No ‘Woke’ Military: Ron DeSantis Rolls Out Reform Agenda

“War-fighting must trump identity politics …”

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Florida governor Ron DeSantis – the only American presidential candidate to serve in the military – rolled out his plan to “overhaul” the United States Armed Forces by purging it of what he referred to as “the woke-mind virus.”

“War-fighting must trump identity politics,” DeSantis said.

“This is a personal issue for me in terms of veterans, in terms of active duty service members and in terms of recruiting – and I know it’s a big deal for the people of South Carolina,” the former naval officer added as he pitched his proposals to “end social experimentation and woke ideology in the military.”

DeSantis unveiled his plan on Tuesday morning during a campaign stop at an airplane hanger in West Columbia, South Carolina. The previous evening, he campaigned in Tega Cay, S.C., and he officially filed his “First in the South” paperwork earlier Tuesday in downtown Columbia, S.C. – becoming the first 2024 contender to do so.

DeSantis – who deployed to Iraq in October 2007 – attained the rank of lieutenant commander upon his departure from the U.S. Navy in February 2019 (a month after he was sworn in as governor of the Sunshine State). The Jacksonville native won a Bronze Star and multiple other commendation medals during his service.

DeSantis’ plan – which you can read here – aims to restore the military as “the one spot in America where merit is what matters.”

(Click to View)

Ron DeSantis addressing supporters in West Columbia, S.C. (Rumble)

“We need a military that is focused on being lethal, being ready and being capable,” DeSantis said. “And if there’s anybody’s agenda that gets in the way of that, that agenda needs to take a hike.”

“Mission first – accomplish the mission,” DeSantis continued. “That has to be the sole focus of everything we do.”

Is it now? Absolutely not …

“Were now in a situation where we find ourselves seeing the military go down a very different path,” DeSantis said. “It’s a military that’s has been ordered by civilian officials to pursue political ideology, to pursue social experimentation – to be yet another institution in American life that gets infected with the woke mind virus.”

According to the governor, this virus is “changing the character of the military, it’s changing the culture of our services and it’s creating a situation in which great warriors have been driven away and recruiting is at an all-time low post-abolition of the draft.”

“We’re losing out on some really talented people due to the focus on these tangential matters and a lack of focus on the mission,” he said.

According to DeSantis, eliminating woke ideology in the military will lead to “better recruitment (and) better retention.” It will also make our nation more secure, he said.



“When China sees the Navy using drag queens to recruit people, they are laughing in our face,” DeSantis said. “Our enemies are whetting their appetite and you know why? Because they’re seeing America take its eye off the ball. They’re seeing America pursue other agendas at the expense of our nation’s security agenda.”

As president, DeSantis vowed to stop taxpayer subsidization of hormone treatments and sex change procedures for military personnel – which were authorized via an executive order signed by president Joe Biden shortly after he took office in January 2021.

According to the Biden administration, “America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive.”

DeSantis disagreed, saying the military should focus instead on “being lethal, being ready and being capable.”

“We’re not going to do gender ideology or transgender-ism,” he said. “Right now your tax dollars are paying for hormones and sex change operations in the military.”

DeSantis also vowed to “disallow the Pentagon from punishing troops based solely on their Covid-19 vaccination status, and allow troops who were kicked out for refusing the vaccine to reenter service with a changed reason for discharge and reinstatement to their prior rank from before they received punishment for their Covid-19 vaccination status.” Those personnel would receive back pay “for the time they missed as a result of punishment,” too.

DeSantis’ military push comes at a pivotal moment in his 2024 candidacy, with polls showing him continuing to trail former U.S. president Donald Trump by huge margins. According to the latest composite polling data from RealClearPolitics, Trump leads DeSantis by a whopping 33.5 percentage points. Those numbers have generated concern within DeSantis’ campaign – and prompted some of his major donors to seek out other alternatives to Trump.

Republican presidential hopefuls will face voters for the first time in the Iowa Caucus on January 15, 2024. New Hampshire’s primary comes eight days later (January 23, 2024) followed by South Carolina and Nevada on February 24, 2024.

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    Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

    Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.



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    Culture War Machine July 18, 2023 at 4:03 pm

    Pentagon: *can’t pass an audit to save its life*

    DeSantis: How dare you have trans troops!

    Anonymous July 19, 2023 at 3:33 am

    Please stop with the “won a bronze star and several commendation medals”. Saying someone is Winning medals, and especially Bronze Stars, is a disgrace to every military member who earned theirs.

    Bob July 19, 2023 at 5:55 pm

    Next year we’ll all look back on the massive failure that was DeSantis’ run fur President and laugh even harder than we are now.

    DeSantis might want to refocus on holding on to his Governorship. Not looking good on that front either. Turns out fighting ‘woke’ 24/7 leads to big problems for everyday folks.

    Frank July 21, 2023 at 11:13 am

    Ron DeSantis, ie. Trump II, is hemorrhaging support and is going nowhere. Recent internal Republican polls have shown his incessant focus on “woke”, (God every time I hear a Republican use that word all I can picture is some redneck setting on a porch, in a trailer park in rural Appalachia) and his stupid war with Disney is turning off educated Republican voters. According to the Miami Herald, ” Republican voters with a college degree and a built-in skepticism of Donald Trump were supposed to form the backbone of Ron DeSantis’ strategy to win the 2024 GOP presidential primary,…
    Instead, they’re leaving his campaign in droves.”

    That is because you can’t have a brain and support Republicans these days. All they ever want to talk about is woke, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and going after law enforcement for daring to question Donald Trump. They can even admit that Trump supporters attacked our Capitol and beat up law enforcement officers and threatened to kill the Vice President and others when the whole thing is on video. And they want to talk about the weaponization of the FBI and the DOJ, as though that is not exactly what Trump tried to do from day one of his 1st campaign, and what he has promised to do if he gets a second term. He started his campaign with “lock her up” and ended his Presidency by insisting Barr find some reason to arrest Biden and Hillary. He then lied about the election and tried to force the DOJ to support his lies. And now he says he is going to use those same agencies to exact retribution on his political enemies. It’s all just totally sad what has happened to the Republican Party.

    Ralph Hightower Top fan July 21, 2023 at 11:46 am

    For the life of me, I cannot figure out why a person with such a fragile ego and hates living under a microscope even wanted to be president. Anyone wanting to be president has to realize that their every action or inaction will be scrutinized, and either praised or condemned.

    I can only speculate why Trump ran for president.
    Son (Barron): “Father, when I grow up, I want to be president.”
    Trump: “Here. Hold my beer. Watch this!”

    Both the Democrat and Republican party f’ed up in 2016. The Democrats chose Hillary because it was “her turn”. The Republicans chose a person that was, and still is, unqualified to be president. Bullying through fear and intimidation is not going to get anything accomplished.


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