TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis released a new detailed plan to “restore America’s military” during a campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina, saying, “it is time to rip the woke out of the military.”
The Florida governor and Republican presidential contender said the plan features four key pillars to return the military to “its core mission” by ripping political agendas out of the military, restoring military standards, breaking the swamp and promoting accountability and turning the tide against President Joe Biden’s military recruitment crisis.
“There was no greater honor than knowing I was wearing the cloth of my country when I served in the military, but our nation’s once-proud fighting force has been infected and paralyzed by a political agenda,” DeSantis said. “It is time to rip the woke out of the military and return it to its core mission. We must restore a sense of confidence, conviction, and patriotic duty to our institutions — and that begins with our military.”
Under the new proposal, DeSantis said he would get rid of Diversity and Inclusion administrators for each military department, end all DEI hiring, end drag shows on military bases, revoke Executive Order 14004, which allows transgender personnel to serve in the military in their preferred sex and ban woke recruitment content and the use of military social media accounts for activist content among other restrictions.
After graduating from Harvard Law School, DeSantis volunteered to join the Navy, where he deployed in support of Seal Team One as a JAG officer in Iraq and was awarded a Bronze Star.
Gov. DeSantis’ full plan for a “Mission First” military can be found below:
Rip Political Agendas Out of Our Military
- Eliminate “Diverse-aucrats” (Diversity Bureaucrats)
- Get rid of Diversity and Inclusion administrators for each military department and end all DEI hiring.
- End Military Departmental task forces, working groups, advisory boards, and other panels that focus on DEI. (For example, Task Force One Navy, Army Project Inclusion, and DOD Racial Disparity Reviews)
- Task and hold accountable a Secretary of Defense who will elevate and consider generals, upper tiers of Pentagon flag officers, and military civilian leadership whose focus will be on lethality, readiness, and capabilities.
- End Woke Operating Policies
- End drag shows on military bases.
- Prohibit the Department of Defense from conducting business with advertising with left-wing firms that blacklist conservative news sources.
- Revoke Executive Order 14004, which allows transgender personnel to serve in the military in their preferred sex and provides taxpayer funds for sex change hormones and surgeries, which cause issues with readiness.
- Close the “Defense Equity Team,” and the “Defense Advisory Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”
- Prohibit Department of Defense contracts to Federally Funded Research and Development Corporations related to DEI until their policy changes.
- Reform the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness to focus on the critical challenges facing the military such as recruiting, retention, and healthcare.
- Ban Woke Indoctrination
- Defund and prohibit any courses associated with Critical Race Theory at service academies.
- Require that fields of study at service academies be in fields traceable to military needs such as military history, leadership, nuclear engineering, personnel management, or software development. Because the U.S. taxpayer is fully underwriting the cost of this education, the list of available academic disciplines should be narrowly focused on the needs of the Department of Defense.
- Prohibit the instruction or propagation of theories such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) as part of military training.
- No government building should raise any flag except the U.S. and military flags (except flags from foreign countries for official events, POW/MIA flag).
- Ban woke recruitment content and the use of military social media accounts for activist content. Stop social media accounts of military accounts from posting on topics or issues that are not within their mission or are not recruitment messages.
- Study the role of social media on military servicemen and Department of Defense civilian workforce.
- Expand school choice and parental rights for families with children in Department of Defense schools.
- Establish a “Merit, Fairness, and Equality (MFE) Task Force” to review the curriculums of the service academies and training in the military.
- The entire Professional Military Education (PME) system produces substandard quality education. A critical first 100-days priority must be repealing the accreditation requirement for PME programs and to launch an immediate study to reforge all schools into competitive, rigorous, focused schools of operational and strategic excellence. Warfighting and lethality must be the overriding ethos of Professional Military Education and only the best should be allowed to graduate.
- Focus Veteran Benefits on Supporting Veterans, Not a Social Agenda
- End equity plans that prioritize certain veterans for benefits over others based on their race.
Restore Military Standards
- Recognize Differences Between Men and Women. Eliminate Racial Preferences in the Military. One Standard of Readiness.
- Require all military services to have physical qualifications according to gender neutral standards.
- Require statistical data transparency for performance and end any equity initiatives related to standards and readiness.
- Ban race and gender quotas in military recruiting and promotions and mandate personnel decisions including accession, assignment, selection, and promotion based on merit.
- Establish Department of Defense service standards based on readiness. Select the best applicants regardless of identity categories, rather than engaging in racial preferencing policies.
- Oppose any efforts to draft our daughters.
- Investigate any commander suspected of using racial or gender preferences in promotions.
- Reinstate Un-Vaccinated Servicemen
- Disallow the Pentagon from punishing troops based solely on their Covid-19 vaccination status, and allow troops who were kicked out for refusing the vaccine to reenter service with a changed reason for discharge and reinstatement to their prior rank from before they received punishment for their Covid-19 vaccination status.
- Back pay active-duty members basic pay rates for time they missed as a result of punishment (discharged, separated, retired, or reassigned) for not receiving the Covid-19 vaccination.
- Prioritizing Lethality, Readiness, and Capabilities, Not Ideology and Climate Change
- The Department of Defense should never prioritize climate politics over national security and any environmental projects should require a cost–benefit analysis that prioritizes national security needs.
- End activist climate change programs and focus on national security needs at-large.
- End the requirement for Department of Defense contractors to track and slow their greenhouse gas emissions at the cost of readiness.
- Stop EV funding that was initiated because of climate change activism rather than military readiness.
- Stop funding programs for environmental justice.
- Stop the Weaponization of Tools Intended to Root Out Legitimate Threats to Good Order and Discipline
- Maintain a proper enforcement of a Uniform Code of Military Justice and end the costly Biden Administration’s Department of Defense Countering Extremism Working Group.
Break the Swamp & Promote Accountability
- Enforce Article 88 (Contempt Toward Officials) of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice which courts have found applies to retired generals and admirals. Any service member may be prosecuted for “contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Security, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present.”
- Cease issuing security clearances to retired Department of Defense senior leadership that go on network and cable news shows and who, as paid analysts, monetize and politicize their access to so-called “inside information.” This should include removing security clearances from the 51 individuals who signed on to the Hunter Biden laptop “disinformation” letter in October 2020.
- Institute a cooling off period for Pentagon top officials both before and after their tenure from serving as military contractor board members and lobbyists. These officials are leveraging their Pentagon and security positions before and after they serve as civilians.
- Issue an executive order to fire immediately any high-ranking military or intelligence official who knowingly lies under oath to a federal official or Congress. No longer will there be zero consequences and lack of accountability.
- Fire immediately any joint chiefs officer who contacts an enemy counterpart without the knowledge of the president and overrides the authority of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- Within 6 months, the performance of all personnel in 4-star command and staff billets will be reviewed. Anyone determined to have promoted policies to the detriment of readiness and warfighting will be asked to resign or otherwise be removed from those positions. Similar reviews will be conducted over a longer time horizon for 3-star command and equivalent civilian SES positions.
Turn the Tide Against Biden’s Military Recruitment Crisis
- Restore National Pride in Our Military
- Use the “Bully Pulpit” to engage all Americans on the power and meaning of its all-volunteer fighting force and a meaningful, purpose-driven military force that will have the resources, backing of their Commander-in-Chief, and the American people to defend the Constitution and the United States.
- Develop a program for schools to teach that our military is and has been a force for justice and good in the world.
- Order the Department of Defense to collaborate with external organizations to encourage open expression of honest views on perceptions and morale from potential recruits, voluntary military departures, and current personnel. Special focus will be given to addressing the perception of politicization within the military. Currently, there is a significant lack of available data in this regard, and the existing data is exclusively controlled by the executive branch. To rectify this, a public disclosure of the problem’s nature is necessary, allowing my administration to identify and correct any mistakes. This transparency will play a vital role in rebuilding trust and confidence among servicemembers, their families, and the broader American public.
II. Expand Recruitment Programming
- Expand JROTC programs and civics programs in secondary schools.
- Work with the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition to promote military recruitment.
- Allow military families to request the creation of educational savings accounts for their children.