Six of the Seven Discharged USCGA Cadets
Seven USCGA Cadets Were Officially Discharged 23 Sep, Over a Month After Their Religious Accommodation Requests and Appeals From Taking The COVID-19 Vaccines Were Denied and They Were Kicked Off Base
As reported in the 22 Sep edition of the STARRS newsletter, seven US Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) cadets have been in limbo since 19 Aug after their appeals regarding the denials of their religious accommodation requests were denied and they were ordered leave base within 24 hours.
According to Mr. Mike Rose, STARRS General Council and pro-bono legal representative for the USCGA cadets, the cadets received phone calls on 23 Sep officially informing them that they were going to be discharged from the Coast Guard. They received their DD Forms 214 later in the day. One of them forwarded hers to Mr. Rose. According to her form, she received an honorable discharge.
Mr. Rose reported “The discharges with less than one day notice cuts off 100 percent of their income, including for two of the cadets who are homeless. Additionally, they had to put their transportation, food and lodging costs on their personal credit cards (NOT government credit cards) when they were forced to leave the USCGA.” As far as STARRS knows, they have yet to be reimbursed.
Please refer to STARRS’ previous press release and an article in the Daily Wire for more information regarding what has been happening to the cadets, specifics about their individual situations, and how the Coast Guard is disregarding federal legal injunctions preventing adverse actions against service members from the Air Force, Navy and Marines for not taking the vaccine. Of major concern is that the Coast Guard took this action before Coast Guard related on-going legal proceedings have been fully litigated. USCG leadership is also ignoring a 2 June letter from the Department of Defense Inspector General informing the Secretary of Defense that the DoD’s denials of religious accommodations requests, punishments and discharges of service members for not taking the COVID vaccine were in “potential noncompliance” with law. Granted the Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security, but it would be reasonable for other federal agencies to consider this warning and wait for final resolution of legal proceedings before taking drastic adverse action. Not to mention that President Biden declared the pandemic over five days before their discharges.
Unvaccinated cadets and midshipmen at the other military academies have been allowed to continue classes and training along with their peers while awaiting final resolution of on-going federal court cases.