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4 Air Force cadets may not graduate due to vaccine refusal

Four cadets at the Air Force Academy may not graduate or be commissioned as military officers this month because they have refused the COVID-19 vaccine, and they may be required to pay back thousands of dollars in tuition costs, according to Air Force officials.

It’s the only military academy, so far, where cadets may face such penalties. The Army and Navy said that as of now, none of their seniors are being prevented from graduating at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., or the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, due to vaccine refusals. The graduations are in about two weeks.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last year made the COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for service members, including those at the military academies, saying the vaccine is critical to maintaining military readiness and the health of the force.

Military leaders have argued that troops for decades have been required

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