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    HomeWorldVeterans Quit as Training, Mission for DeSantis’ State Guard Turn Militaristic

    Veterans Quit as Training, Mission for DeSantis’ State Guard Turn Militaristic

    Veterans Quit as Training, Mission for DeSantis' State Guard Turn Militaristic

    When the first recruiting class of Gov. Ron DeSantis' Florida State Guard showed up for training last month, they had varied experiences and expectations.

    Over 30 days in June, teenagers out of high school and retired veterans came to  Blanding, the National Guard  near Jacksonville.

    Many were told they would volunteer for a revived State Guard with a non-military mission: help Floridians in times of need or disaster.

    Instead, the state's National Guard trained the volunteers for combat. Khakis and polos were replaced by camouflaged uniforms. Volunteers assured they could keep their facial hair were ordered to shave. And they were drilled on how to rappel with ropes, navigate through the woods and respond to incidents under military command.

    When DeSantis announced in 2021 he wanted to revive the long-dormant State Guard, he vowed it would help Floridians during emergencies. But in the year since its launch, key personnel and a defined mission remain elusive. The state is looking for the program's third leader in eight months. According to records reviewed by the Herald/ Times and interviews with program volunteers, a number of recruits quit after the first training class last month because they feared it was becoming too militaristic.

    Weeks into that inaugural June training, one volunteer, a disabled retired Marine Corps captain, called the local sheriff's office to report he was…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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