Gov. DeSantis wants to resurrect the Florida State Guard
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DeSantis environemental budget
Established in 1941, the FSG filled in for Florida National Guard troops as they deployed abroad during World War II.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to resurrect the Florida State Guard, a World War II paramilitary force disbanded in the late 1940s.

Unlike the Florida National Guard, the FSG would answer solely to the Governor. No federal deployments. No federal missions. No federal dollars.

DeSantis wants the civilian volunteer force to include about 200 members. They would assist the National Guard with hurricane, natural disaster and other state-specific emergency response.

The price tag: $3.5 million.

“We want to be able to have a quick response capability and reestablishing 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,” DeSantis said.

The upside, DeSantis added, they’re “not encumbered by the federal government.”

The Florida National Guard — an undersized force of 12,000 — is indeed encumbered.

The Florida National Guard has devoted more than 2.9 million federal work days between 2016 and 2021, but only 834,000 on state missions —  a disproportionate ratio that underscores the federal government’s increasing reliance on national guard.

Lawmakers, meanwhile, are urging Congress and the National Guard Bureau to address the issue.

Florida’s disproportionate ratio of Guard members to citizens is decades in the making. Over the last 30 years, Florida’s population has doubled while Guard numbers declined.

Florida ranks second to last in the Guard members-to-citizen ratio with roughly 12,000 troops. That number, Florida’s top-general contends, should hover upward of 20,000.

“It’s a significant challenge for our Governor to be able to have forces at his disposal on Florida’s worst day,” Adjutant Gen. James Eifert told lawmakers in October.

Established in 1941, the FSG filled in for Florida National Guard troops as they deployed abroad during World War II.

It is unclear to what extent DeSantis would like to utilize the FSG. Most state guards are ground forces, while others also include aviation units.

Lawmakers will consider allocating funds in the upcoming Legislative Session.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Richard Bowers

    December 2, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    Deathsantis should just be supporting expanding the National Guard, and organization in existence, with trained leadership rather than a force reporting only to him, sounds like Huey Long move. Our national guard has a tradition of qualrigy service to state and federal governments.

    • TiredofIdiots

      December 2, 2021 at 4:23 pm

      Deathsantis? You shouldn’t make it so obvious that your a commie. It makes it so much easier to discredit your comment. Since you clearly didn’t read the article, Florida has been fruitlessly trying to explain the NG for thirty years. The Federal Govt is incompetent and has allowed the problem to get worse and worse, to the point now that state have to fix the problem themselves – similar to the border dumpster fire.

      • Hemmi

        December 3, 2021 at 7:44 am

        Absolutely correct. If you don’t like your freedoms in Florida. Leave! Plenty of leftist blue states out there.

    • Reading is Fundamental

      December 2, 2021 at 4:49 pm

      Did you actually read the article? He has absolutely no power to expand the National Guard. That’s the whole point. So you would have him issue some vague statement supporting expansion while in the meantime, Nat’l Guard members are stretched to capacity every single year. That’s not sustainable.

    • Jon Krol

      December 2, 2021 at 9:33 pm

      Sounds like he wants a para military force only answerable to him. Here come the Brown Shirts.

  • S.E.P

    December 2, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    LOL. You are both wrong. Florida just needs more state devoted military per capita, Florida is full of old people who do not join the national guard. So, there’s a safety deficit in our state. The feds don’t care about that, they will use our state guard all over the country not caring about Fl. We had a state guard in the WW2 era. State’s safety should be number 1 and I am good with the idea. Heck he’s only asking for 200 people when our state deficit is 8,000. Civilians would not be beholden to the federal government. Civilians might be more likely to actually care about their fellow Floridians than a fed controlled guardsman. 22 other states already have a state guard. This is nothing new..

    • Ryan

      December 2, 2021 at 10:19 pm

      > Civilians might be more likely to actually care about their fellow Floridians than a fed controlled guardsman.

      If you can’t show compassion, or don’t care about, a fellow American regardless of their home state, then we have a problem.

  • Kathy

    December 2, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    He is out of control. Which paramilitary groups is he going to pull the 200 from? I would love to hear the oath they would take.

  • Jon Krol

    December 2, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    Old retired ex military rednecks with an itchy trigger finger running around dressed in military com-cos costumes armed with loaded M-4s under the command solely of a governor that is a racist and a sociopath is just not a good idea. The Deathsantis Brown Shirts. When we have a Beerhall Putsch?

  • Jon Krol

    December 2, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    You wouldn’t know a commie if he came up and offered you a M-4 to go kill those Libs. Lol. So much for your “patriotism” and freedom for all and the Constitution. You sound like you need a country like Nazi Germany was in the 1930’s. My dad and two uncles fought in WWII to rid the world of fascism. Looks like it is alive and doing well in the USA with people like you around.

  • Jon Krol

    December 2, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Yeah, Florida needs a para military force answerable only to the governor. What is wrong with this picture?

  • charles hoffman

    December 3, 2021 at 12:20 am

    does our gov really need his own band of unaccountable storm troopers?

  • Pete

    December 3, 2021 at 5:48 am

    What’s next, succession?

  • Scott Bryan

    December 3, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    Der Dwarf wants his own army.

  • Nosmo King

    December 3, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    Hey, and they can call wear Brown shirts……just like his hero’s home guard!!!

  • Deanna Rosenfeld

    December 9, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    The Governor could utilize the organized or unorganized militia to address local state issues for Floridians as they are State institions. The Militia is independant of the Federal Government and as governor he is the executive authority to use them unless Congress passes a statute to call hem out of the State for Federal use such as insurectin, rebellions, etc.

    Unorganized militia is every male under the age of 45 that can be called to serve the state executive. Based on the census of the state it looks like there would be more than enough eligible men to take part in upholding and protecting the citizens in their state becasue the unorganized militia is everyone else outside the military, troops or National Guard. They are the residents of Florida, the people who naturally would look after their own best interest becasue they dwelll there, run business etc. It is curious that the Governor is refering to “other troops” the 200 when a unorganized milita to service whether the men of Florida know it or not. The militia instition goes back to the Constition Section 8 as it was expressed clearly. The reason that it was part of the Constition, articles of confederation and the entire histtory of the colonial settlement was to protect the people against tyranny. The fundemental concept was: Who is going to abolish a government that is not responsive to the will of the people? Unfortunately in 1903 the National Guard was formed by passage of legislation which muddied the purpose of the milita. Under constition no state can keep and maintain troops or ships of war in times of PEACE without consent of Congress. Florida can not apply the provision in such a way as to conflict with the absence of Congressional consent. Desantis is using 32 USC section 107 under color of law to create state defense forces. He could easily use the militia without Federal consent.
    Excellent discussion on this topic with Dr. Edwin Viera on “liberty and Finance” with Dunagun Kaiser on his youtube channel.

Comments are closed.


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