Skip to comments.Military Members Kicked Out for Refusing COVID Vaccine Seek to Have Their Discharges Upgraded
Posted on 06/21/2023 6:16:43 AM PDT by george76
Service members who received general discharges when separated from the military for their refusal to obey the vaccine mandate say their transition to civilian life has been hampered because they were not given honorable discharges.
The majority of service members kicked out over their refusal to get vaccinated received general discharges. With a general discharge, service members lose all educational benefits, reemployment rights, and civil service retirement credit.
Hayden Robichaux, donor relations coordinator for the Mighty Oaks Foundation, is one such service member. He had to build a career in the Marine Corps. He spent his initial two years serving as the military equivalent of a firefighter. But life as a Marine was interrupted by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in August 2021, he told The Epoch Times.
Robichaux refused the vaccine and sought religious exemption.
“But it seemed like everybody who sought religious exemption was denied,” he said. Months later, a leaked June 2021 memo by the Pentagon watchdog revealed the department may have been violating standards in its process of denying religious exemption requests for the COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition to his religious conviction against the vaccine, he took objection to the fact that the only vaccines offered to service members at the time were labeled as authorized for emergency use, rather than having full FDA approval. This argument stems from the wording of the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate, which covers “COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in accordance with FDA-approved labeling and guidance.” Robichaux and others believe that this means the mandate did not apply to any vaccines issued under emergency use authorization (EUA), such as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
They argue that the military mainly offered service members EUA Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, rather than the FDA-approved Cominarty vaccine, and thus could not compel personnel to take them. They also argued that a Pentagon policy that says the Cominarty and EUA Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are interchangeable was illegal.
“With each denial,” Robichaux said, “I kept putting in appeals and each was denied; they were brushed off.” As he continued to refuse the vaccine, he said his leadership became “pissed.” In October 2021, he was given 10 days to get the jab. He soon faced the threat of Article 15, a form of nonjudicial punishment that can be imposed by a commander, that would “put a stain” on his career.
“Because of this,” he said, “I almost changed my mind, telling them that I was going to get it.” Members of his immediate family have collectively served in the military for over 80 years since the Vietnam War. “And I wanted to continue the legacy that we have under our name,” he said.
In the end, Robichaux maintained his religious objection to the vaccine and did not take it. Not only did he receive an Article 15, but he was also denied a promotion to corporal. While he admits he may have disobeyed the command to take the vaccine, he said, “I don’t believe it was a lawful command, as I should have never been forced to take an EUA product.”
Robichaux was discharged from the Marine Corps in February 2022. “My commanding officer recommended me for an honorable discharge, but once it went up the chain of command, it came back as a general discharge,” he said. His discharge was characterized as being connected to the commission of a serious offense. Domestic battery, murder, rape, terrorism, and drug use are considered typical commissions of a serious offense.
Since leaving the Marine Corps, he said, “I’ve only met one person that received an honorable discharge.” This, he said, is concerning when one considers the thousands of service members who were separated from the military. One day, Robichaux would like to have his discharge upgraded.
More of the Same.
The Epoch Times also spoke to Private First Class Derrick Wynne, who joined the Army in July 2020. Nearly two years later, he was discharged from service for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine once mandated by Defense Secretary Austin.
Wynne described himself as a “hard refusal,” as he didn’t apply for an exemption. He refused because “they were offering vaccines issued under emergency use authorization,” which he considered as legally distinct from the fully FDA-approved vaccines service members were mandated to take.
In November 2021, for refusing to get the jab, he received a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand, an administrative letter of reprimand placed on his service record. In addition, he was also told by several people in leadership and many of his peers that “they were going to make my life hell for refusing the vaccine.”
At this time, Wynne was informed that he would be discharged for refusing to take the vaccine.
“When they finally kicked me out on June 28, 2022, it began as a long, drawn-out process, but when it finally happened, I was only given a two-week notice,” Wynne said. “Many of the programs put in place to aid me in a healthy, successful transition to civilian life were pushed to the side.”
“It was a general discharge, labeled under the violation of a serious offense,” Wynne said. “To anyone who doesn’t know the whole story,” he said, “I sound like I was the one who knowingly broke the law.” But he argued that it was the military that was offering an illegal vaccine by only providing vaccines issued under EUA.
“After skimming through my chapter (administrative separation) packet four or five times before speaking with Trial Defense Services, I noticed that there was no option for an honorable discharge.” When he mentioned this to his legal counsel, he also “made a note in the packet for brigade legal to, at least, add the option for an honorable discharge.”
Brigade legal told him that once his commanding officer gave his recommendation, they would add the option for an honorable discharge before sending it up to the next level of decision. To his surprise, he said, “After my Commander gave his recommendation for an honorable discharge, once it went up the chain of command, there was no option for it.”
When he realized there was no chance for an honorable discharge, Wynne said he was not surprised due to what he described as the department’s recent history of “shady coercion tactics.” He said that “at the time, the military was doing everything they could to paint us [vaccine refuses] as criminals who were knowingly disobeying ‘lawful’ orders, without even taking the time to hear out our legitimate grievances.” For Wynne, “There was a blatant heavy hand on the scale, coming from the top down.”
The Epoch Times spoke to other service members who agree with Wynne. Some of them are being processed out of the military, today, for disobeying a “lawful” order mandated nearly two years ago. Most of them are receiving general discharges. The vaccine mandate was officially rescinded in January, but this did not affect the thousands of service members who had already been discharged over the vaccine.
Demand for Congressional Action Once he was forced to leave the Army, Wynne’s reason for separation was labeled, like Robichaux, as a “misconduct (serious offense),” making subsequent job interviews more difficult, he said.
“The lack of an honorable characterization ripples outwards and is affecting thousands of us [service members] as a whole—not just from a bureaucratic perspective, but from a moral, principled aspect as well,” he said.
“I lost the education benefits I earned through my service, which would come in handy during my new career search,” he said. Within two months of being discharged, Wynne appealed the Army’s decision to the Army Discharge Review Board.
“Nearly nine months have gone by, and I’ve heard nothing,” he said. “I know Congress has the power to put in an inquiry and help soldiers like myself.”
Over the course of the last several months, wanting to address the issue of FDA-approved vaccines versus those made available through Emergency Use Authorization, Wynne has reached out to multiple congressmen to no avail.
“I was passed around from one elected official to another for months, and no one wanted to do anything to get answers to my questions,” Wynne said. “Every time a politician refuses to help me,” he said, “I feel like I’m being told: you’re a piece of trash; you should have gotten the vaccine.”
Proposed Legislation In April 2022, Wynne was put in contact with Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Tex.) office. Although he remains frustrated about the lack of action in holding the Department of Defense (DOD) to account for the vaccine mandate, Wynne became aware of the Senator’s effort to ensure that those discharged under a General discharge could be designated as Honorably discharged through the AMERICANS Act.
Sen. Cruz and 18 original cosponsors introduced the Allowing Military Exemptions, Recognizing Individual Concerns About New Shots (AMERICANS) Act of 2023 (S.29) in January. The bill would require the department to offer reinstatement to service members who were separated for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.
For Wynne, Robichaux, and the multitude of other service members like them, it also states “any administrative discharge of a member on the sole basis of a failure to receive a COVID-19 vaccine must be categorized as an honorable discharge, and DOD is prohibited from taking any adverse action against such a member for that reason.”
A spokesperson for Cruz told The Epoch Times the senator is fighting for passage of his AMERICANS Act [to] bring justice to servicemembers terminated or otherwise punished because of their COVID-19 vaccine status.”
“He is also fighting for them legislatively, authoring the statutory language to ban the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which became law in December 2022,” the spokesperson said.
The senator “has taken the lead in calling out the Biden administration for COVID-19 overreach and fighting to protect Texas servicemembers from vaccine mandates,” the spokesperson added.
From what I have read, the FDA-approved Cominarty vaccine was NEVER available. Big Pharma played a bait and switch on the unsuspecting public.
It’s been decades since I enlisted so my memory may be faulty but I sure don’t remember being axed by anyone whether I wanted shots/vax or not. It was, “get your ass in line and get it in both arms, multiple times in each arm” and if you pass out or puke, you’re a p***y.
Despicable behavior by the ‘leadership’ who forced good people out over this.
Another example of how leftists prosecute and attempt to wreck conservatives. Every step of the way is vehemently political for leftists.
I suspect that telling the troops about the shot was a concerted attempt to rid the forces of people who would not mindlessly obey and submit. Because, as you said, otherwise they’d just be told “go there and get a shot.”
Those were actual vaccines not phonied up DNA lifechangers that were never vetted properly.
The only real issue is that there is no way to deny that lawful orders were disobeyed.
Notwithstanding that the whole vaccine mess was a scam and potentially dangerous, at the time - lawful order, disobeyed.
Sucks, but these people need to be grateful they didn’t get polluted.
It’s almost as if a foreign enemy was trying to damage our military.
But also remember those vaccines you got had been used for years And were FDA approved
Not the emergency label the covid jab got
Not the same thing at all
Thank you for serving
What should this say about Democrat Lloyd Austin Secretary of Defense?
More than that, was Lloyd Austin the Author of the mandate or did Illegal decision go even higher up the chain?
There are literally thousands of former military suffering from such separations from the various services including the Coast Guard.
The results, bad press and bad recruitment numbers. All for what?
People got smarter since then. I witnessed pilots refusing to get the non-FDA approved Anthrax shots. They were threatened but came back with their lawyers. The brass was wrong and knew it, so they quietly stood down on the illegal order.
I also witnessed a military member refusing to take shots they didn't need because their AFSC (MOS for those non-Air Force) was not deployable (deployment being the excuse to force injections on people). The commander (O-6) gave him an illegal order to get a shot, the senior NCO refused, and the whole situation went sideways.
The senior NCO was exonerated in the court martial he requested in lieu of what would have been a career-ending Letter of Reprimand. The commander's career was over since he was never going to make general. He deserved much worse. It wasn't just an illegal order, it was one given against the advice of some very sharp junior officers and Senior NCOs who tried to keep him shooting himself in the foot.
I'd take one last photo in my uniform with the "U.S." reattached upside down, hang it up, and never look back.
That’s accurate by my 1988 memory
I was a hazmat team leader and received multiple vaccinations every year. None of them seemed to have any negative effects other than an occasional sore arm. But as others have pointed out these were properly vetted, not some sort of bizarre science experiment. I was retired before this nonsense, and I know a lot of firefighters and other medical personnel who lost their careers or had to quit to avoid being fired over this.
They were all people who were caring for people with Covid for months before these “vaccines” became available and had developed natural immunity after becoming exposed multiple times and sometimes infected. It is obvious to pretty much everyone with even a rudimentary education in medicine that if you have already developed antibodies to an infectious agent that even a legitimate vaccine is no longer necessary and likely counterproductive. When supervisors are demanding compliance without any justification based on politics and not science it completely undermines any actual authority that they have.
All branches of the military have lost a lot of good people over this crap. Recruiting numbers are now in the toilet and top of our officer corps has evolved into a bunch of woke idiots. Our readiness to defend our country against foreign invaders has been severely compromised. Our commander and chief and his family have been bribed and influenced by our enemies. What a mess!
The ones who ordered the mass poisonings are the ones who should be given dishonorable discharges. Well, before they are led to the gallows.
You sound like you've been drinking the water at Camp Lejeune.
The order was not lawful. The Jim Jones Jab is NOT a vaccine.
Forcing experimental treatment on individuals was specifically addressed in the permissible experiments section of the Nuremberg Code in 1947. There are graves in our cemeteries of those who fought and died to stop Nazism and to ignore this code is to spit on their graves. Here are some of the more salient points of the Nuremberg Code (http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/nuremberg/).
"The great weight of the evidence before us to effect that certain types of medical experiments on human beings, when kept within reasonably well-defined bounds, conform to the ethics of the medical profession generally. The protagonists of the practice of human experimentation justify their views on the basis that such experiments yield results for the good of society that are unprocurable by other methods or means of study. All agree, however, that certain basic principles must be observed in order to satisfy moral, ethical and legal concepts:"
"The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision."
"The duty and responsibility for ascertaining the quality of the consent rests upon each individual who initiates, directs, or engages in the experiment. It is a personal duty and responsibility which may not be delegated to another with impunity."
"The experiment should be so conducted as to avoid all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury."
"Proper preparations should be made and adequate facilities provided to protect the experimental subject against even remote possibilities of injury, disability or death."
"The experiment should be conducted only by scientifically qualified persons. The highest degree of skill and care should be required through all stages of the experiment of those who conduct or engage in the experiment."
"During the course of the experiment the human subject should be at liberty to bring the experiment to an end if he has reached the physical or mental state where continuation of the experiment seems to him to be impossible."
The order was not lawful since it was experimental and federal law prohibits mandatory use of the drug.
The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.
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