'We rip all the woke out': DeSantis vows to remake US military as vets quit his new Florida State Guard
But as the DeSantis presidential campaign sputters and flails, with the Florida Republican firing campaign staff amid heavy spending and weak poll numbers, the governor continues to campaign on the promise of turning America into a version of what he likes to call the “free state of Florida.”
How are things in the free state of Florida?
While inflation has plummeted to a mere 3% nationally, down from over 9% just one year ago, Florida’s inflation is the highest in the country, more than double the national average, with several metro areas labeled inflation “hot spots” thanks in large part to housing woes. The Florida housing crisis stems from massive home owners insurance hikes, and DeSantis’ focus on chasing undocumented workers out of the Sunshine State. One year ago in May, CBS News labeled Florida “the least affordable place to live in the U.S.”
To great concern from critics last year, DeSantis restarted the Florida State Guard, an entity first created in 1941 that his predecessors effectively shut down. Lawmakers handed him an initial $10 million. Earlier this month Florida lawmakers hiked their initial approval from 400 troops to 1500.
In announcing he was reconstituting the Florida State Guard, DeSantis suggested its purpose was “to respond to a projected active hurricane season,” and added: “In a natural disaster-prone state such as Florida with a potentially active hurricane season on the horizon, there is a clear and present need for a larger civilian emergency response force.”
That claim is repeated on the Florida State Guard’s official government website.
“In a state that battles hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and more every year, we are prepared for whatever mother nature may bring,” the front page of the Florida State Guard’s website reads.
“Funded at the state level, the Florida State Guard partners with the Florida National Guard and other disaster response agencies to respond quickly and ensure that communities are provided with humanitarian assistance and disaster response services they desperately need. The Florida State Guard is able to stay longer than the National Guard, at the discretion of the Governor, to provide humanitarian and disaster response services over a greater period of time—allowing the National Guard to return to other duties. The two forces complement each other.”
Despite that very publicly-stated focus, the veterans DeSantis’ State Guard hired are quitting, with some saying they are being trained as a paramilitary force, a joint report from the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times states.
“According to records reviewed by the Herald/Times and interviews with program volunteers, a number of recruits quit after the first training class last month because they feared it was becoming too militaristic.”
Many of the recruits are veterans from the U.S. Armed Forces.
“Weeks into that inaugural June training, one volunteer, a disabled retired Marine Corps captain, called the local sheriff’s office to report he was battered by Florida National Guard instructors when they forcibly shoved him into a van after he questioned the program and its leadership,” the report states.
Major General John D. Haas, Florida’s adjutant general overseeing the Florida National Guard, the Herald reported, in a statement “said the State Guard was a ‘military organization’ that will be used not just for emergencies but for ‘aiding law enforcement with riots and illegal immigration.'”
A retired 20-year Navy veteran, Brian Newhouse, told the Herald: “The program got hijacked and turned into something that we were trying to stay away from: a militia.”
“On the first day of training,” the report states, “Newhouse said he was escorted off the base after lodging several complaints, including that the National Guard’s schedule required training on Sundays, instead of allowing members to use those days for religious services and personal time, as was the original plan.”
How did DeSantis’ first class do?
“On June 30, the State Guard graduated its first class, 120 recruits, far below the 1,500 members state lawmakers approved this year.”
And yet, DeSantis, a former Navy lawyer (“JAG” officer) is touring the country, hitting battleground states, and attacking the U.S. Military, and its Commander in Chief.
The Florida governor claims the U.S. Armed Forces are “woke,” because of President Biden, and unable to successfully recruit.
He promises to remake America’s military.
“When we talk about reinstalling integrity in our institutions, we mean things like our own military,” DeSantis told supporters in South Carolina. “You know, I volunteered to serve in the Navy, volunteered to serve in Iraq, got to serve alongside a lot of great patriots, got to be part of a mission greater than myself, and really was happy to have done it.”
He claimed, “for the first time in my life, I have veterans coming up to me all too frequently saying, ‘I don’t know if I’d want my kids or grandkids to serve in today’s military.’ Why? Because they’re focusing on political agendas, woke ideology, things that are not central to mission accomplishment that causes morale to decline, and it causes recruiting to suffer and even at the height of the fighting in Iraq in places like Fallujah where I served, you still had people showing up to sign up for the Marine Corps and the army knowing their next stop was going to be western Iraq.”
DeSantis claims “people are not signing up because they want to sign up to a military that is focused on the mission. They don’t want to join a woke military. They don’t want to be part of social experimentation. And so as Commander in Chiefon day one, we rip all the woke out and we get back to business and the military. We’re going to be serious about it.”
Watch below or at this link.
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