3 cadets who refused to graduate from the U.S. Air Force AcademyThe military academy said on Saturday that the vaccine would not be commissioned as a military officer. According to the academy, cadets will still earn a bachelor’s degree.
Academy spokeswoman Dean Miller said a fourth cadet, who had refused the vaccine about a week earlier, will decide to vaccinate and graduate and become an Air Force officer.
Miller said in a statement that the other three will receive degrees but “will not be commissioned in the US Air Force unless they are vaccinated.” He added that it would be up to the Air Force secretary to decide whether the three would require the U.S. to reimburse the U.S. for training in lieu of service.
As of Saturday, the Air Force Academy was the only U.S. military academy not commissioned by cadets due to a vaccine refusal. More than 1,000 cadets of the US Military Academy in West Point, New York, all graduated and commissioned officers, and all were vaccinated.
The Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, said on Saturday that none of its seniors in the Navy or Marines were out of service because of refusal to get a vaccine. The graduation ceremony is scheduled for later this week and the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony will be held on Wednesday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Prior to the event, the U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Directors conducted a standard review on Friday to ensure that classes of the year met all graduation requirements.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who is scheduled to give a keynote speech at the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony, last year made it compulsory for military personnel, including the military academy, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. strength.
Military leaders have been arguing for decades that the military should receive up to 17 vaccines to keep their troops healthy, especially those deployed abroad. Students arriving at the military academy are vaccinated on the first day unless they have been vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella. And they get regular flu shots in the fall.
Members of Parliament, the military and the public questioned whether the review was fair. Several lawsuits have been filed against that order, mainly centered on the fact that very few soldiers have received religious exemptions from guns.
Until there was a COVID-19 vaccine, few soldiers wanted a religious exemption for the vaccine.
Lieutenant Colonel Brian Maguire, a spokesman for the US Air Force Academy, said all four cadets had been informed of the potential consequences a week ago and had met with the academy’s superintendent. And he said he still had time to change his mind before graduation.
For several years, the military academies have required, under certain circumstances, that students be reimbursed for tuition if they leave the third or third year. Often these cases involve students with disciplinary issues or similar issues. The cost can be more than $200,000 and the final decision on reimbursement is made by the Serving Clerk.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines have discharged 4,000 active-duty soldiers for refusing vaccines. Those who adamantly refuse vaccines without seeking immunity are still being discharged. However, the courts have stopped further firings of soldiers who have sought religious immunity.
According to the military, about 20,000 soldiers have requested religious exemption. Thousands have been rejected.
About 99% of active duty navy and about 98% of Air Force, Marine Corps and Army have been hit with at least one shot.