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Navy officer who refused COVID vaccine cleared of wrongdoing

A U.S. Navy Sailor receives the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Luke Cunningham)
May 25, 2022

On May 20, a Navy Administrative Board determined in a 3-0 vote that a lieutenant did not commit any misconduct by refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine and is permitted to continue serving.

Attorney R. Davis Younts – who represented the lieutenant involved in the case – told The National Desk, “In a groundbreaking case involving the military vaccine mandate, we achieved a critical victory for our client LT Bill Moseley. He will be able to continue his service in the United States Navy. A Navy Administrative Board found by a vote of 3-0 that refusing the vaccine was not misconduct.”

During the hearings, Younts argued that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for U.S. military service members was not lawful, and reportedly highlighted that the military failed to make available the FDA-approved version of the vaccine.

According to a press release published by Younts, Lt. Moseley asserted that he could not take the vaccine for religious reasons, but decided not to submit an exemption request when he found out that the U.S. military was denying nearly all requests.

“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,” Younts’ said. “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.”

“Although this [is] only one case of thousands and we have many more clients facing prosecution by the military, 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,” he added.

The Truth for Health Foundation supported Lt. Moseley’s legal defense through a Medical Freedom Fund Grant, according to The National Desk.

“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,” Younts said.

American Military News previously reported that a Roman Catholic lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force was forced to choose between his faith and his career when his superiors pressured him into early retirement after warning him that the odds of being granted a religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine were “slim to none.”

“My boss was saying, ‘You need to [retire April 1] because the religious waiver does not look like it’s going to work,’” the officer told American Military News. He asked if he would be able to keep the application process moving forward even if he bumped his retirement date up “so when I retire, I can take it to another employer and say that the [Department of Defense] has granted me a religious waiver.”

“They said, ‘No, it’s not going to go through. The chances of it actually making it are slim to none.'”