Three graduating cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy who refused to take part in the experimental clot shot will not be commissioned as military officers but will graduate with bachelor’s degrees, according to the academy.
In a statement released to AP, Academy spokesman Dean Miller said that the three cadets will get a degree, but “they will not be commissioned into the United States Air Force as long as they remain unvaccinated.”
Miller added that the secretary of the Air Force will decide whether to require the three cadets to reimburse the United States for education costs in lieu of service.
It was previously announced that four cadets might not graduate or be commissioned as military officers after refusing the Covid vaccine. However, a week ago, one cadet had a change of heart and decided to get vaccinated and will graduate and become an Air Force officer.
More from AP:
As of Saturday, the Air Force is the only military academy, so far, where cadets are not being commissioned due to vaccine refusal. All of the more than 1,000 Army cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduated and were commissioned as officers earlier in the day and all were vaccinated.
The Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, said Saturday that none of the Navy or Marine Corps seniors there are being prevented from commissioning due to vaccine refusals. That graduation is later this week, and the Air Force ceremony is Wednesday in Colorado. Ahead of that ceremony, the U.S. Air Force Academy Board conducted its standard review of whether this year’s class had met all graduation requirements on Friday.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who is the scheduled speaker at the Air Force graduation, last year made the COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for service members, including those at the military academies, saying the vaccine is critical to maintaining military readiness and the health of the force.
Military leaders have argued that troops for decades have been required to get as many as 17 vaccines in order to maintain the health of the force, particularly those deploying overseas. Students arriving at the military academies get a regimen of shots on their first day — such as measles, mumps and rubella – if they aren’t already vaccinated. And they routinely get flu shots in the fall.
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Last year, The Gateway Pundit reported a similar incident of three cadets who chose to leave West Point rather than take the COVID vaccine. As a result, they were coerced, abused, and discriminated against.
The three cadets who left the academy released an exclusive statement to the Gateway Pundit last year.
“As this tyranny continued through the spring of 2021, I began to self-reflect. Did I want to give up the next 10 years of my life to an organization that so openly wanted to demolish my personal will? Could I in good faith serve people who blindly believed in identity politics and fake science? I was so uncomfortable with my situation and the politics unnecessarily injected that I decided to leave West Point.” Willow Brown, left spring 2021
“Even if my vaccine exemption request had been accepted, I left West Point because the Army is no longer an organization that I believe I can serve in. Unfortunately, serving my country and serving in the Army don’t seem to be so similar anymore.” Hannah MacDonald, left Oct. 2021
“I wanted to dedicate my life to protecting the freedoms of American citizens and defending the U.S. Constitution as an officer, but I was having my freedom to choose and my bodily autonomy taken away. The Army I thought I knew had completely betrayed my rights and their doctrine of “the citizen soldier.’” Nickaylah Sampson, left Oct. 2021