The second-in-command of a Navy destroyer was shockingly relieved of command for “refusing to get vaccinated or tested for COVID-19.” The surprising part isn’t that he was fired. It’s totally amazing that a person in his position would defy a direct order, under any circumstances. There are just some things which a person has to take a stand on, no matter what the consequences. In this case, there’s sure to be an aftermath.
Navy not happy
Senior Navy official, Lieutenant Commander Jason S. Fischer, confirmed to the public that the executive officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill “was relieved on Friday night after his COVID-19 vaccine exemption request had been denied and he refused to be tested.” Commander Lucian Kins is now in deep trouble.
American civilians are totally free to voice their opinions. Naval officers do not have the same privilege. No matter how insane or fruitless an order is, an officer is required to obey. For excellent reasons.
Of course, there are exceptions in cases of flagrantly illegal orders but even those spark generations of legal debate.
Nearly every officer unfortunate enough to defy a direct order ended up on the losing end of a court martial, even when they were right. The Navy takes these things deadly serious.
While the Navy confirmed that Kins was relieved of his command, they didn’t go into specific reasons.
Lieutenant Commander Fischer only related that it was for “failure to abide by a lawful order” and for a “loss of confidence” in Kins’ ability to perform his duties. Captain Ken Anderson, commander of Naval Surface Squadron 14, issued the formal relief order.
A religious exemption
Commander Kins had reportedly put in for a religious exemption, but “was refused by the Navy.” He’s not alone. They haven’t granted one single religious exemption to anyone. Not for the COVID-19 vaccine or “any other vaccines in seven years.”
If he had medical reasons it might have been a different story. It doesn’t matter that the vaccine is experimental either.
Military members sign away virtually all rights to become property of Uncle Sam. They’re automatically allowed to be used as lab rats any time DARPA comes up with a new idea. Navy officers are no exception.
The higher up the rank ladder, the more serious insubordination incidents become. What happened on the Churchill wasn’t far from what happened on the Bounty. Kins would have stood better chances had he dived over the side and started swimming for Tahiti.
Another thing which doesn’t look real good for Kins is his refusal to comply with the compulsory alternate tests.
He could have sidestepped the vaccine injection in exchange for jumping through the flaming hoops of twice weekly testing. Instead of getting his jab, at the last moment Kins decided to give the Navy a test case for the JAG unit.