On a recent appearance on Fox & Friends on Memorial Day, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis underscored the urgency of revitalizing the morale of the U.S. military, expressing concerns over the impact of certain ideologies and policies he characterizes as leftist on the institution. A potential 2024 presidential candidate, DeSantis elaborated on his plans to address these issues should he secure a win in the race to the White House. DeSantis stated his concern about the current military state, claiming a divergence from the organization he had served in. "The military I see is different from the military I served in," he articulated. A former Navy lieutenant, DeSantis expressed disquiet over the emphasis on political ideologies, gender pronouns, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, suggesting that such focus might cause decreased recruitment and lowered morale. Having joined the United States Navy in 2004, DeSantis ascended to the rank of lieutenant and was stationed in Guantanamo and Iraq. Post his active duty, he held the position of a particular assistant U.S. attorney in Florida till 2010 and continued to serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve until 2019. While DeSantis expressed plans for a strategy to counter China, he maintained that the immediate priority lies in boosting recruitment and rebuilding trust in the institution. He says, "I see a lot of emphasis now on political ideologies, things like gender pronouns. I see a lot about things like [diversity, equity and inclusion]. And I think that that's caused recruiting to plummet. I think it's driven off a lot of warriors, and I think morale is low." [tweet_embed]May 30, 2023[/tweet_embed] DeSantis appealed to the sentiment of duty and service to the nation, drawing on his experience from the Iraq war. He asked, "Why would you have wanted to join the Marine Corps back in the day? Why did everybody else who joined the Army?" Sharing memories from his service in Fallujah, Iraq, he highlighted the resilience of those who continued to enlist during difficult times because they perceived their role as exceptional. He expressed concern over the diminishing spirit of service and promised to introduce significant changes from the first day of his potential presidency in 2024. "I think we've lost that a little bit," he lamented. Over the Memorial Day weekend, DeSantis interacted with families affected by the 9/11 attacks. Expressing their enduring grievances and their quest for justice over two decades after the event, he remarked, "They've been made promises in the past about getting help, and then basically some of our elected leaders have reneged on those promises. And so I think that they've been punched in the gut a number of times." While the Florida Governor was not directly connected to New York City, his decision to join the military was significantly influenced by the 9/11 attacks. Expressing his feelings about the event's impact on the nation, he said, "It had a profound effect on our country. Obviously, to see that right there, the raw emotions from people that were directly impacted was very, very powerful. And it moved my wife and I very much."