Ron DeSantis' 'Mission First Military' Plan Would Put the Armed Forces on the Path to Success

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Florida Governor and 2024 GOP presidential contender Ron DeSantis has released his plan to change the military from a Petrie dish for D+ Sociology majors back into the Number One fighting force in the world. His campaign has posted his Military Reform Plan titled “Ron DeSantis’ Plan for a “Mission First” Military,” and it is well worth the read.


The plan is divided into four major sections; each focused on addressing one of the chronic problems that infected the US military sometime during the Clinton regime.

Rip Political Agendas Out of Our Military

This section has two major themes. First, get rid of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity infrastructure. Second, promote flag officers/general officers (FOGO) who are focused on warfighting. As a note, the intention to demolish the DIE bureaucracy is mentioned in other sections, but I won’t cover them unless they are something unusual.

End Woke Operating Policies

Here DeSantis targets a wide range of practices that have developed over time. The first one is drag shows on military bases. I couldn’t agree more. Why this perverted bullsh** is tolerated is unfathomable. Why the Navy thinks drag shows aboard underway ships are acceptable can have no rational explanation outside of sexual grooming (Rum, Buggery, and the Lash Makes a Comeback as the US Navy Fights Recruiting Woes; Well, Better Hold the Rum).

He proposes to “[p]rohibit the Department of Defense from conducting business with advertising with left-wing firms that blacklist conservative news sources.” I’m in favor of that in principle, but I don’t know how you get there in a way that would survive legal challenges.

DeSantis would revoke Biden’s Executive Order 14004 that allows transgender personnel to serve in the military, with the military picking up the tab for drug treatments and surgery. This is a no-brainer. I’m 100% in favor of immediately discharging transgenders. I’m also in favor of returning to the pre-“don’t ask, don’t tell” era where homosexual conduct was punishable under the UCMJ.

Ban Woke Indoctrination

Service Academies and Military Education

DeSantis wants to ensure the military needs the disciplines taught by the service academies. West Point offers a “minor” in “Diversity and Inclusion Studies.” This is nonsense, if not outright fraud, waste, and abuse. What has happened in the last couple of decades is that the four service academies have curricula that are much more suited to elite women’s liberal arts colleges than to military academies. This infestation runs throughout the military education system. The National War College, the capstone educational opportunity for lieutenant colonels and colonels who hope to grow up to be FOGO, offers courses in English Literature. I am a big fan of officers being literate, but if you haven’t made the effort by the time you have 25 or so years of service, it probably ain’t happening.

Critical Race Theory

Ban Critical Race Theory at the service academies and in any military instruction.


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).

I would expand this to George Floyd murals but abolishing PRIDE flags is a good start.

Recruiting and Social Media

Stop woke recruiting themes and restrict military social media accounts to commenting on subjects outside their mission or recruiting.

School Choice

The plan would allow school choice for parents with children in the DOD Schools system. I’m not sure what kind of a groundswell of enthusiasm there is for this program as there aren’t a lot of schools DOD schools operating in the US, but it can’t hurt.


Veterans Benefits

End equity plans that prioritize certain veterans for benefits over others based on their race.

VA programs are not my bailiwick, but any program that requires a racial box-check to participate should be burned to the ground.

Restore Military Standards

Eliminate Racial and Gender Preferences

Nothing can be of greater national importance in the military than restoring military standards and discipline (Army Starts Sham Investigation Into Bondage Fetish Colonel and His Friends Because They Think You’re Stupid). DeSantis has a few basic starting points. First, physical fitness standards should be gender-neutral (SHOCKER. Transgender Military Members Are Exempt From Fitness and Weight Standards). Physical fitness standards exist to establish a baseline of strength and agility, and the idea that men and women should have different standards has always been dumb. Clint Eastwood, in his role of “Dirty” Harry Callahan, said it best.

He proposes prohibiting racial or gender quotas in recruiting or promotions. Again, this is common sense stuff, and the fact that it is looked at as being “outside the box” is horrifying and a condemnation of Secretaries of Defense and service chiefs going back 30 years.

Reinstate Un-Vaccinated Servicemen

The vendetta the Department of Defense carried out against vaccine-hesitant servicemembers during COVID was an atrocity, and no effort should be spared in hunting down and punishing everyone involved in developing or implementing the policy. DeSantis wants to reinstate anyone discharged because of refusing the COVID vaccine or changing the character of service on their discharges should they not wish to return and to award backpay. Here I think DeSantis misses the mark a bit. When our prisoners of war were released from Vietnam in 1975, they were promoted to the rank they would have held had they not been captured. If the vaccine-hesitant troops are reinstated, they should return at the rank held by their peers and with credit for time-in-service and time-in-grade as if they had never been discharged.


Prioritizing Lethality, Readiness, and Capabilities, Not Ideology and Climate Change

This item requires the Department of Defense to cease its focus on climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental justice and pay attention to national defense. It also pulls the plug on the dangerously stupid electric vehicle policy.

Stop the Weaponization of Tools Intended to Root Out Legitimate Threats to Good Order and Discipline 

In the last two years, the military has used the vacuous and vague mission of “countering extremism” to target conservative Christians serving on active duty. DeSantis would end this witchhunt.

Break the Swamp & Promote Accountability

The section has six main points.

DeSantis wants to depoliticize the FOGO corps by going after retired general officers who attack the president. Article 88 of the UCMJ covers uttering “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.” I think this is technically possible, but I’m not sure it is a great idea. But retired generals and admirals need to be actively discouraged from using their rank to interject themselves into partisan politics unless they are running for office.

The document would stop the policy of granting courtesy security clearances to retired military and intelligence officials who also act as consultants and talking heads in the media, “[t]his should include removing security clearances from the 51 individuals who signed on to the Hunter Biden laptop “disinformation” letter in October 2020.” I don’t see how this can be argued against. There is no doubt that people like John Brennan monetized their former jobs and active security clearance. This crap has to stop.


Slow down the Pentagon-Defense Contractor board of directors-Defense Contractor lobbyist pipeline. How many retired officers, like James Mattis, leave the military and immediately become a member of the board of directors of a major defense contractor? The answer is a lot. There are ethics laws about post-service employment, but they aren’t that hard to evade unless you work directly in procurement. Someone has to stick a wheel in the spokes of the “military-industrial complex” bribery machine so that we, the taxpayers, can feel confident we are getting the weapons our nation needs and not what some company is using a retired general to sell to us.

Fire anyone who lies under oath to a federal official or Congress.

DeSantis will Impose the “Milley Rule.” That is, he will “[f]ire 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 six months, DeSantis will review all 4-star officers and force to retire those “determined to have promoted policies to the detriment of readiness and warfighting.” (Unexpectedly, the USAF Finds Itself With a Critical Shortage of Pilots While It Says It Has Too Many White Officers). Follow up with a review of all 3-star officers and their equivalents in the civil Senior Executive Service. Unless this happens, nothing else on the list will happen. He should take a page from George C. Marshall’s playbook and cull a lot of senior officers and replace them with younger and more mission-focused men and women. Removing generals, admirals, and civilian SES personnel is not very hard.

Turn the Tide Against Biden’s Military Recruitment Crisis

Restoring Pride (not PRIDE) in the Military

Have the White House actively support a volunteer military and develop educational materials about the military’s role in US history for schools. Work to identify barriers to enlistment and retention, combat politicization, and share the findings of these efforts with the public.

Expand Recruiting

Here DeSantis advocates increasing the number of Junior ROTC and civics education programs, working with “the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition to promote military recruitment,” and creating a special education savings account for military families.


On the whole, I think DeSantis has done a great job of identifying the problem. Executing the plan is going to cause a lot of problems which is no reason not to do it. As far as I’m concerned, the key parts of the plan are eradicating the DIE infrastructure from employees to people who have spoken at DIE conferences. Anyone who has collaborated with this menace should get no mercy. The second part is to ruthlessly force into retirement admirals and generals who have contributed to the collapse of discipline and standards. They must be identified before he takes office and given their walking papers on Day One.

If those two things are accomplished, the rest of the program will fall into place. If not, then the whole thing is dead in the water.


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