Ron DeSantis warns recruits don’t want to join ‘woke military’

DeSantis Sioux
'Is it any wonder why recruiting has suffered?'

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to offer reasons that people don’t want to join the U.S. Armed Forces.

During remarks Wednesday in Sioux City, the Florida Governor and freshly minted presidential candidate said potential recruits recoil at being members of a “woke military.”

“We look at our military now and we see them getting caught up in (the) political,” DeSantis said, citing the military’s “pronouns” and “global warming” policies as concerns for people who might otherwise enlist.

“We need to reorient things like the military back to its core mission. Is it any wonder why recruiting has suffered? People don’t want to be part of a woke military. They want to be a part of the military that has its eyes on the prize,” DeSantis said.

“We will make sure our military people are proud again,” the Governor added. “I don’t want veterans coming up to me saying, you know, I don’t think I would want my son or daughter or grandkids to join the military.”

“They never used to say that for my entire adult life until relatively recently. So we will restore the military to its proper mission,” DeSantis promised.

These remarks continue a theme for DeSantis, one addressed during an Iowa speech in West Des Moines Tuesday, where he denoted several issues of social consciousness that he believes are keeping people from signing up for the U.S. Armed Forces.

“And it pains me when we see revered institutions like our very own military become more concerned with matters that are not central to the mission, whether it’s global warming or gender ideology or pronouns, morale is declining, and recruiting is suffering. We need to eliminate these distractions, and we need to get focused on the core mission at hand,” DeSantis said Tuesday.

During a Memorial Day hit on the Fox News Channel, the Florida Governor and freshly minted Presidential candidate has revived criticisms of armed forces policies that, to him, have prioritized equity over winning wars.

“Well, first, I think we need to look at what’s going on with the military right now. And I think the military that I see is different from the military I served in,” DeSantis said on “Fox and Friends.”

“I see a lot of emphasis now on political ideologies, things like gender pronouns. I see a lot about things like DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), and I think that that’s caused recruiting to plummet. I think it’s driven off a lot of warriors, and I think morale is low,” DeSantis said.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Thomas Kaspar

    May 31, 2023 at 11:00 am

    A.G. Gancarski is either a liar or an idiot . DeSantis said the military is being forced to address things outside its true purpose . Curb your rainbow Gancarski .

    • AlyssaSodeman

      May 31, 2023 at 12:36 pm

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    • A Giant Idiot

      May 31, 2023 at 9:05 pm


    • Joe

      June 5, 2023 at 2:13 pm

      Lil Ronnie DePantless is both an idiot and a liar, so there.

  • Michael K

    May 31, 2023 at 11:01 am

    Ron is jonesing for the “good old days” when the military (and the rest of society) was segregated. He’s a hammer who sees everything as a nail — in this case his idiotic “war” on “woke” which he is unable to define. Not sure he realizes that he is offending the people who serve in the military with his degrading remarks.

    Truth is, the military does not accept meth heads, bigots and uneducated yahoos.

  • Andrew Linko

    May 31, 2023 at 11:04 am

    The Governor is so out of touch. The Military for years has known they have a ‘White Supremacy’ issue, and these White Nationalist groups, who largely are extremists are the base of GOP voters, and even the Pentagon acknowledges they have a problem, but will not track or report data on this issue. Women and minorities have been mysterious or accidently killed training on bases in the USA. So what does Ron want to do, create a private, volunteer militia in Florida?

    • Terri

      May 31, 2023 at 1:23 pm


  • Ed's Marxist Alter Ego 👍

    May 31, 2023 at 11:39 am

    Just more anti American propaganda by the fascists. This guy is lying.

  • Richard Bruce

    May 31, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    Enlisted in summer of 1979 when post-Vietnam attitudes greatly harmed the attractiveness of wearing the uniform. RELAD 1990. Classmates of the fourth year of female Academy members. In 1980, 10% of class was women. Now about 30% to 40% of class are women. Are there less qualified men now? No. Admission criteria has changed to dis-favor straight white males. Current recruiting short falls are the result of this emphasis on meeting political quotas.

    Current military is no long a team effort, but one of individuals filling unique positions to achieve specific goals. The attitude of “it’s not my job”, or, “I’m not trained for that”. is rampant in today’s military. A group leader cannot simply tell anyone to do anything. Decisions must be made based on a complex matrix of HR options. This is why action is delayed or denied. Readiness suffers. Success suffers. Force projection suffers. To paraphrase a old military adage, “For want of a competent ready politically favorable BIPOC the ship was lost”.

  • PeterH

    May 31, 2023 at 1:03 pm

    Ron DeSantis Conspiracy Theory number 16 ….. his own made up storyline not based on evidence or fact.

  • Christopher F Clausen

    May 31, 2023 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment. As a Marine (77-81), this report lacks context. DeSantis hasn’t talked to potential U.S. military recruits. I have. They see TV ads about the USMC poisoning Marines for decades at Camp LeJeune & wonder why the corps allowed it, & would they do it to them. Some knew the U.S. military also hid & didn’t fix a fuel leak that poisoned water for U.S. military & civilians in Hawaii. They saw the U.S. government fail to find psychiatric help for 27,000 or so Afghan & Iraq vets who them committed suicide; they don’t see a solution crafted yet for the war they might be in & aren’t interested in the risk. The Afghan/Iraq forever wars don’t appeal to them. There’s a labor shortage — it was 4.9 job seekers to 1 job in April 2020. So why would these young capitalists quit a good job/career for the U.S. military’s lower pay & limited options to change jobs mid-enlistment? The labor market is better balanced now, but it’s tough for recruitment to catch up. The U.S. Army has no problem keeping the number of soldiers they need, but the National Guard does. Guardsmen were called up to teach or drive a school bus for less money than they made at their civilian jobs. Why put up with that? You need to follow up if you expect to be a voice in how the nation approaches these subjects.

  • Andrew Linko

    May 31, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    Thank you for the Camp LeJeune response. The irony of that issue is the time served. Can anyone tell me the cutoff time served on that base, the day or week after the water issue was resolved? I served far after the eligible timeline, we were told then to drink bottled water. Hmmm! and the settlement is only enriching Attorneys and their firms, not helping the Veterans affected.

  • WGD

    June 3, 2023 at 11:15 am

    It’s far more likely that women or men with families do not want to enlist in a service that might not allow women to access health care depending on where they are stationed. DeSantis, as usual, isn’t interested in addressing the real issue he just wants to make an idiotic political point.

  • Andrew Linko

    June 3, 2023 at 11:37 am

    Yes, and teachers are underpaid in Florida, and he has taken their FREEDOM to collectively bargain for better pay, pensions and benefits, but Florida citizens in 5 years will be paying the highest taxes to private, for profit charter schools and education will be the worse except the rich white private schools! Taking us back to the 1920’s when no one could attend better schools!

Comments are closed.


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