Ron DeSantis: I Will End Woke in the Military

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JULY 22: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit held at the Tampa Convention Center on July 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. The event features student activism and leadership training, and a chance to participate in a series of networking events …
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis laid out his plan to revamp the U.S. military and weed out woke on Tuesday, making his remarks during an event in Columbia, South Carolina.

“Our mantra on January 20, 2025, as commander-in-chief will be very simple: Mission First,” the presidential hopeful, a Navy veteran, told supporters, calling to “overhaul how the military has been running over these last few years.”

DeSantis noted that much of this started under Obama’s administration and has continued to progress “very, very aggressively.”

First, DeSantis said his administration would right the wrongs of the coronavirus era, as the vaccine mandate drove out “perfectly capable service members.” Calling it a mistake and something not based on scientific data, DeSantis blasted the efficacy — or lack thereof — of the mRNA shots and said his administration would recognize that forcing it was a mistake. As a result, the DeSantis administration will give service members their jobs back, “including with back pay.”

DeSantis said he will also make it clear that military readiness and capabilities “must trump political agendas like the green New Deal.”

“You put security first. You don’t tell folks — operators, contractors — that they have to be more concerned with reducing emissions than they do with military effectiveness. We don’t need military vehicles that run on electric. We need real military vehicles that are going to be dependent, dependable, and that are going to get the job done,” DeSantis said, asserting that these leftist agenda items are simply giving China a competitive advantage.

“Do you think China’s forcing their military vehicles or other things to do embrace things like electric? Of course not. … Don’t sacrifice mission accomplishment at the altar of the gods of the green New Deal,” DeSantis said, adding that his administration will also “end social experimentation and woke ideology in the military.” That includes eliminating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) from the Department of Defense.

He explained:

We’ve leaned in on this in Florida, we’ve actually eliminated DEI at our public universities. …  But I think it’s much more detrimental when you’re talking about a military context. Because you, by definition, are sacrificing some of your individuality to be able to join because it’s what the unit needs. That is most important. And so what DEI is telling people to do is to elevate our differences, elevate different ethnicities, gender, race, you name it. …We shouldn’t even need to be having this discussion about some of these things, but I think it shows that people have lost their way so we’re not going to do that.

The presidential hopeful also said he will weed out gender ideology and transgenderism in the military.

“It is just not appropriate to be injecting that into our armed forces. Right now, the military is using your tax dollars to pay for hormones and sex change operations for people in the military. … I don’t think any tax dollars should ever go to that. Don’t get me wrong, but how is that helping ensure a lethal fighting force to be doing sex change operations in the military?” DeSantis asked, emphasizing that the military should instead focus on “good order and discipline and focus on mission accomplishments.” He also said it is essential that service academies focus on “proper fields of study for military officers” rather than Critical Race Theory (CRT) or gender ideology.

Finally, DeSantis said his administration would focus on rejuvenating military recruitment, as it is at a “significant low.” The governor even said some veterans come up to him and tell him they do not want their children or grandchildren enlisting anymore.

“We’re losing out on some really, really talented people because of the emphasis on these tangential matters and a lack of focus on the mission. So when we restore that, we’re also going to go out and really work hard on recruiting,” he said.

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“I as commander-in-chief will use the bully pulpit to talk about the value of military service, the opportunities with military service, and of course, we’re gonna look for ways that military families have more opportunities in Florida,” DeSantis said.

“I think decline of this country is a choice. I think it’s a choice that we make. I believe that success is attainable. And I’m running for president not to manage the decline, I’m running for president to reverse the decline of this country, and there will be no excuses on this,” he added. “We will win the election and we will deliver on our agenda. No excuses. I am going to get the job done. We are mission ready.”


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