In wake of border deployment, Senate panel to vote on State Guard leader’s confirmation

thieme copy
The State Guard is headed out of state. Monday will be the first test of how legislators feel about that.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ choice to lead the Florida State Guard has yet to be confirmed, even though he’s leading that revived armed force out of state to help Texas police the Mexican border.

Monday will bring the first test of how much that actually matters to legislators.

The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security committee is set to advance the nomination of Mark Thieme of Apollo Beach Monday afternoon.

Thieme is the third person to hold the position in less than a year and a half, following retired Marine Lt. Col. Chris Graham, who died in 2022 and U.S. Navy Reserve Capt. Luis Soler, who quit last year for “personal reasons.”

DeSantis has been jocular about concerns that the State Guard is his personal army.

“They were basically saying that, like, ‘Gov. DeSantis is raising an army to raze the countryside,’ ” he said mockingly. “All they did was give free advertising for it, and so people were like, ‘Oh man! I want to join the Florida State Guard. We’re really excited about it.’”

However, in Jacksonville earlier this week, the Governor announced a forward deployment of the force, a seeming expansion of scope from the marketing copy. The organization’s website suggests a more limited mission: “State guards are authorized under Title 32 of the U.S. Code and operate distinctly from the National Guard. They are state-funded, responsive to the Governor and focused on the needs of their home state.”

Florida Statute, however, says what the ad copy does not, allowing the armed force to be used “exclusively within the state, or to provide support to other states.” So this kind of deployment is within the letter of the law the Legislature approved, especially given the alignment of the state’s Attorney General and the vast majority of its judges.

For his part, Thieme is excited about what’s to come, no matter where the Governor’s orders might take his troop.

“The Florida State Guard is prepared to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with state agency partners in direct support of our brothers and sisters in Texas grappling with an unprecedented surge of illegal immigration along their border. The Florida State Guard is postured to deliver rapid emergency response, public safety operations and humanitarian assistance — wherever the need arises.”

That need may arise well beyond Texas, if the state’s top man has his way.

Just hours after announcing that he was sending his State Guard to Texas, along with National Guard troops and state troopers, the Governor told friendly interviewer Sean Hannity that he was ready to deploy them even farther away.

“But if California actually wants to stop people coming across the border, I’m happy to send to California as well because ultimately, I want the whole border secure. Texas is the first step, but we need all states to have secure borders,” DeSantis said earlier this month on Fox News.


Jesse Scheckner contributed reporting.

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


  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" Ameriecan

    February 3, 2024 at 11:16 am

    Good mornting Dook 4 Brains Leftys,
    “YOUR” President, The Dook 4 Brains 8iden Dottard has effed up everything so bad that the Sage States are forced to go in and fix stuff.
    All Sage Patriots are laughing at you. HA HA…HA HA…HA HA!!!!!
    Thank you Dook 4 Brains Leftys,
    Earl Pitts American

    • rick whitaker

      February 8, 2024 at 7:40 pm


  • Marvin M.

    February 3, 2024 at 12:32 pm

    How the hell much is it going to cost Florida to do this? I assume we’re already paying the probably mostly young men and women a salary, now we pay for their travel to and from and their housing and food allowance for who knows how long? This is just another DeSantis joke/stunt but it won’t be funny when a commander orders a State Guard member to do something illegal. Or gives them no guidance whatsoever about what is legal and what is illegal.

    • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" Ameriecan

      February 3, 2024 at 12:53 pm

      Marvin, you are hereby placed under a painfull chastizement by me, Earl Pitts American, for your disrespect of the “Greatest Govornor Ever”.
      You are hinceforth under house arrest for the remainder of the weekend. In addition I, Earl Pitts American, am suspending all of your masturbation rights for the remainder of the weekend. So if you thought you would be just sitying around the house all weekend just a spanking and a wanking for the remainder of the weekend you can just forget about that.
      Feel the pain of an Earl Pitts American Chastizement Marvin.
      Marvin do better and I will lift your no-wanking ban for next weekend.
      Thank you Marvin,
      Earl Pitts American.

      • rick whitaker

        February 8, 2024 at 7:38 pm


  • Tib

    February 3, 2024 at 12:54 pm

    I am confident that this National Guard group will address the needs of our home state, Florida, and they will aid in reducing our high insurance rates and help to get funding for Medicaid.

  • MH/Duuuval

    February 3, 2024 at 1:59 pm

    Anything to get out of the house and one’s humdrum job. (Will the employer of the guards be picking up wages, benefits, and insurance costs while the troops are deployed?)

  • Margaret

    February 4, 2024 at 12:34 pm

    This is an outrageous use of taxpayers’ money! It is probably, also, un-Constitutional, insofar as it is being used by DeSantis to aid the Gov. of Texas in an insurrectionist action against the U.S. government obligation under the law, to defend our borders.

    These fools, parading as governors, are playing a dangerous game for performative political benefit. They are hoping to foment a civil war. I, as a Floridian, want no part of it, nor do I condone the use of our tax money to pay for yet another foolish stunt by this incompetent governor who couldn’t even win a primary contest in another state in which he spent millions of dollars trying to win.

    The day DeSantis’s term in office is finished will be a happy day for Florida!

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 5, 2024 at 12:12 pm

    I hate it for them but at least one of these otherwise unemployable Rhonda Guard Squad members will suffer a fatality before Rhonda shuts down this very stupid idea.

    And from the looks of his Squad Guard, the fatality will be a heart attack and then Rhonda will blame illegal and Biden for Rhonda sending obese people to hike around in the desert.

Comments are closed.


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