COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, UNITED STATES–
Military authorities repeatedly continue to claim that the military’s COVID vaccine mandate was legal before it recently was rescinded and that military members who refused to take the COVID vaccine before that recission violated a “lawful order,” according to Mike Rose, STARRS Executive Vice President and General Counsel.
“Many lawyers disagree and believe the military’s COVID vaccine mandate was illegal, just as the military’s anthrax vaccine mandate was illegal as declared by a federal court in 2004,” he said.
No military or civilian court has decided whether the military’s COVID vaccine mandate was legal, and the “military continues to do everything it can to avoid a court decision about that issue,” said Rose.
There is another way to possibly obtain an official determination of whether the military’s COVID vaccine mandate was legal: by utilizing provisions of the federal Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552a. [https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/552a]
The Privacy Act requires the federal government to provide, upon request, any person a copy of all records and other information the government maintains about that person.
The Privacy Act also requires that the federal government correct/delete, upon request, all records and other information maintained by the government that are not “accurate,” “timely,” “relevant” and “complete.”
“The above means that anyone can get a copy of all documents the military has about that individual and require any statements in those records that are not accurate, timely, relevant and complete to be deleted or otherwise changed to cure any error,” Rose said.
As a service to military members still in uniform or a civilian, STARRS is providing a sample, model Privacy Act request that anyone can revise to create a Privacy Act request.
“This sample form can be personalized so that a military member can submit to any federal government agency and obtain a copy of all documents that agency possesses,” said Ronald J. Scott, Jr., Ph.D. (Colonel, USAF, Retired) STARRS President & CEO
Individuals can take this action regardless of whether they presently are in the military or a civilian.
The personal Privacy Act letter, using the template in the press release, should be submitted to the Privacy Act officer (probably the same as the FOIA officer) and/or to the highest-level commander at a military base.
“This action should result in receiving a copy of all records/information the military maintains about your refusal to take the COVID vaccine and in your being able to cause those records to be deleted/corrected if they are not accurate, timely, relevant, and complete,” Rose said.
“Obtaining your military records about your failure to take the COVID vaccine might enable you to request correction of, and thereby obtain an official determination of the accuracy of, any statement in those records that you violated a ‘lawful order’ by failing to take the COVID vaccine,” Rose said.
Rose has one exception/caveat; “Do not send a privacy act request for your COVID-related document while you are a plaintiff in a lawsuit about COVID issues, to avoid your lawsuit possibly being dismissed.”
This press release in PDF format: STARRS Provides Model Privacy Act Request to Access Vaccine-Related Military Records
Established in the Spring of 2021, STARRS is a 501(c)3 approved organization that operates primarily to provide educational information, assistance, and materials related to racism and radicalism in the military. [Note: radicalism in the organization’s title is based on Michigan State University’s definition: “the beliefs or actions of individuals, groups, or organizations who advocate for thorough or complete social and/or political reform to achieve an alternative vision of American society.”] Website: https://starrs.us
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