E. Stewart Rhodes – Founder and President
Stewart is the founder and President of Oath Keepers. He was born in Fresno, CA and comes from a family of hard working migrant farm workers (of Mexican and Apache Indian decent) on his mother’s side, and hard working Midwest farmers, horsemen, and GM auto workers on his father’s side. Both sides of his family have a long tradition of military service. During WWII his Grandfather on his mother’s side was a B-17 ball turret belly gunner, and his Grandfather on his father’s side of the family served as an Army infantryman in the Battle of the Bulge. Nearly all of his uncles on both sides of the family served in the Army or Marine Corps during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, and his father served as a Marine.
Following the family tradition, Stewart joined the Army straight out of high school at age eighteen, attending Basic, AIT and Jump School at Ft. Benning, GA and then serving as a paratrooper (11B1P Airborne Infantry) stationed first at Ft. Bragg, NC and then at Ft. Lewis, WA, where he served in a long range Airborne scout company for the 9th Infantry Division until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump. (jump #36!)
After the Army, Stewart graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where his honor thesis focused on the political theory of James Madison. While attending UNLV, Stewart taught rape prevention and street crime survival as a volunteer instructor for the UNLV Jean Nidetch Women’s Center. He also worked as a professional sculptor and as a Nevada State certified concealed carry firearms instructor. After college he worked on Rep. Ron Paul’s (R, TX) DC staff.
Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper “Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status” won Yale’s Judge William E. Miller Prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He assisted teaching U.S. military history at Yale’s History Department, was a Yale Research Scholar, and is now writing a book on the dangers of applying the laws of war to the American people (with partial support from a modest but gracious grant from Yale Law School). After law school he clerked for the Arizona Supreme Court and then served as a small town Montana criminal defense (including contract public defender) and general practice lawyer. He has served in a pro bono capacity on several gun rights cases before federal Courts of Appeal and the United States Supreme Court. While practicing law in Montana, he also served as a volunteer fire-fighter ( practicing what he preaches).
Stewart was invited to speak at Stanford University on unlawful enemy combatant status, and teaches classes on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Stewart currently writes articles on the Bill of Rights for S.W.A.T. Magazine, and has written for The Warrior, the journal of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College; for www.moreliberty.org; and for Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO), and for his own Dirt Rhodes Scholar blog where he was an outspoken critic of Bush Administration violations of the Constitution (www.stewart-rhodes.blogspot.com).
After founding Oath Keepers, Stewart has appeared on dozens of nationally syndicated radio shows, on scores of local radio shows across the country, and has appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, on Fox News’ The Factor with Bill O’Reilly, and on CNN Special Reports.
Sgt. Rand Cardwell (RET) U.S.M.C. veteran (Desert Storm).
Rand Cardwell was one of the driving forces in the April 15th, 2009 Tax Day Tea Party that was held in Knoxville, TN. Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers, was the featured speaker at the event, which was four days prior to the official launch of the Oath Keepers at Lexington-Green, MA. Rand and his wife, Cathie, traveled to Lexington-Green and have been heavily involved in the Oath Keepers since that date.
Rand as been a guest speaker at rallies in throughout Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina. He currently serves on the Oath Keeper Board of Directors and as the Tennessee State President of the organization. Tennessee has opened chapters in Knoxville, Tri-Cities, Rutherford County, Nashville, Murfreesboro and Memphis under his guidance. He has assisted the development of chapters in North Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia.
He has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and several local newspapers for his efforts to promote the Oath Keepers. Likewise, he has been interviewed by numerous radio talk shows in Tennessee and North Carolina. Rand has also been involved with high school children and has spoken to several classes on the importance of the Constitution.
Cpl. L. Franklin Shook III U.S.M.C. veteran (Vietnam).
Editor, Oath Keepers national website
Franklin was Born Jonesboro, Arkansas in 1945 to rural Southern Christian family; moved to Memphis, Tennessee 1952; graduated Treadwell High School in Memphis 1963; officer in high school marching band; Memphis City Champion in Cross Country 1961. Franklin quit studies at University of Memphis to join U.S. Marine Corps in 1965 and volunteered for Viet Nam service and got it. He was released from active duty late 1967 and Honorably Discharged. During the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s he owned/operated three small businesses – a drywall company with thirty-plus employees; a wholesale jewelry manufacturing/casting “to-the-trade” Tennessee sub-chapter “S” corporation; and a retail jewelry store.
Franklin co-founded the online discussion forum The Mental Militia 1999; closed jewelry store and moved to Montana between 2000 and 2001. Franklin worked as free-lance jeweler in Bozeman 2001 until 2008. He retired and morphed into a philosophical and political activist, referring to himself as an “unemployed poet”. Since 1999 he has written under the pseudonym “Elias Alias”.
Franklin joined Oath Keepers in March, 2009
He is Chapter President, Montana Oath Keepers; founding member of the national Oath Keepers Board of Directors, and is the national website editor for Oath Keepers.
His interests include creative writing; researching hidden history; political philosophy; activism; art and literature; conspiracy theory; the ontology of beauty; Constitutional study. He is a simple man, lover of Nature, and friend to all animals. He lives with two beloved cats in Willow Creek, Montana.
Maj. Rex H. McTyeire (RET), U.S. Army Special Forces,
Major McTyeire started his military career from southern Georgia (Albany) as a volunteer, on orders to Jump School at eighteen years old. At Ft Benning, he was recruited into Special Forces, and offered an age waiver to volunteer. He was one of the youngest soldiers to graduate SF Phase 1 at Ft. Bragg in the period, and was on the Honor Detachment. Assignments to 5th 3rd 7th and 10th SF Group “A Teams” followed, as well as a tour with 46th Company SF Thailand. On the road to SFC E-7, as a master parachutist: Rex added Advanced Demolitions, Jump Master, Ranger and Scuba schools to his resume. He went from SFC to Lieutenant as an OCS Honor Graduate, after degrees from NY State University. Rex was a charter member of the Special Forces Officer Branch (“Crossed Arrows” brass) with 18 primary and three 35 series intelligence schools backing it up. After a series of nominative black Special Operations assignments, with a mission focus on Afghanistan, winning an MSM for service reporting on Soviet combat activity: Maj. McTyeire returned to the Special Forces school as initially the Deputy Director of Advanced Skills at SWCS, Ft Bragg, and then moved to take command of the Operations and Intelligence schools there.
Major McTyeire is a life member of the Special Forces Association, and has also been a member of American Mensa for 35 years. His degrees are all oriented to History, Military History, Archaeology and Anthropology, and he enjoys writing about anything in related fields: from paleoanthropology on to general Scottish history, and specific military engagements throughout history. He has produced research work on battles from Kadesh to Culloden, as well as the Us Revolution. After retirement from Special Forces, Rex did security consulting and contract work in Azerbaijan, Romania and Turkey, and became very active in the Scottish Independence Movement.
Rex was the first American elected to the Scottish Independence Convention, and continues to actively support the voice of the people and freedom in Scotland. He works for the resident choice on the issue of Independence of the Scottish Nation, and a final end to Monarchy. He has been writing military history and general Scottish History on line for about 15 years, while blogging and running message boards in support of Scotland’s voice and options to her own future for 10 years. Rex brings to Oath Keepers a solemn commitment to the US Constitution, and avidly supports the rights and voice of all people everywhere.
David J. Rivers
David J. Rivers, II was born in Richland, Washington, November 27, 1946. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1966 to 1970, served in the Republic of Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 where he was injured in a rocket blast which broke his neck and lower back and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant prior to discharge. He received Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from the University of Nevada and a Juris Doctorate from Arizona State University.
He is the litigation partner in the law firm of Leavitt, Sully & Rivers which maintains a civil practice with emphasis in corporate and other business organizations, real estate, construction and general business. AV rated by Martindale-Hubble (the highest possible rating for competency and ethics for an attorney), he provides regularly scheduled lectures for laymen on Constitutional Law and related issues, lectures in the area of construction law and has published articles related to the practice of construction law as well.
He is a member of the Clark County Bar, State Bar of Nevada, American and Nevada Indian Bar Associations. He served two terms on the Clark County Bar Associations Board of Directors and was Secretary of the Nevada Indian Bar Association. He is serving his fifth term as a Committee Member of the Clark County School District Bond Oversight Committee, and he is the Judge of the Commercial Tribal Court for the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe.
Sheriff Richard Mack, Former Sheriff of Graham County, Arizona
Author/speaker and former sheriff Richard Mack has served in a wide variety of roles over the course of his nearly twenty year career in law enforcement, which began in Provo, Utah.
Mack began his career with the Provo Police Department as a parking enforcement cadet while attending BYU. A couple of years later he became a full-time officer and was soon promoted to Corporal, Sergeant, and Detective. His most traumatic experience there was a one-year assignment as an undercover narcotics agent. After nearly 11 years at Provo PD, Mack decided to return to his childhood turf in Arizona and run for Graham County Sheriff. His campaign took off and he was elected in 1988.
He was sheriff for two terms until 1997. He was named Elected Official of the Year by the Arizona-New Mexico Coalition of Counties in 1994, received the NRA Law Officer of the Year, inducted into the NRA Hall of Fame, 1995 Cicero Award, Samuel Adams Leadership Award from the Local Sovereignty Coalition, and Gun Owners of America Defender of the Second Amendment Award.
During his tenure, federal officers informed the sheriffs of the state that they would be required to enforce the so-called “Brady Bill” and run background checks at their expense under the law. In 1994, Mack and six other sheriffs from across the country, challenged the constitutionality of the Brady Bill and ultimately, fought it all the way to the United States Supreme Court, where they won a monumental decision for freedom.
Three years later, in a landmark 5-4 split decision based on the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Mack won his case.
A graduate of the FBI National Academy, some of Mack’s positions include: patrol officer, undercover narcotics officer, hostage negotiator, youth officer, school resource officer, communications supervisor, corporal, front desk sergeant, detective, sheriff, Search and Rescue supervisor, jail administrator, and DARE instructor.
Mack has been a consultant on numerous cases regarding police abuse, brutality, and other misconduct by public officials. He has joined with other members of the law enforcement community to speak out in favor of drug policy reform.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Mack lives with his wife in Fredericksburg, Texas.
During the past two years Sheriff Mack has been a speaker at more than 70 different Tea Party rallies all across the country, ranging all the way from Honolulu to Bangor, Maine. Mack has supported this noble movement, because it is both effective and peaceful.
John D. Shirley, Active Duty Peace Officer – Houston, TX.Texas Chapter President, National Liaison to Peace Officers
John D. Shirley is a third generation peace officer and son of retired Houston Homicide Detective. He grew up in Houston and after High School attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
After college he joined the Houston Police Department, graduating 6th in his academy class. He swore his Oath to the Constitution on December 20, 1994. In his seventeen years of service to the citizens of Houston, John has served as a patrol officer, bicycle patrol officer, crime analyst, policy development officer, patrol supervisor, internal affairs investigator, homicide investigator, and now he’s the Administrative Sergeant in one of the largest patrol divisions in the city.
John takes his oath with the greatest seriousness, and firmly believes all who’ve sworn the oath should educate themselves on what the Constitution actually says and then boldly apply it in their lives. John believes that peace officers should weigh every decision against the restrictions placed on them in the Bill of Rights before taking any action to deprive someone of their freedoms.
John is a founding member of Oath Keepers and spoke before 5000 people at the July 4th, 2009 Tea Party Rally in San Antonio, Texas. He now serves as the State Chapter President of Texas, the National Peace Officer Liaison, and is a member of the National Board of Directors. He lives in Tomball, Texas, a suburb North of Houston, along with his son.
SSG James Hanna (Ret), US Army, Texas 2nd VP
James joined the Army Reserves in 1982 and took Infantry Basic/AIT during the Summer between his Junior and Senior years of High School. After three years in the USAR 95th TNG CMD, he enlisted in the US Army. In addition to serving in Airborne, Light and Mechanized line Infantry units, he found himself tasked with several interesting and challenging assignments. The two and a half years he spent as an Instructor at The Air Assault School in Ft Campbell, KY was his absolute favorite assignment. He spent 6 months helping build Camp As-Sayliyah in Qatar, serving as the Operations NCOIC of the ARCENT-Qatar HQ. He spent a year serving as the NCOIC of the DMZ Orientation Section at Camp Bonifas in Korea. While serving in the I Corps HQ EOC at Ft. Lewis, WA, he held many jobs simultaneously, from G3 AIR/AVN NCO to G3 OPS IT specialist and, finally, working as a Global Command and Control Systems (GCCS) operator before retiring in 2005. James is qualified as both Jumpmaster and Rappel Master, and he spent five years on active Jump Status during his 23 years in the Infantry.
After retirement, James understood that his Oath to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic” never expires. Looking for new ways to honor his Oath, he engaged with his local TEA Party group, to speak on the seriousness of understanding the Constitutional Oath, and the duty of the Oath-sworn to refuse unlawful, unconstitutional orders at a Bi-state Freedom Rally in Texarkana. He continues to support the Constitution through outreach to local Police, Firefighters, Military personnel and elected officials.