A U.S. Navy commander was relieved of his duties as executive officer of a warship for “failing to abide by lawful order,” officials said.
The Naval service on Friday relieved Cmdr. Lucian Kins, the executive officer of USS Winston S. Churchill, said the Naval Surface Force Atlantic in a brief statement.
“On December 10, 2021, Commander, Naval Surface Squadron 14, Capt. Ken Anderson, relieved Cmdr. Lucian Kins as executive officer of USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) due to loss of confidence in Kins’ ability to perform his duties,” Lt. Cmdr. Jason Fischer said.
A Navy official told USNI that Kins was relieved of his duties for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine and refusing to be tested for the disease. The Epoch Times has contacted the U.S Navy for comment.
Kins was reassigned to the staff of Naval Surface Squadron 14, Fischer added in the statement. Lt. Cmdr. Han Yi, the ship’s plans and tactics officer, will serve as the USS Winston S. Churchill’s executive officer until a replacement is named, said Fischer.
The Pentagon announced in August that COVID-19 shots would be mandatory for all U.S. service members, while the Navy gave its personnel until November to either request an exemption or get the vaccine.
Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby on Friday told reporters that each individual military service will have to determine how to enforce the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate.