According to CBS NEWS, three cadets set to graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy who have refused the COVID vaccine. will not be commissioned as military officers, the academy said Saturday. The cadets will still earn their bachelors degrees, according to the academy.
Academy spokesman Dean Miller said that a fourth cadet who had refused the vaccine until about a week ago decided to get vaccinated and will graduate and become an Air Force officer.
In a statement, Miller said that while the other three will receive their degrees, “they will not be commissioned into the United States Air Force as long as they remain unvaccinated.” He added that a decision on whether to require the three to reimburse the United States for education costs in lieu of service will be made by the secretary of the Air Force.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who made the COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for service members last year, said the vaccine is critical to maintaining military readiness and the health of the force.
The Air Force Academy is currently the only U.S. military academy from which cadets are not being commissioned due to vaccine refusal.
All four cadets were notified a week ago of the potential consequences of not getting vaccinated and were given a chance prior to graduation to change their minds; one did.
The ceremony will be held Wednesday in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The three cadets will get degrees but “will not be commissioned into the United States Air Force as long as they remain unvaccinated,” an Academy spokesperson said. https://t.co/zKiIMpgkTT
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 22, 2022
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