An Air Force reservist sounded the alarm on the U.S. military’s treatment of service members who refused the COVID-19 vaccine as she faces losing her pension after 19 years of service despite the mandate being repealed.
With only six months until retirement, Lt. Col. Brandi King’s multiple vaccine exemption requests were denied, and she now is being held in a type of “purgatory.”
“I’m just in a holding tank of sorts,” King explained on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday. “Until I phase out of the military altogether.”
“It’s a little loophole that Air Force Reserve Command uses and really all reserve commands use to send those of us that they don’t want to serve for whatever reason into a holding tank until we can just basically disappear.”
King told host Brian Kilmeade that she’s currently unable to gain income, earn “points” toward retirement or use health benefits. She also noted that in addition to her request for a religious exemption, she has allergies to two ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccine. . . . (read more on Fox News)
The US Military Repealed the Vaccine Mandate – Why Are Service Members Still Being Punished? (Western Journal, 20 JAN 23)
. . . . In a discrimination complaint filed in October 2021, King said her superiors badgered her not to apply for a religious exemption and even threatened her with court martial and dishonorable discharge.
“I was called by my supervisor four separate times from 11 September until 28 September 2021,” she wrote. “Each time we spoke, he urged me not to file for religious accommodation because he wanted to keep me in the Air Force, wanted me to receive my retirement pension, and he did not believe religious accommodations would be granted.”
King continued: “He told me I could not go to the Inactive Ready Reserves when I requested to do so, but instead told me that I would be subject to court martial, dishonorable discharge, along with Article 92 punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) if I was not granted accommodation and refused the Covid-19 vaccine.”
Article 92 punishment is a bad-conduct discharge that could result in the forfeiture of all pay and confinement for six months. That’s a severe punishment for a longtime veteran who objected to the vaccine on both medical and religious grounds. . . . (read more)
Sen. Rick Scott: I Won’t Stop Fighting to Get Back Pay for Troops Kicked Out Over COVID Shot (Press Release, 18 JAN 23)
Today, following an announcement from the Pentagon that the Department of Defense will not provide back pay to military members kicked out of the service for refusing to take the COVID vaccine, Senator Rick Scott issued the following statement. Senator Scott successfully fought to end the military’s COVID vaccine mandate and will continue to work with his colleagues to secure the option of full reinstatement and back pay for all members removed from service who wish to rejoin the military.
As part of this effort, Senator Scott recently led his colleagues in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding that the Pentagon deliver on these issues, and is fighting to pass his Defending Religious Accommodations Act which would require the Government Accountability Office to audit the military’s current process for evaluating and granting religious exemptions for vaccination requirements.
Senator Rick Scott said, “The Biden administration and the Pentagon have turned their backs on America’s service members. The military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate has proven disastrous for America’s military readiness and needlessly destroyed the lives and careers of thousands of brave service members. To now rule out back pay for these heroes is UNACCEPTABLE and I won’t stand for it.
I was just in Panama City yesterday and heard firsthand how Biden’s military vaccine mandate is hurting our military members, their families and our communities. These are the folks that put their lives on the line to protect this great country and while repealing the vaccine mandate was a big win, it falls short of fixing the damage done to the thousands who were foolishly discharged from our Armed Forces. Come hell or high water, we will make this right.
It’s time for Secretary Austin to stand up for our military members, do what’s right for our readiness and bring these members back with the full pay and benefits they so rightly deserve. If he won’t do it, we’ll put this common sense approach in law.”
Navy officially stops booting and disciplining COVID vaccine refusers (Navy Times, 18 JAN 23)
The Navy has officially stopped separating sailors who refuse the COVID vaccine, a fleetwide order that follows Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Jan. 10 directive to end the mandate.
In a Jan. 11 naval administrative message, Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Rick Cheeseman noted that all commands will “immediately discontinue administrative separation processing of Navy Service Members solely for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine, including those with approved separation letters.”
The NAVADMIN also states that “all commands will immediately suspend any new adverse administrative actions associated with refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.” More guidance regarding the policy shift will be sent in a future NAVADMIN, the message states.
What People Are Saying
(comments from the articles)
“After 23 years in the Army, I’m so glad I’m not in today’s political excuse for the military. I advise all the young folks that ask me nowadays to learn a trade or go to a trade school or college, but to stay away from the military, it’s no longer the way to go!”
“Came in back in the late ’90s and served a full career…despite being fully disabled by the DoD-required annual flu shot my last 2 years of service. Forced vaccines are unwise…you just can’t do “one size fits all medicine” anymore.”
“This the power struggle of the Leftist leaders in DoD against the people serving. Instead of stopping this tyrannical effort against service men and women, they continue to punish them for not obeying. The new NDAA eliminates the vaccine requirement, yet DoD under Austin is slow rolling this guidance. They are surprised when no one wants to sign up to the woke military. Army, 14,000 recruits short in a single year. The other services thousands short. As a 26 year veteran, I will not recommend young people join in this toxic climate.”
“I’m afraid you’re right. I’d never go back in now.”
“I’ve heard of no religious exemptions being given for the vaccine. However, if she does, in fact, have an allergy against 2 of the compounds, you’d think that would allow her to skip the shot. Once “religious reasons” are included in the request, it’s denied, regardless of any other extenuating circumstances. Unfortunately, since I retired from the military in the mid-90s, the services have become extremely politicized, and in it’s current state I doubt I’d have enlisted, let alone, made it a career.”
“Ditto! Retired Navy.”
“There you go, fight for your country, sacrifice your time and livelihood for your service, and then get thrown under the bus for something that had no impact on anybody else. No wonder recruitment is down.”
“I served proudly but I would NEVER join the Military now no matter what. Brain Damaged Biden will need to bring back the draft after all the damage he has done to America.”
“Is it any wonder why the military is no longer able to meet enlistment quotas?”
“Our military seems to be run by people more like the Soviets, than our Founders.”
“I was in and seen people drop over from the anthrax jab too. When you are 18, you think everyone has your best interest at heart. They don’t. Age and experience kicks in after awhile. “