By urging Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to grant a service member’s request for a religious exemption from the Biden administration’s COVID-19 military vaccine mandate, a leader of the Navy SEALs is defying Austin’s authority.
The commander of a Naval Special Warfare Group claims in a Monday filing with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that he thinks the Navy must grant the SEALs’ accommodation request and that turning down these requests is hurting military recruitment and retention. This information was first obtained by Fox News Digital. This is the first documented instance of a senior military official recommending acceptance, and it clearly contrasts the commander with Secretary Austin. The Chief of Naval Operations will now have to choose between rejecting the commander’s proposal and the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate policy, according to the plaintiffs’ counsel.