Rep. Dan Daley explains why allocations for the Florida National Guard need to be increased.
By Sharon Aron Baron
Representative Dan Daley (D-Coral Springs) joined a majority of the Florida House of Representatives in sending a letter urging Congress and the United States National Guard Bureau to increase the force structure allocation of the Florida National Guard.
Florida is the third most populous state —-yet it ranks 53rd out of the 54 states and territories in the Guardsmen-to-Citizen ratio.
Due to COVID-19, the Florida National Guard has expended the same number of workdays as it has for the past 20 years. With just over 12,000 troops, the same soldiers repeatedly receive activations, leading to excessive fatigue, retention, and readiness issues.
“The Florida National Guard needs proper troop numbers based on the size of our state and propensity for natural disasters,” said Rep. Daley. “We must provide our citizen-soldiers the adequate relief and support they require to continue meeting their mission goals.”
The Florida National Guard traces its heritage back to 1565, the year the Spanish founders of St. Augustine organized their first company of citizen-Soldiers. Since then, they have defended local communities from the Panhandle to the Keys.
Involved in hundreds of community service projects across the state each day, the Florida National Guard serves in disaster relief operations, helping residents recover from natural disasters. Others train or serve in critical national defense positions throughout the nation and overseas, deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan supporting operations in the war on terrorism.
Rep. Daley said, “Floridians have depended heavily on the brave volunteers of our National Guard over the years, and we owe them a great debt of gratitude for being there when a disaster strikes.”
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