Posted by Curt on 16 June, 2022 at 9:24 am. 21 comments already!


by Heather Hamilton

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the reestablishment of the Florida State Guard and touted it as a refuge for United States military service members who have been discharged for not complying with COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
“There are opportunities where people still want to serve, but they want to serve based on their conscience,” DeSantis said while speaking at the American Legion outpost in Madeira Beach on Wednesday.
The Republican governor blasted President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for “hurting good order and discipline” within the country’s military.
“When [Biden] came into office, he decided to impose a COVID vax mandate on the U.S. military,” DeSantis added. “You had a situation where most people in our military are the lowest of the lowest risk for COVID, to begin with. Many of them had already had COVID and had recovered in 2020 into 2021, and yet he imposed these mandates on them. And that has had the impact of actually kicking people out who had served honorably, who just decided this is not what they want to do.”
DeSantis also slammed the federal government for not increasing the number of National Guardsmen to reflect a growing population, “leaving Florida with the second-worst National Guardsman to resident ratio.”

For more than 60 years, Florida’s National Guard has had 12,000 troops, while its population has grown from less than 5 million to nearly 22 million people, according to the governor’s office. The current resident to guardsman ratio is about 1,750 Floridians per guardsman.
DeSantis named retired Marine Lt. Col. Chris Graham as its director.
“Two months ago, I retired from the Marine Corps. as a lieutenant colonel after two decades-plus of service, and once I saw the opening to become the director of the State Guard, I decided that two months of retirement was all I needed,” Graham said. “This is an unbelievable privilege to reestablish and build from the ground up a modern state defense force. Florida will be joining 22 other states and territories with state guards.”
In December, DeSantis proposed $3.5 million to reestablish the civilian volunteer force, but the governor said interest was so great, the state legislature increased funding to $10 million.
“The Florida State Guard will be comprised of Floridians, and it’ll be designed to assist and help only Floridians. It will not be subject to be mobilized by the federal government, and the federal government cannot impose policies or penalties on the Florida State Guard,” DeSantis said.

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