Commander Lucian Kins requested a religious exemption. The Navy refused.
Unvaccinated, top-ranking U.S. officer The refusal of a top-ranking officer for the U.S. Navy, Winston S. Churchill to undergo COVID-19 testing led to his dismissal from duty on Friday night.
Jennifer Griffin, Fox News’ national security correspondent, said that Commander Lucian Kins (the Arleigh Burke-class Navy ship’s number-two officer) refused to be vaccinated.
Fox News reported that Kins’ relief was caused by his refusal to be tested as he was not vaccinated.
Fox News sources tell Fox News that Kins applied to a religious exemption. The Navy refused. Kins appealed this decision.
A Navy spokesperson, LCDR Jason S. Fischer stated that Kins was removed from duty because of a “loss of confidence” in his ability perform work duties.
“On December 10, 2021, Commander, Naval Surface Squadron 14, Capt. Ken Anderson, Cmdr. Fischer stated that Lucian Kins was appointed executive officer of USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81). This was due to a loss of confidence in Kins ability to fulfill his duties.” Fischer agreed.
Fischer noted that “Lt. Fischer also noted that Han Yi, the ship’s plans and tactics officers, has been temporarily assigned to be executive officer until permanent relief is identified. Kins will then be “reassigned the staff of Naval Surface Squadron 14.”
Prior to the decision by Navy officials, Kins was on track to become the destroyer’s commander within the next year and a half.
The ship is currently stationed at Mayport, Fla. for a 14-month maintenance period.