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4 Air Force cadets may not complete training due to vaccine withdrawal

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4 Air Force cadets may not complete training due to vaccine withdrawal

Four Air Force Academy cadets may not graduate or become officers this month because they refused the COVID-19 vaccine and may be required to pay thousands of dollars for training, according to Air Force officials.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Four Air Force Academy cadets may not graduate or be enlisted as military officers this month because they refused the COVID-19 vaccine and may be required to pay thousands of dollars for training, officials said. Air Force.

So far, this is the only military school where cadets can face such punishment. The Army and Navy said none of their seniors are currently preventing them from graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, or the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, for refusing the vaccine. Graduation in about two weeks.

Defense Minister Lloyd Austin last year made vaccinations against COVID-19 mandatory for military personnel, including in military academies, saying the vaccine is crucial to maintaining military readiness and health forces.

Military leaders say the military has had to receive as many as 17 vaccines for decades to maintain the health of forces, especially those deployed abroad. Students who arrive at military academies receive a vaccination regimen on the first day – for example, from measles, mumps and rubella – if they have not already been vaccinated. And they usually get regular flu shots in the fall.

Members of Congress, the military, and the public questioned whether military service reviews of the release were fair. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the mandate, mainly due to the fact that very few servicemen have been granted religious exemption from executions.

Prior to the COVID-19 vaccine, very few soldiers sought religious exemptions from any vaccine.

A spokesman for the Air Force Academy, Lt. Col. Brian Maguire, said that although vaccination status could prevent the release of four seniors, “two more weeks before graduation, so their status may change if cadets weigh their options.”

According to Maguire, four cadets – whose names are not named – were informed of the possible consequences and met with the head of the academy. In addition to these four, the academy has two juniors, one sophomore and six freshmen who also refused the vaccine.

Military academies have for many years required students under certain circumstances to recoup tuition costs when they leave for junior or senior courses. Often they include students with disciplinary problems or similar problems. Costs can be up to $ 200,000 or more, and the final decision on repayment is made by the Secretary of Service.

West Point said there is no one in the 2022 class who has given up the vaccine.

In all the military, the army, the navy, the air force and the marines fired nearly 4,000 servicemen for refusing the vaccine. According to the latest figures released by the services, more than 2,100 Marines, 900 sailors, 500 army soldiers and 360 pilots have been discharged from the army, and at least 50 were dismissed during entry-level training before moving on to active duty.

Those who flatly refuse the vaccine without seeking relief are still discharged. But the courts stopped additional dismissals of servicemen seeking liberation from religion.

Last month, a federal judge in Texas banned the Navy from taking action against sailors who objected to religiously motivated vaccinations.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in January issued a preliminary injunction barring the Navy from disciplining or firing 35 sailors who sued Navy vaccine policy during their case. In April, O’Connor agreed that the case could go to class action, and issued a preliminary ban on about 4,000 sailors who were religiously opposed to the vaccination.

Also last month, a federal judge in Ohio issued a preliminary ban that barred the Air Force from disciplining a dozen officers and some additional pilots and reservists seeking religious exclusions. Officers, mostly from Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, filed a lawsuit in February after their requests for release were denied.

According to the military, about 20,000 servicemen have asked for exemption from religion. Thousands were denied.

According to the latest figures, the Air Force has approved 73 religious exceptions, the Marine Corps has approved seven, and the Army has approved eight. Prior to the ban, the Navy tentatively approved one reservist and 26 requests for active service for religious exemption, as well as 10 requests from members of the individual ready reserve. IRR allegations mean that these sailors do not need to be vaccinated until they are called to serve.

About 99% of the active navy and 98% of the air force, marine corps and army received at least one shot.

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