TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The office of Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced its search for a part-time director to lead the reestablished Florida State Guard, as well as the 400 guard members they will oversee.
The Florida State Guard was a WWII-era state defense force that operated from 1944-47. DeSantis first signaled his intent to remake the Guard last December at a news conference in Pensacola, where he said having the nonfederal force under his exclusive command would help Florida better respond to natural disasters.
“We want to be able to have a quick response capability, and reestablishing the Florida State Guard will allow civilians from all over the state to be trained in the best emergency-response techniques and have the ability to mobilize very, very quickly,” DeSantis said.
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The Florida State Guard now has a website where applications are being taken for a new director and new guard members. In a statement, DeSantis’ office said that an ideal candidate for director “will have demonstrated experience in military style operations, emergency management, leadership and problem solving.”
For those looking to be one of the first 400 guard members of the reestablished force, the state is first and foremost looking for Florida residents 18 to 60 years old who have a desire to serve and the following traits:
- Willingness to work in a team
- Tactical or emergency response knowledge
- Ability to pass a physical
- Ability to participate in annual weekend training
Additionally, even with their director, guard members will be “at all times under the final command and control of the Governor as commander in chief of all military and guard forces of the state,” the website stated.