Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the reestablishment of the Florida State Guard and introduced the new director of this emergency-focused civilian volunteer force, retired Marine Corps. Lieutenant Colonel Chris Graham.
By bringing back the Florida State Guard, Florida now joins 22 other states and territories with state-level defense forces, and many other states have laws on the books allowing for the activation of these organizations. Florida will add 400 members of the Florida State Guard to respond to a projected active hurricane season, and more than 1,200 individuals have already expressed interest in joining.
“The U.S. military has been kicking out great service members over the Biden administration’s unacceptable COVID vaccine mandate, and they are even targeting members of the National Guard,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The bureaucrats in D.C. who control our National Guard have also refused to increase the number of guardsmen despite our increasing population, leaving Florida with the second worst National Guardsman to resident ratio. By reestablishing the Florida State Guard under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Graham, we have a great opportunity to expand our capability to help people in times of need or disaster.”
“Two months ago I retired from the Marine Corps. as a Lieutenant Colonel after two decades plus of service, and once I saw the opening to become the Director of the State Guard, I decided that two months of retirement was all I needed,” said Director of the Florida State Guard Chris Graham. “This is an unbelievable privilege to reestablish and build from the ground up a modern state defense force. Florida will be joining 22 other states and territories with state guards, but we have an opportunity to break new ground and deliver a 10-fold investment for Floridians.”
- Purple Heart, June 2005
- Navy Achievement Medal (V), May 2007
- Navy Commendation Medal (V), March 2006
- Air Medal (V), April 2005
- The Commanding General, Il Marine Expeditionary Force’s (MCA) Leadership Award for 2005
To learn more about this opportunity to serve your fellow Floridians under the direction of Florida’s elected officials, go to flsg.myflorida.com.