As recruiting challenges wreak havoc on the U.S. Coast Guard, the nation's maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement service branch continues to ignore the sincerely held religious beliefs of its service members. The USCG reports that, as of September 21, it has approved only 12 religious accommodations – and denied 1,231.
AFN talked with a former member of the Coast Guard who saw the proverbial "writing on the wall" and elected to leave that branch – which has allowed him to now speak freely on behalf of those who remain.
After serving in the Coast Guard for over 20 years, Aviation Survival Technician Chief Petty Officer David Kroll decided to retire in April 2021. For 22 years of his career, Kroll served as a Helicopter Rescue Swimmer, largely recognized as one of the most elite members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Kroll explains that as the push for Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccine was in full swing, he had several conversations with his command and "prayerful consideration" with his wife. As a result, he says, "we decided it was time to step out, knowing the shot would move from voluntary to mandatory in a matter of months."
He was proven correct about four months later when, on August 26, 2021, the commandant of the USCG announced that all members of the Coast Guard would follow the August 24 direction of the Secretary of Defense to require COVID-19 vaccinations of its active duty and Ready Reserve members.
Free to speak
Kroll tells American Family News that leaving the Coast Guard has "freed [him] up to speak more openly" about the vaccine.
"While others are often obligated to protect their careers for fear of retaliation," he admits, "I can more effectively help my brothers and sisters [in the Coast Guard] take a stance against this nonsense."
Under "the convenience of the Government," Kroll points out that "the Coast Guard is separating members from service without a board." He considers convenience of the Government to be "a broad spectrum that allows [the military's vaccine mandate] to be put under a national health, safety, or interest."
Kroll contends this specific instruction is what the Coast Guard is using to separate its members.
"A discharge under the 'convenience of the Government' is foolishness," Kroll laments. He points to Proverbs 1:7 (KJV) which says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
He concludes: "It's abundantly clear [to me] that there is a lack of fear of the Lord by our leadership – and the result is foolishness. They're willing to discharge members with sincerely held religious beliefs over an ineffective, experimental vaccine for a virus with a 99.98% survivability rate – and that just doesn't make sense, because it's foolish."