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COVID vaccine mandates, woke ideology: Military members fight DOD politicization in new documentary

Former Navy SEAL Asa Miller said he chose to not reenlist so he could “do something about” the “ideological and political agenda” being “pushed in the DOD” that is “weakening the military.”

Published: November 10, 2023 11:16pm

Current and former military members are speaking out against what they call the politicization of the Defense Department — from the COVID-19 vaccine mandates to transgender surgeries — in a new documentary being rolled out this month.

As many military members were kicked out of service for refusing to receive the COVID vaccine, some current and former service members are warning of an ideological push that they believe is harming U.S. defense. A few of these members are in a multi-part documentary series called "SEALs Beat Biden," which is being released this month. The documentary is a project of The Sentinel, an online publication that describes itself as producing "straightforward news and conservative inside commentary on American culture, politics, and business."

One former service member and one current service member who feature in the documentary each told Just the News about some of their experiences fighting the COVID vaccine mandate and their concerns about how the military is being run.

Former Navy SEAL Asa Miller chose to not take the COVID-19 vaccine, along with about 20 other SEALs from his team, SEAL Team Four. Miller told Just the News on Tuesday that for six months, they were never told to go to work, and their equipment was taken away from them so they couldn’t train or go to the shooting range.

“We asked to be put at different training commands” or “help out our old team,” but were “refused,” Miller said.

He added that after the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed and the COVID vaccine mandate was rescinded, he and the other unvaccinated members of his team were allowed to attend funerals, retirements, and other ceremonies for active-duty members and their friends and families to work the events, such as setting up food, busing, etc. However, Miller and his team members were told they couldn’t be around their former teammates because they were unvaccinated.

Miller noted that despite being personally religious and believing that there were religious objections to the vaccine mandate, he wanted to challenge the legality of the mandate.

“Submitting an exemption would accept that it was a lawful order,” Miller said. “I didn’t want to give it any credibility at all.”

He added that his legal challenge was that there is no COVID vaccine that is fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which he said is still true today, as no Comirnaty vaccines have been produced.

The military can only legally force service members to receive vaccines that are fully approved by the FDA, not those under FDA emergency use authorization (EUA). While Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine was fully approved by the FDA, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine under EUA is not fully approved. Despite being identical vaccines, they are legally distinct.

Miller said he settled the lawsuit out of court, as “a couple of labels” were changed for the Navy to say that a special Comirnaty vaccine was made for those who had chosen to not get the COVID vaccine. He noted that there was no proof that the special vaccine was Comirnaty.

He explained that the Navy getting a special-order Comirnaty vaccine for his lawsuit “is an admission that none of the other vaccines were FDA-approved.”

Miller’s contract with the Navy ended this past May and he chose to not reenlist so he could “do something about” the “ideological and political agenda” being “pushed in the DOD,” which he said is “weakening the military.”

He explained that while he was considered to be a risk to force and a risk to mission for not receiving the COVID vaccine, there are service members who “are voluntarily taking themselves out of the fight for transgender surgeries and abortions … endangering those around them because they can’t do their job.”

Miller said that the military is paying for transgender surgeries and giving extra vacation time to those who get abortions.

Because the Hyde Amendment restricts the federal government from funding abortion, the "military is instead adding bonuses around abortion without funding abortion itself," Miller said, calling the action "manipulative, deceptive, and political," despite "coming from the most trusted, supposedly apolitical institution in America."

Pfizer didn't respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

A Naval Special Warfare spokesperson told Just the News on Friday, “Following the passage of the FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act and the subsequent rescission of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the U.S. Navy reassessed the deployment status and contributions of all service members, including those previously restricted due to vaccination status.

"Some Sailors who were not vaccinated, including those within Naval Special Warfare, were limited in their ability to participate in operational and training activities. This was in line with DoD and DoN policies to ensure that potential exposure to COVID-19 did not impact the overall mission capability.

"The involvement of these individuals in ceremonial roles, such as funerals or retirements, was deemed appropriate and within the bounds of revised health and operational guidelines. These events are considered essential for morale and the upkeep of tradition within the Naval community.

"The Navy's decisions regarding the assignment of duties are made with deliberate consideration of policy, force welfare, and the overarching need for readiness. We are committed to the fair treatment of all our service members and to the fulfillment of our operational commitments.”

Air Force reservist Lt. Col. Brandi King, who alleged two years ago that she was fired from her job in the service chief's diversity office for seeking a religious exemption to the vaccine mandate, was involuntarily transferred into the Non-Participating Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) last year. She was six months away from retirement at the time.

The IRR means that King no longer has status in the Reserves, and is in a state of limbo in which she can't participate in drills, receive military orders, or receive any pay or retirement. She is ineligible for military healthcare and has to fully pay life insurance premiums on her own in order to keep it.

However, while the Air Force Reserves involuntarily transferred King into the IRR, the Air Force Selection Board selected her to "full-bird colonel" and she received Senate confirmation this year. Her rank is now directly under that of a Brigadier General.

She told Just the News on Tuesday that at the “same time they were kicking me out, they were promoting me.”

King added that while the National Defense Authorization Act “rescind[ed]” the COVID mandate, which means, "to take away as if it never were,” she said, “that hasn’t been done.”

King said that as far as she knows, she’s still in the IRR, and hasn’t yet been promoted to the position for which she received Senate confirmation.

She is still working in her civilian job, flying planes internationally, which was what she also did for the Air Force Reserves. King said that she can fly troops all over the world with her civilian job, “but can’t sit next to them in uniform,” which she called “ridiculous” and “illogical.”

Regarding military culture, King said that while she completed numerous trainings in the Air Force Reserves, she never received military training about understanding the U.S. Constitution and its relationship with the state constitutions, despite swearing an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution.

She believes that while “less than one percent” of service members read and understand the U.S. Constitution, “99-plus percent know we must accept abortion, transgenderism, and the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don't tell.’ It has become so politicized.”

The Air Force didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

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