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7 cadets disenrolled from Coast Guard Academy after violating its vaccine mandate

Seven cadets applied for religious exemptions and medical waivers but their applications were denied.

NEW LONDON, Conn. — Seven cadets of the Coast Guard Academy are in the process of being disenrolled after an official said they did not comply with the military's COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

This came after their religious and medical waivers were denied by higher authorities.

In August 2021, an order was issued all military personnel were to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and the Coast Guard Academy was no exception.

Fifteen cadets then filed for applications for religious or medical waivers, according to Commander Krystyn Pecora.

Their requests were all denied. 

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Four cadets chose to resign, four chose to get vaccinated, and the remaining seven, the academy said, failed to get the vaccination. 

"The coast guard has determined that the COVID-19 vaccine is part of our medical readiness practices and so it’s important for coast guard members to be medically ready so we are ready to answer all missions," said Pecora. 

Three months ago, the seven cadets were informed of their violations and were given 10 extra days to get vaccinated. 

When the cadets did not get the vaccine, they were then notified of their disenrollment and were given the chance to appeal, but their appeal was also denied on Aug. 15. The cadets left four days after. 

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"The cadets were departed. They were given a week's notice about their disenrollment. They were not enrolled in any academic courses so there was no purpose for them to be here," added Pecora. 

The academy helped set up the cadets' travel arrangements and paid for their temporary housing, Pecora added.

However, a lawyer for the cadets said the academy never did any of that. 

"One of them is living with another cadet temporarily, one is living in his truck," said Michael Rose, attorney for the cadets. 

Rose added a cadet told him he was threatened by the academy to fill out the paperwork to leave. 

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"There’s zero reason to require them to leave with only 48 hours' notice. They have to sell their computer equipment and their personal possessions in order to generate the cash to go home," added Rose. 

Pecora said the seven cadets did receive all of their other mandatory vaccines but just did not get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Their disenrollment is still being processed. 

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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