Defense

‘They Are Fighting For Their Careers’: Attorney Says Navy Seals Are Being ‘Threatened, Harassed’ Over Vax Mandate

(Screenshot/Fox News)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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An attorney representing dozens of active Navy SEALs fighting the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate said Wednesday his clients are being harassed and intimidated for resisting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Mike Berry, general counsel for First Liberty Institute, is representing 34 active Navy SEALs who are seeking religious exemptions from the Pentagon’s vaccine mandate. Berry, a Marine reservist, told Fox News’ Harris Faulkner that the Department of Defense does not intend to approve any religious accommodation requests.

“They’ve been threatened, harassed, intimidated. They’ve been silenced. They don’t have a voice,” Berry said. “We hope that we don’t have to challenge this in court, but if we have to, that’s absolutely what we’ll do in order to protect these elite warriors”

Members of the Navy must get their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 14 in order to be in compliance with the Biden administration’s mandate. The Navy recently announced the formation of a COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority to process the separation determinations of sailors who are not in compliance with the mandate by the deadline.

“They’re supposed to be fighting for our nation, and right now, they’re fighting for their careers and for their livelihoods, because the Navy is essentially forcing them to choose between their faith and serving their nation,” Berry continued. “And nobody should ever have to submit to an ideological litmus test like this.”

“The free exercise of religion is enshrined in our Constitution. That’s part of the bedrock foundation of this country, and what our country was founded on… Not just the U.S. Constitution, but federal law and Department of Defense regulations themselves require the Department of Defense to honor religious freedom.”

Members from multiple branches of the U.S. armed forces are considering leaving the service if they are not granted an exemption to the mandate. There are fears that a mass exodus among specialized units, such as the Navy SEALs, could create operational difficulties for the military moving forward. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Elite Military Unit Risks Mass Exodus Over Vaccine Mandate, Retired Member Says)

“We’ve been told from the Pentagon, from the very highest levels, that the DOD does not intend to approve any religious accommodation requests, and to my knowledge, and I’ve heard this from multiple sources, not a single religious accommodation has been approved at this point,” Berry said.