Combat Veteran DeSantis Touts his Iraq War Experience, Says it's Important to Voters

Combat Veteran DeSantis Touts his Iraq War Experience, Says it's Important to Voters

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
August 4, 2023

During a virtual press conference with members of the South Carolina press corps, Combat Veteran Governor Ron DeSantis reiterated what he first told me during his campaign kick-off week in Lexington, South Carolina about how important it was for a President to have military experience.

“I’m the only person running for president that’s actually worn the uniform and I’d be the first president to be elected who’s served in a war in uniform since 1988,” said Gov. DeSantis, adding that he believed having military experience was important to South Carolinians, particularly veterans.

Shortly after holding an open-air fireside chat gathering with First Lady Casey DeSantis, we asked the governor if he thought it was important that a sitting U.S. President had military, let alone combat experience.

For whatever reason, DeSantis shys away from saying he had combat experience, or referring to himself as a combat veteran even though he has said that he has “served in a war.”

"A lot of the voters really think it's important because I've been talking to South Carolina, New Hampshire; you know, we haven't had somebody since 1988 get elected with that experience," said DeSantis in Lexington.

Ron DeSantis

Additionally, Gov. DeSantis suggested familiarity with how the military is structured and its operations are beneficial for a Commander-In-Chief, especially in removing the "woke" programs and policies put in place by the Biden Administration.

"And so I think one way it'll be helpful is because I actually knew when the military worked better than it does now. And you come in as Commander-in-Chief on day one and you get all of this nonsense out of there. But you've got to have the fortitude to be willing to put yourself out there as opposed to someone who doesn't have that experience," DeSantis continued.

Furthermore, with the steep decline in military recruitment due to the implementation of "wokeness," having someone who knows the ins and outs of military service would know how to bring recruitment numbers back up.

"I just think you understand how it works a little better because I think right now that recruiting is very low. And I think it's because the cultural shift in the military has repelled some people from wanting to join, so we'll be able to fix that. But you really got to know what you're doing," DeSantis concluded.

According to the U.S. Census data from 2021, there are 16.5 million veterans in the U.S.

DeSantis could have an advantage over the field of Republican presidential candidates with the veteran community, but like with all voting demographics, he must come off to them as relatable.

Within the military community, there is a big distinction between having combat experience and not having combat experience, so pushing the fact that he is a combat veteran, using more combat-related/Iraq deployment images,  and talking about his experiences in Iraq could help him move the needle a bit.

Related Posts

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Florida is reading.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


More Related Posts