Pentagon Watchdog Reacts To Potentially Illegal Decision By Feds

( )- The secretary of defense has been informed by the inspector general of the Defense Department about what appears to be a blanket denial of religious accommodation requests (RAR) for exemptions from the military’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement, which would be against the law.

“Possible violation with requirements for considering and documenting the denial of religious accommodation requests of Service members” is covered in the memo. The acting inspector general reported receiving “dozens of complaints” about RARs that were not granted.

Acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell stated that they had observed a pattern of broad assessments rather than the customized evaluation required by Federal law and DoD and Military Service standards.

The memorandum was initially sent by the inspector general to the defense secretary in June, but it wasn’t until September 2 that it was shared with the secretaries of each armed service and the DOD general counsel.

The Inspector General said the volume and tempo of judgments made to refuse requests are troubling. The appeal authority of the Services said that throughout 90 days, an average of 50 denials per day was processed. The typical review time for each packet was roughly 12 minutes, assuming a 10-hour workday without breaks or other considerations. This review period seems inadequate to handle each request individually.

One of the primary defenses by military members’ attorneys in the numerous cases brought against the Defense Department over RAR denials is that the denials were predetermined and largely uniform, in contrast to the individualized review they were meant to receive.

The Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has concluded that only four out of 24,818 religious exemption requests were granted. The Secretary of Defense did not act on this information until September 2, 2022. This was noted in a lawsuit Navy SEAL 1 v. Austin.

The Department of Defense is breaking federal law by exempting service personnel from the COVID shot requirement, says Liberty Counsel Founder Mat Staver. Forty-seven members of Congress demanded in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday that the military’s need to receive the vaccine be lifted.