In rebuke to Pentagon, Navy board finds 3-0 for vax objector amid questions of mandate's lawfulness
"[W]e are encouraged that the truth was revealed in this Board, and we hope this ground-breaking case sends a strong message to the Department of Defense," said counsel for Navy Lt. Billy Moseley.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
In a stinging rebuke to the Pentagon, a Navy administrative separation board voted unanimously to retain an officer who refused to comply with the military's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Navy Lt. Billy Moseley, who has been an officer for 22 years, could have chosen to retire from the military when he was ordered to receive the COVID vaccine. He also could have submitted a Religious Accommodation Request, since he objected to the vaccine for religious reasons.
Risking his retirement, Moseley chose instead to take his case to the administrative separation board after learning "that the Navy and the other services intended to implement a blanket denial policy," according to a press release from his attorney, R. Davis Younts.
Moseley consulted with legal and medical experts and "became convinced that as an officer he had an obligation to take a stand against the unlawful order and be a voice for thousands of enlisted Sailors," the press release continued.
Younts told Just the News Moseley is one of the first Navy service members — maybe even the first officer — to go to the board over the COVID vaccine mandate.
Any service member who has been in the military for more than six years is entitled to the board for due process. In the Navy, the board's recommendation on whether to retain or separate (another term for firing) a member of the service is binding.
Younts argued at the board hearing that the mandate for the experimental COVID vaccines was not a lawful order since the military has not made fully FDA-approved versions of the vaccines available to military members.
The military defense attorney told Just the News that the attorneys for the Navy agreed with him that there are no FDA-approved vaccines available, only interchangeable vaccines. Younts added that if there are no FDA-approved vaccines available, then the president would have to authorize the experimental shots that are currently available, which hasn’t happened.
On Friday, the board voted 3-0 that Moseley's failure to follow the COVID vaccine order did not count as misconduct and that he should remain in the Navy. Younts said that the board members weren't convinced that the vaccine order was lawful.
He added that this precedent "puts the Navy in an interesting position" regarding the other service members who have also refused the COVID vaccine.
While this is "only one case of thousands and we have many more clients facing prosecution by the military, we are encouraged that the truth was revealed in this Board, and we hope this ground-breaking case sends a strong message to the Department of Defense," Younts' press release concluded.