Florida Governor DeSantis to Recreate ‘State Guard’ Outside of Federal Control

U.S. Congressman Ron DeSantis of Florida speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. / Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

As the schism between states and the federal government grows on a range of issues, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis plans to recreate the Florida State Guard. This force would be separate from the state’s National Guard which is funded by both the federal government and the state, and requires dual enlistment with both.

DeSantis, a Republican, has asked state lawmakers to fund what he is calling the Florida state guard to assist with “state-specific emergencies” and which will “not be encumbered by the federal government.”

While the Florida National Guard is led by the Governor, like the National Guard of the other states under the National Guard Act of 1933, it can be increasingly mobilized by the federal government for many different national needs.

These federal needs are ever growing. And the dual role can create various conflicts, most recently seen by Oklahoma’s refusal to follow the Pentagon’s COVID vaccine mandate for its Oklahoma Guard troops. And the Pentagon’s threats against the state over its refusal.

However, none of these conflicts were mentioned by DeSantis. According to WFLA.com DeSantis said:

I’m going to be recommending in the budget $3.5 million to reestablish the Florida State Guard. The Florida State Guard will act as a civilian volunteer force that will have the ability to assist the national guard in state-specific emergencies. This funding will support the necessary training and equipment, and other support functions for up to 200 members who can aid in response to hurricanes and other natural disasters and other state emergencies.

Still, some on the left were quick to demonize DeSantis’s move. No governor should have his own handpicked secret police,’ tweeted the turncoat ex-Republican governor Charlie Crist, now a Democrat Congressman running again for Governor in 2022.

Crist appears not to know that 22 other states have state guards already. Florida would be the 23rd.

The UK’s left-leaning Guardian’s headline read: “Ron DeSantis plans Florida paramilitary force outside federal control.”

However, despite the hyperbole, State Guards, or Militias, are not new in America, as they were the foundation of American defense from the 1600s. The term (and authority) is also in the U.S. Constitution (the Militia clauses 15 and 16).

Actually, every member of the current National Guard is also a member of the organized militia of the United States under Title 10 U.S.C. 246.

Not only that, but Florida previously created a state guard in 1941 to fill in for national guard members who were fighting in WWII.  That force was disbanded in 1947, and DeSantis thinks it’s time to bring it back.

DeSantis noted on Thursday:

Re-establishing the Florida state guard will allow civilians from all over the state to be trained in the best emergency response techniques and have the ability to mobilize very, very quickly. ADN

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank. - paulcrespo.substack.com - PAULCRESPO.COM

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
charles A wilkins
charles A wilkins
6 months ago

Think it’s a great idea,the democrats have lost their mind on border issues,if Florida thinks it’s a great idea, get it done, as long as corrupt people like biden are in office, our Country is not safe, safe from non llegal drugs ,noncitzenhips and terrorist, biden and family have sold our Country down the drain to Russia and China for their ill gotten pot of gold.

6 months ago

Good for you, Gov. De Santis! Let us reestablish the sovereignty of the States, independent of the Federal Juggernaut.

Wayne C. Perelman
Wayne C. Perelman
6 months ago

Crist, you little snowflake twerp, the washington commicrats, in which YOU are a member in good standing, have used the federal bureau of intimidation as their own personal gestapo/kgb and every other federal body that they can marshal against us Patriots! Stick your leftist crap back up a dark place where the sun don’t shine!

People, Places & Things