Cmdr. Lucian Kins was removed from his role as executive officer of a U.S. Navy warship reportedly because he refused to get vaccinated for COVID-19. He is the first naval officer to be fired over vaccine refusal, officials said.
Kins was reassigned as staff for Naval Surface Squadron 14.
Lt. Cmdr. Jason Fisher, a spokesman for the Naval Surface Force Atlantic, "declined to give the precise reason why Kins was relieved of command," according to Newsmax.
"[Fisher] said the reason for the firing was that [Capt. Ken Anderson, commander of Naval Surface Squadron 14] lost confidence in Kins' ability to perform his duties after he failed to obey a lawful order," Newsmax reports.
"Other officials, however, said it was because Kins refused the order to get the vaccine, and refused testing to ensure he did not have the virus."
The Pentagon recently made vaccination for COVID-19 mandatory for all service members. Some officials anonymously said Kins asked for a religious exemption, but was denied and is appealing that decision.
Newsmax reports "none" of the religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination have been approved for the "thousands" of service members that requested it.