UPDATED 12:23 PM PT – Friday, December 3, 2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) seeks to reduce Florida’s reliance on the federal government by resurrecting a World War II civilian force.
In a press conference on Thursday, DeSantis proposed allocating $3.5 million of his budget to reestablishing the Florida State Guard. Unlike the Florida National Guard, the FSG would answer solely to the governor. In addition, there would be no federal deployments, federal missions or federal funding.
“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 necessary training, equipment, and other support functions for up to 200 members, who can aid in the response to hurricanes, natural disasters and other state emergencies. We want to be able to have a quick response capability,” said DeSantis.
I am proposing more than $100 million for our National Guard, active-duty military and veterans, and to re-establish the Florida State Guard to assist our National Guard in state-specific emergencies.
I am committed to supporting our military and keeping our state safe.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 2, 2021
DeSantis’ proposal comes after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered all National Guard and Reserve service members to be vaccinated earlier this week. If they refuse, they could face loss of pay.
In the meantime, if the FSG is established, Florida would become the 23rd active State Guard in the country.