Three USAF cadets refusing COVID-19 vaccine will upgrade but will not be ordered
Three USAF cadets refusing COVID-19 vaccine will upgrade but will not be ordered

Three USAF cadets refusing COVID-19 vaccine will upgrade but will not be ordered

Three cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy who have refused COVID-19 vaccine will not be ordered as military officers, but will graduate with bachelor’s degrees.

Academy spokesman Dean Miller said a fourth cadet who had refused the vaccine until about a week ago decided to get vaccinated and will graduate and become an Air Force officer.

In a statement, Miller said that although the three will receive a degree, “they will not be deployed in the U.S. Air Force as long as they remain unvaccinated.”

He added that a decision on whether to require the three to reimburse the United States for training costs instead of service will be made by the Secretary of the Air Force.

The Air Force ceremony is Wednesday in Colorado. Prior to that ceremony, the U.S. Air Force Academy Board conducted its standard review of whether this year’s class had met all exam requirements by Friday.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who is the scheduled speaker at the Air Force graduation, last year made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for service members, including those at military academies, and said the vaccine is essential to maintaining military readiness and health.

As of Sunday, the Air Force is the only military academy so far where cadets are not deployed due to vaccine rejections.

Three cadets at the US Air Force Academy who have refused the COVID-19 vaccine will not be commissioned as military officers, but will graduate with bachelor's degrees (file photo)

Three cadets at the US Air Force Academy who have refused the COVID-19 vaccine will not be commissioned as military officers, but will graduate with bachelor’s degrees (file photo)

The Air Force ceremony is Wednesday in Colorado.  Prior to that ceremony, the U.S. Air Force Academy Board conducted its standard review of whether this year's class had met all exam requirements on Friday.

The Air Force ceremony is Wednesday in Colorado. Prior to that ceremony, the U.S. Air Force Academy Board conducted its standard review of whether this year’s class had met all exam requirements on Friday.

All of the more than 1,000 Army cadets at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, graduated and were named officers earlier on Saturday, and all were vaccinated.

The Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, said Saturday that none of the Navy or Marine Corps seniors there will be prevented from using it because of vaccine rejections.

Military leaders have claimed that troops for decades have been required to get as many as 17 vaccines to maintain the health of the force, especially those deployed abroad.

Students arriving at military academies receive a cure with shots on their first day – such as measles, mumps and rubella – if they have not already been vaccinated. And they routinely get flu shots in the fall.

Members of Congress, the military, and the public have questioned whether the military services’ assessments of exemptions have been fair.

As of Sunday, the Air Force is the only military academy so far where cadets are not deployed due to vaccine rejection

As of Sunday, the Air Force is the only military academy so far where cadets are not deployed due to vaccine rejection

Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the mandate, mainly centered on the fact that very few service members have been granted religious exemptions from the shootings.

Until the COVID-19 vaccine, very few military members sought religious exemptions for vaccines.

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Maguire, a spokesman for the Air Force Academy, said a week ago that all four cadets had been informed of the potential consequences and met with the academy’s superintendent.

He then noticed that they still had time to change their minds before the exam – and one did.

For years, military academies have required students to reimburse tuition fees under certain circumstances if they travel during their junior or senior years.

Across the military, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps have recruited as many as 4,000 active duty members to reject the vaccine

Across the military, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps have recruited as many as 4,000 active duty members to reject the vaccine

Often, these cases involve students with disciplinary issues or similar issues. The cost can be as much as $ 200,000 or more, and any final decision on reimbursement will be made by the service secretary.

Across the military, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Navy have deployed as many as 4,000 active duty members to deny the vaccine.

Those who flatly reject the vaccine without seeking a dispensation are still being discharged. But courts have stopped further evictions of service members seeking religious exemptions.

According to the military, as many as 20,000 service members have asked for religious exemptions. Thousands have been rejected.

About 99 percent of the active fleet and 98 percent of the Air Force, Navy and Army have received at least one shot.

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