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Florida State Guard Celebrates a Historic Year of Service




Tallahassee, FL — Today, the Florida State Guard (FSG) highlights the major accomplishments of the year to support Floridians. The FSG continues to strengthen the state’s emergency response, crisis management, and public safety — ensuring rapid support to Florida families in times of need.

“Governor DeSantis outlined a bold vision for recruiting, training, and equipping the nation’s premier state defense force,” said Director of the Florida State Guard, Mark Thieme. “Through his leadership and resourcing support, we continue to increase our capability and capacity to serve the people of Florida from all threats to public safety.”

Training for Success

  • The FSG implemented a rigorous and extensive two-week Basic Operation and Orientation Training (BOOT) program in June, training 120 recruits in foundation-level critical incident management, emergency response and humanitarian relief, search and rescue operations, and medical aid.

  • Members of the FSG participated in two drill trainings where Soldiers trained in first aid, incident management, vehicle driving, and other critical skill sets necessary to respond to emergencies across the State.

Mobilizing the Modern Relaunch

  • Governor DeSantis signed HB 1285 which established the FSG as a permanent agency and key capability for statewide emergency and crisis response.

  • Governor DeSantis, with the support of the Legislature, invested $108 million to bolster Florida’s emergency and crisis response capabilities through expansion of the personnel, training, and resources.

Serving Floridians in the Aftermath of Hurricane Idalia

  • The FSG was activated in August for their first mission in 75 years in response to Hurricane Idalia following Governor DeSantis reestablishing the FSG in 2022.

    • The FSG rapidly mobilized and deployed to nine impacted communities.

    • Members partnered with community-based organizations to serve over 4,000 hot meals to survivors.

    • Alongside state partners, the FSG distributed more than 2,500 recovery supply kits with meals, ice, and tarps; cleared hazardous debris from critical roadways and infrastructure; conducted damage assessments; and participated in maritime reconnaissance.

Strengthening Public Safety Protection

  • The FSG sustained mission readiness through routine drill periods to reinforce and advance critical emergency response skillsets.

  • Governor DeSantis appointed Mark Thieme as Executive Director, leading the FSG to serve Florida as a cornerstone of statewide crisis and emergency response and become the nation’s premier self-defense force.

ABOUT FLORIDA STATE GUARD | WHEN DISASTER CALLS, WE ANSWER

With a heritage dating back to WWII, the Florida State Guard was reactivated in 2022 as a state-supported volunteer force providing rapid response humanitarian aid during natural and manmade disasters. The Florida State Guard is committed to serving Florida families in times of need—anytime, anywhere.

For more information, visit https://www.floridastateguard.org/ . Connect with the Florida State Guard on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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