A U.S. Navy board delivered a rare rebuke to the Pentagon after finding in favor of a COVID vaccine objector in a unanimous decision that questioned the lawfulness of the mandates.
The case that came before the Navy’s nine-member administrative separation board strikes a blow for members of the U.S. military all across the board and could serve as a precedent leading to the end on coronavirus vaccine mandates.
Navy Lt. William Moseley, who on his Linkdin page describes himself as a systems test officer on the USS Bunker Hill with more than 22 years of experience, says that he decided to take his case to the board to serve as a test case for all sailors.
Moseley wanted to refuse to take the vaccine over religious objections, but upon learning that the Pentagon was issuing blanket denials for exemptions, instead of simply filing for the exemption, he decided to take his case straight to the board.
“LT Moseley opposes the vaccine for religious reasons and could have submitted a religious accommodation request, however when he learned that the Navy and the other services intended to implement a blanket denial policy, he began to prayerfully consider other options,” a press release from his legal representative reads.
“After consulting with legal and medical experts, he became convinced that as an officer he had an obligation to take a stand against the unlawful order and be a voice for thousands of enlisted Sailors. LT Moseley risked his twenty-two-year career and his military retirement because of his faith and his commitment to his oath of office as a military leader,” the statement added.
The Pentagon has ruled that members of the military who have refused the vaccine are acting insubordinate.
But as attorney R. Davis Younts goes on to note, on May 22, the board ruled in Lt. Moseley’s favor and found that the Lt. “did not commit misconduct by refusing the COVID 19 injection.”
The board also ruled unanimously that LT Moseley should be retained in the United States Navy.
Mosely’s attorney based his case on the fact that the government cannot force members of the military to take “experimental” medications and therefore the COVID mandate is not a lawful order.
Indeed, Yount demonstrated that the initially mandated vaccine was not an FDA approved drug. He further showed that the military has not made the FDA approved vaccine available to military members
Younts added that with the favorable decision “we are encouraged that the truth was revealed in this Board, and we hope this ground-breaking case sends a strong message to the Department of Defense.”
Lt. Moseley could have simply accepted retirement and been done with the whole situation, but he risked being cashiered out of the service dishonorably if the board had ruled in favor of the Navy.
It appears that Moseley is the first career officer to win his vaccine case before the board.
Any officer who has held his commission for more than six year has the right to appeal decisions before the board, and fortunately for Moseley, the board’s decision on retention is binding on the service.
Younts said that the board’s new precedent “puts the Navy in an interesting position” concerning other officers — and perhaps even enlisted personnel — who are threatened with separation over refusing the COVID vaccine.
According to the Military Times, about 3,400 members of the U.S. military have been involuntarily separated from service for refusing to get the COVID vaccine. Most have been given a general discharge which allows them to retain their veterans benefits and also allows them to rejoin the military after proving they took the vaccine.
The U.S. military began the process of separating soldiers from the service n December of 2021.
The Times added that by April the Marine Corps dismissed one percent of its forces over the vaccine, releasing 1,968 corpsmen. Further, the Navy shed .2 percent of its force with 798 dismissals, the Army separated 345 soldiers, a .07 percent loss, and the Air Force had dumped 287 airmen, a .04 percent reduction of its forces.
Like Moseley, there are still some soldiers in each branch working their cases through the system, so more dismissals are yet to come.
Lending credence to Lt. Moseley’s contention that the Pentagon had issued a policy of blanket denials of exemptions, despite tens of thousands of requests across all branches, the Times reported that as of the first of April, the Air Force had only handed out nine exemptions, the Marine Corps approved three, and the Army but one.Commentary coronavirus COVID Health military Vaccine