Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed a civilian-military force for his state. This private militia would be called the Florida State Guard that he says move in quickly to aid in hurricanes and other emergencies.
DeSantis’ proposed that he would be in total control of the militia, instead of the Pentagon. He said that it would complement the role of the National Guard at the time of emergencies. The National Guard played a dynamic part during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping the sick, administering tests, and distributing medicines and vaccines.
DeSantis said that it was necessary to be flexible and be capable of responding to events in Florida effectively. For that, support was necessary that would not be affected by federal encumbrances.
DeSantis said that he would be proposing a $3.5M and to re-establish the state guards. They will act as a civilian volunteer force and assist the National Guard during emergencies.
States can create local defense forces though not all states exercise that power. If Florida establishes its state guards, it would turn out to be the 23rd state to exercise the right. New York, Texas, and California have such auxiliary forces and are relatively unknown.
The origins of such state guards go back to the 18th century. The National Guards are controlled jointly by the state and the Defense Department, governors have total control over state guards.
State Democrats Have Warned That DeSantis Was Going For A Private Militia
DeSantis’ proposal comes after Lloyd Austin, the Secretary of Defense issued a directive warning members of the National Guard who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 that they would be barred from training and their pay would be withheld.
The Republican governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, had requested that his state be exempted from the directive, but it was denied by the federal administration.
State Senator Annette Taddeo, also a gubernatorial candidate accused DeSantis of being a wannabe dictator who was planning on a private militia on the lines of Cuba. Rep. Charlie Crist suggested that Ron DeSantis was trying to handpick secret police.