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Tipsheet

DeSantis’s Military Background May Be Just the Thing to Set Him Apart From Other Candidates

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

If Governor Ron DeSantis were elected president in 2024, he would be the first commander-in-chief since George H. W. Bush to have served the US in uniform while in a combat zone. 

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After graduating from Yale University and spending time at Harvard law school, DeSantis joined the Navy at the height of the Iraq war. 

On the contrary, in the past there decades, no other president has served in uniform for the US. 

Former President Bill Clinton avoided the Vietnam draft, while former President Obama was too young for Vietnam. 

Former President Trump also skipped out on serving his country, receiving medical deferments for a purported bone-spur diagnosis. President Joe Biden steer cleared of enlisting himself to put his life on the line for America by receiving five student deferments. Then in 1968, he was “disqualified from service because of asthma as a teenager”-- not that Americans would have any faith in the 80-year-old fighting for the nation. 

The Florida governor worked very closely with the Navy SEALs during a deployment to Iraq in 2007, spending nearly five years on active duty before transitioning to a political career.

According to a 2018 Tampa Bay Times article, 

DeSantis served as a senior legal advisor to the SEAL, who commanded Special Operations Task Force-West in Fallujah, Navy Capt. Dane Thorleifson. DeSantis was responsible for helping ensure the missions of Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets in that wide swath of the Western Euphrates River Valley were planned according to the rule of law and that captured detainees were humanely treated, said his commander at the time.

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Despite being complex times, his Kim pander praises DeSantis, saying that he did a “phenomenal job,”

Thorleifson also said that DeSantis was on his own as a lawyer with the Judge Advocate General Corps. to ensure the men were treated humanely and interrogated under the Geneva Conventions and U.S. military regulations. The governor was also responsible for ensuring the men were handed off to the proper legal authorities in Iraq for prosecution in that country’s nascent judicial system. 

DeSantis’s military background sets him apart from any other GOP 2024 presidential candidate. His time in the Navy shows voters that he can make tough calls when the pressure is on while still leading the country in the right direction. 


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