccinated against the disease. Meanwhile, the vaccine status of the remaining 20 was unclear.
"Immunizations are of paramount importance to protecting the health of the force and the warfighting readiness of the fleet," the Navy said in their notice.
To date, the Navy confirmed that 98 percent of their 350,000 active duty members began or completed their vaccination process.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written By: Joshua Summers
WATCH: Vaccine Mandate for U.S. Military Service Members - From ABC 10 News
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