Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Defends Controversial Plan to Strip Military of ‘Woke’ Policy

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has defended his Pentagon plan in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, aiming to address recruiting woes by stripping the military of what he refers to as “woke” policy.[0] DeSantis, who is the only American presidential candidate to have served in the military, rolled out his plan to “overhaul” the United States Armed Forces, claiming that the military has been infected by a “woke-mind virus.”[1] The governor’s plan includes revoking policies that allow transgender personnel to serve in the military in their preferred sex, reinstating personnel who were dismissed for refusing a coronavirus vaccine, and ending Department of Defense efforts to combat extremism.[2]

The controversy surrounding DeSantis’s plan stems from reports that veterans who were part of his new State Guard program quit when the training became too militaristic.[3] According to an investigation by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, recruits were trained for combat rather than the civilian disaster relief force they believed they were signing up for.[4] The volunteers were ordered to shave their facial hair, were drilled on rappelling with ropes, navigating through the woods, and responding to incidents under military command.[5] This shift in training has raised concerns among civil rights advocates that the new Guard, which includes a specialized law enforcement unit, could be asked to undertake police-style operations that are not clearly defined by law.[6]

DeSantis’s plan to remove “woke” policy from the military has received both support and criticism. Supporters argue that the military should focus on being lethal, ready, and capable, without being burdened by political ideology and social experimentation.[7] They believe that the military’s primary mission is to defend the country and that any agenda that hinders this mission should be eliminated. Critics, on the other hand, argue that diversity and inclusion efforts are important for creating a more equitable and effective military. They believe that removing these policies could harm morale and recruitment efforts.[8]

DeSantis’s proposal to end social experimentation and woke ideology in the military aligns with similar actions he has taken as governor of Florida.[9] He has banned universities from spending on diversity and inclusion programs, prohibited training related to privilege in society, and eliminated certain teaching about race.[10] These actions have drawn both praise and criticism, with some applauding DeSantis for prioritizing a more traditional and conservative approach, while others accuse him of stifling necessary conversations and progress.

The controversy surrounding DeSantis’s Pentagon plan highlights the ongoing debate over the role of politics and ideology in the military. While some argue that the military should be apolitical and solely focused on its core mission, others believe that it has a responsibility to reflect the diverse society it serves. As the discussion continues, it remains to be seen how DeSantis’s plan will be received and whether it will have any impact on the military’s recruitment and effectiveness.

0. “DeSantis defends Pentagon proposal purging ‘woke’ policy from military” Channel3000.com – WISC-TV3, 19 Jul. 2023, https://www.channel3000.com/news/national-and-world-news/desantis-defends-pentagon-proposal-purging-woke-policy-from-military/video_f9da2e39-eabb-5e59-ba81-0faf64cbb237.html

1. “DeSantis policy proposal could reshape top ranks of the military” NBC News, 18 Jul. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meetthepressblog/desantis-policy-proposal-reshape-top-ranks-military-rcna94944

2. “DeSantis pledges to restore U.S. military, ‘rip out woke’ political agendas on Day 1” FOX 11 and FOX 41, 18 Jul. 2023, https://www.fox41yakima.com/desantis-pledges-to-restore-u-s-military-rip-out-woke-political-agendas-on-day-1

3. “Ron DeSantis’ Florida State Guard being trained as ‘militia,’ veterans” Business Insider, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/ron-desantis-state-guard-trained-combat-veterans-militia-2023-7

4. “DeSantis Does About-face As State Guard Now Trains Recruits For Combat Instead Of Preparing Them Solely F” Benzinga, 16 Jul. 2023, https://www.benzinga.com/government/23/07/33241643/desantis-does-about-face-as-state-guard-now-trains-recruits-for-combat-instead-of-preparing-them-sol

5. “Veterans quit as training, mission for DeSantis’ State Guard turn militaristic” Miami Herald, 14 Jul. 2023, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article277245833.html

6. “Turmoil in Florida’s New State Guard, as Some Recruits Quit” Yahoo News, 16 Jul. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/turmoil-florida-state-guard-recruits-145606699.html

7. “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis vows to remove ‘the woke’ from the U.S. military” WJXT News4JAX , 18 Jul. 2023, https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2023/07/18/florida-governor-ron-desantis-vows-to-remove-the-woke-from-the-us-military/

8. “DeSantis defends Pentagon proposal purging ‘woke’ policy from military” CNN, 19 Jul. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/07/18/politics/desantis-military-proposal-recruiting-cnntv/index.html

9. “DeSantis looks to his hardline efforts in Florida in promising to overhaul the nation’s military” Florida Phoenix, 18 Jul. 2023, https://floridaphoenix.com/2023/07/18/desantis-looks-to-his-hardline-efforts-in-florida-in-promising-to-overhaul-the-nations-military/

10. “DeSantis Defends Pentagon Proposal Purging ‘Woke’ Policy From Military” Seattle Medium, 19 Jul. 2023, https://seattlemedium.com/desantis-defends-pentagon-proposal-purging-woke-policy-from-military/

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