Opinion: No, Ron DeSantis was not a Navy Pilot nor was he a SEAL.

Matthew C. Woodruff

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Ron Pretending to be a Navy Pilot(public use)

After a disastrous media ad where DeSantis dresses up in a fighter pilot costume and pretends to be a ‘top gov’ in an obvious attempt to infringe on the commercial rights of the famous movie, ‘Top Gun - Maverick’, some people are questioning Ron DeSantis’ entire military career. In the ad, according to Boing Boing, “he flexes his big boy muscles as he struts around in military garb acting like the toxic schoolyard bully that he is.” Before you start screaming ‘fake news’, lets find out the truth.

According to ‘History, Art & Archives – United States House of Representatives’, Ron DeSantis served in the United States Navy from 2004 – 2010 and remains a Lieutenant in the US Navy Reserves.

Let us not get distracted, serving in the U.S. Military Forces is an honor and Ron DeSantis’ service is as praiseworthy as anyone’s.

During law school, DeSantis was assigned to the JAG and became a military prosecutor in 2004. In 2006, he was moved to Guantanamo as scheduler/administrative officer. In 2007, he was assigned to the Naval Special Warfare Command Group in Coronado, California and served in an advisory role to Navy SEAL Team One, all according to operationmilitarykids.org.

He was deployed to Iraq and played an advisory role to the commander in support of the SEAL mission in Fallujah, Ramadi, and the remaining area of Al Anbar province. DeSantis oversaw the treatment of detainees to ensure humane conduct toward them while in Iraq. He monitored the missions of Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets in his jurisdiction to ensure they followed and adhered to the rule of law.

Ron DeSantis’s military records substantiate his service as a Naval officer in many roles. These include prosecutor, defense attorney, international law attorney, and JAG Corps Officer across his military career. Though DeSantis did have a military career as an officer in the U.S. Navy, he was not a Navy SEAL nor was he a pilot during his time of service, as he might have tried to fool people into believing.

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DeSantis 'Top Gov' poster(public use photo)

DeSantis’s campaign takes a page out of the Republican handbook: using the troops and the military to feed his own machismo and uber-patriotism, while rejecting any laws or actions that would actually help veterans. Plenty of Democrats also ignore veterans’ health issues, because Republicans don’t have the entire market cornered on hypocrisy and putting money over human’s lives.

I’m no fan of the military-industrial complex but if we are going to send people into disaster sites and war zones—and collect exorbitant amounts of taxpayers’ money in the name of “military spending” throughout all of it— we oughta treat them like actual humans when they get back.

No One should pretend they served how or where they did not. DeSantis’ website has a photo of him sitting in a military cockpit. He’s also selling “Top Gov” merchandise, including a bumper sticker that reads, “Highway to the Freedom Zone” and yes, the gator patch, which is emblazoned with the words “let us alone, keep Florida free.” Yes, bans on abortion, transgender health care, and mere mentions of sexual orientation really scream “freedom.”

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Matthew is a free-lance journalist, and an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL
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