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Letter to U.S. Military From SGM Joseph A. Santoro (Ret), Oath Keepers Operations NCO, Writing from Burns, OR


Brothers & Sisters in Arms,

My name is  SGM Joseph A. Santoro (Ret) and I served 25 yrs US Army Inf. and EOD, 5yrs Contractor at the 10th SF Group and 3 yrs Contractor at the US Army EOD School.  I have served this great country for 33 yrs. After retiring I volunteered with the Pueblo County Republican Party as the Precinct Coordinator for the 2012 election. I finally realized that a different tact was needed to free our country from tyranny.  I spent many hours, as I believe that many of you have, or are doing, trying to decide what actions to take.  I finally decided to join the Oath Keepers and the 3%ers patriot organizations.  I currently serve on the National Board for the Oath Keepers and with the 3%ers of Colorado and have never looked back.

I want to say to each and every one of you out there that the time for being keyboard warriors is over and we must stand up and step out.  Patriots can no longer sit back and observe without taking action.  Those actions must take into account, and be based on our Constitution, Bill of rights and the “Rule of Law”.  At no time can we surrender the Moral high ground. Every one of us swore an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.  We pledged our lives, our fortunes and our Sacred Honor.  To this end I am asking each of your to stand up, step out, and honor your sacred honor pledge.

I am extremely proud of what we are doing to take back American from the individuals who would destroy America.  We must be careful when going to situations like the Bundy Ranch, Sugar Pine mine, White Hope mine, Fergueson, MO, and now the Burns, OR situation.  We are providing a buffer and security for the Bundy occupiers at the Wildlife Refuge to prevent another Waco.  As veterans we are the ones that know how sweet the taste of freedom really is as many of us have bled and some have died to insure our freedoms.  The only way for us to insure freedom in our country is to get away from our computers, stand up and volunteer to support our fellow Americans.  When any citizen’s Constitutional rights are being infringed upon we must insure they have a redress of their grievances in defense of their rights.
I do understand that many of us are no longer in the physical shape to return to the field, however, all of us have skill sets that are valuable.  We can provide the leadership needed for any emergency.  Many people are waking up to the reality that they are not prepared to survive during any type of emergency.  We can help them learn about communications, medical, security, preparedness and engineering.  These are skills that will be needed during natural or man made disasters and are sorely needed in today’s world.  If all of us pass these skills to our fellow Americans, we empower them, make them more self sufficient, and secure freedom for all.

Having said all this I am asking each one of you to honor the oath that you took years ago.  Since I believe in God I have asked for his grace to make me the instrument of his will and that I do the right things to bring his kingdom back to earth.  I will stand with everyone of you if the SHTF and I ask for God’s blessings for each one of you.  Please search your hearts and minds and make the decision to support our country. Please close ranks with us, your fellow Patriots, so we re-secure the freedoms given to us by God Almighty and our Founding Fathers.

SGM Joseph A. Santoro
Oath Keeper and 3%er for Life

NOTE:  SGM Santoro is also the Oath Keepers National Operations NCO, and is in Burns, OR, in that capacity, to assist with the Pacific Patriot Network (PPN) “Buffer” operation to prevent another “Waco” and to facilitate open dialogue between the Feds and Ammon Bundy, toward a peaceful resolution.  While none of the groups in the PPN coalition agree with Bundy’s chosen method, we agree with his cause of justice for the Hammonds, the vital necessity to return western lands unjustly claimed by the federal government to the states and the people, and the protection of the rights of people of the land out west.  And we agree Ammon Bundy and his follower have the right to life and due process.   So, we are obligated to step in between and keep the peace.   Here is SGM Santoro at a press conference at the Wildlife Refuge, explaining this:

Our greatest concern is that the federal government ‘Wacos’ the people right down that hill.  It is our opinion, that, as men and women, as free Americans – patriots – that if they do that, they will start a conflagration so great – nobody wants it, nobody needs it, but I think it will grow out of hand exactly like the American Revolution.  …. after hundreds of hours of research, and many conference calls, we will be coming here to Burns to come under the umbrella of the Pacific Patriot Network to help them in any way that we can, to advise the people of Burns, Oregon, particularly the committee for Safety, an anyone else that asks for information.   We will also, if the people of this area would like to be trained we will be more than happy to train them in the manual of arms.

I say it again, one more time, no more free wacos.  The American patriots in this country have had enough.  We’re standing up.  We’re going to everything to bring this to a swift conclusion, peacefully.  So that it is amicable for everyone.  But we are supporting the redress of grievances here and all over the United States. (SGM Joseph A. Santoro (Ret.) Oath Keepers BOD member, and National Operations NCO, at January 12, 2016, press conference, OR).




Stewart Rhodes

Stewart is the founder and National President of Oath Keepers. He served as a U.S. Army paratrooper until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump. He is a former firearms instructor, former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff, and served as a volunteer firefighter in Montana. Stewart previously wrote the monthly Enemy at the Gates column for S.W.A.T. Magazine. Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper “Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status” won Yale’s Miller prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He assisted teaching U.S. military history at Yale, was a Yale Research Scholar, and is writing a book on the dangers of applying the laws of war to the American people.


  1. SGM Joseph A. Santoro, I salute you, and thank you not only for your life of service but also for your latest Righteous, heartfelt statement. I was in Viet Nam from ’68 to July ’70. I knew that what we fought for over there was NOT American principles as defined by our Constitution, but for each other. It took me quite some time to actually CLEARLY see that our military forces were, and ARE, being USED by corporate/state powers to do THEIR bidding for THEIR interests, NOT the interests of the American people. If we could awaken our enlisted men and women to realize that they are being USED for purposes that have nothing to do with Constitutional Principles of America, half the battle would be won! All of our forces should be brought home, and the many that are here should train their sites on the actual enemy within.
    If there is going to be a fight, let this one be for what our Constitution stands for, not some corporate/renegade politician’s greed.
    I am proud to be a member of Oathkeepers and I am grateful for all that Mr. Rhodes has done to spread the truth.
    And IN TRUTH, standing together, ‘We the People’ can no longer be put down.
    Robert D. Gubisch
    Virginia Oathkeeper

    1. Great letter and extremely timely especially since Jsoc is directly tied and tasked by President. Let’s make sure we send to all we know in SpecOps and support units- active-reserve and retired. I have no faith in FBI HRT as they are going to follow all orders constitutional and unconstitutional. Folks there is a huge crisis that is not publicized where there is a corrupt cabal within JSOC and other elite Military units and these leaders are motivated by power, money and political alliances and in it for themselves not for this country. They have no second thoughts about violating Posse Comitatus or any other law that prohibits them from using lethal force against the citizens. This glorification of worshiping the military has to stop. Now there are still many honest soldiers in the rank and file but they are being pressured to go along and not call out the corrupt and or compromised. There are those whom are being promoted within the media- former spec ops who have a very troubled past and whom are not heroes by any stretch of the imagination. More on this later.
      Right now with all we know about just the corruption in this Oregon issue don’t think it is not worse at the top among Federal and Mil. Thank God there are still soldiers within these units who know what time it is and will not go along. We could very well see a coup – see recent articles regarding Pentagon infighting/ division regarding Syrian conflict. It’s not unrealistic at this point.
      Study Jade Helm of how Jsoc travelled and blended in with US population during exercises- rental trucks & cars. should be easy to spot always in at least teams of two.

      1. Stewart, check this out ?


        #2 comment on youtube,

        The whole standoff in Oregon is a setup. Militias need to stay in their communities so they can protect their communities when things spin sideways. Any militia that go there will never come home, because they have been baited into a trap. They are in the middle of nowhere, no escape or evasion possible, resupply impossible. This was a suicide mission the moment those men stepped off. Only reason the feds haven’t slaughtered those people is because they are waiting for more to show up so they can essentially kill two birds with one stone. Allow “Patriots” to slaughter federal forces and local law enforcement, demonize patriots and militias, then activate military assets on standby and slaughter the militias. Declare martial law because a “civil war” and “insurgency” has sprung to life. Government will declare that “real patriots” are domestic terrorists. Instantly everybody in the country hates the very men trying to protect and save them. Our foreign controlled government brings in foreign troops to assist with gun confiscation.

        This location alway’s made me suspicious.

      2. Some quick thoughts. One example, we do have pilots in our organization and access to aircraft. We do have drones for aerial observation. We do have radios for communication. The list is long. I also strongly believe we have the backing of our military. Having said that, in my discussion with patriots in the military, the military patriots are tabulating who the military patriots are and are not; most likely in the 80% range are true patriot constitutional backers who will not side with a corrupt government. The Fed has few assets that can compare to the numbers of patriots with combined military assets. Also consider that many fed employees are patriots. Something the fed may have trouble calculating the strength of. The feds have no place to hide, they too need supplies, they too need access and egress, etc. We have many more assets intellectually, experience and hardware than they do. The feds know that. Are they willing to push the envelope? Once something starts there are two major outcomes: We prevail – the constitution stands or we fail and become a third world dictatorship. USAF, Viet Vet

      3. Hey nix. Can u or anybody answer this one question. when is it a good time to stand up against the corruption and tyranny of this government? Under what circumstances? Please be very specific so i will recognize it and act accordingly.

      4. Tj,

        First this comment was not mine i found it interesting to question things? As for the good time ! NOW is a good time and you can do a shitt load of things to prepare for what,s comming, lite stuff like boycotting GMO, gardening,… you know the drill , but taking up arms is the last thing you want to do this is a [One word deleted by Elias Alias, editor] nightmare. sorry but IMO when the spark is lith you’ll know.


      5. I believe as NIX believes, it is a setup. I think everyone should very early in the morning just simply get in their vehicles and go home. Fight this fight county by county Setting up the restoration of the continental United States and it’s common law and then just throw the bums out of office we don’t need their governmental services corporations any longer. Let them go bankrupt and insolvent. We have our own tea party silver for money we have gold we have common-law a system of 12 judges back by the constitution and more powerful than the admiralty law that they have the only thing were lacking is the support of our military. That is the true job of the oath keepers and the 3% or’s is to win the hearts of the active-duty military to our side.

  2. watch out guys i know most there and there not who they say they are or doing anything good for us but to push us into a fight.a lot there are paid informants. I run a militia group and a vets site and our intel confirm all this. watch your 6 brothers. SFC Dennis

  3. Ammon Bundy has declared his commitment to non-aggression. Weapons are carried only for defense. That provides an open door for dialogue and negotiation. That process might take time. He is asking to free the Hammonds. Why not take up that issue? Why not consider what he sees as a grave miscarriage of justice? Is it? I know for sure that it is. So why be in such a rush to spill blood and take lives? I would ask law enforcement this question. Are you peace officers? I would ask the military. Are you peace keepers? Are you defenders of peace? If so, then seek a peaceful resolution to this. That is why the patriot groups are there. They demand that you seek a peaceful resolution. It is your duty to do so. All of America and the world is watching to see how America solves its problems; as a Constitutional Republic would or as a totalitarian society would. You represent what America is all about. Are we still the light of freedom and liberty? You will provide us with that answer by your response.

  4. Agree with SGM Santoro, but what struck me this morning is the President’s indifference to this cause. On the one hand, he pardoned 7 Iranians in exchange for US prisoners, which may stave off WW3 for a while. On the other hand, a simple pardon for an unjust application of law, pushed against the Hammonds would go a long way to getting this issue resolved in lieu of Civil War 2.0. It makes absolutely no sense unless that is exactly his agenda.

    All that said, if you guys can get to Bundy, here is a little info for him to push his narrative and swing the locals in his favor. Hopefully!
    “National Wildlife Refuge Act;” 4 issues—>Under section a, provision 4, ssec. (E) and (G) the Secretary of the Interior has broken the Law. Under (E) they never coordinated anything reasonable with the ranchers. Under (G) the Hammonds actually obtained State Water rights for a certain source, for which the Dept. of Interior must recognize. It’s my understanding that they fenced said water source to separate the Hammonds from its use. Maybe you have info to confirm this.
    Under (d), (3), (B), (Vii, Viii, and iX) Public comments have been squelched via several FONSIs, Finding Of No Significant Impact. At least I haven’t found them. Bundy should make them explain their actions here.
    Under (e), (1), (A), (iV) Renew the “Southeastern Oregon Resource Management Plan” every 15 years. Although they will say, “it’s an ongoing project” it should have been done to involve the public use and adjacent use aspects. Besides it’s the Law.
    Here’s my favorite; (f), (1) Knowing violations, which obviously someone is doing and which the Hammonds should have been tried. Actually they almost were. Good for 1 year in the pokey and restitution.
    There is a water provision right after it that secures the other point laid out previously. Here is the “NWRA”

    In the FEIS for this Refuge there is a list of public invitation, Read pages 697- 708. You will find that the list is comprised of 8 to 1, Progressive Groups to Local Stakeholders. Most interestingly, the “Local Folk are added as somewhat of an addendum. Download and read for yourself. This is a good talking point for Bundy as it shows a high disregard for their interests. Keep in mind, this was 1998. They went out of their way to find groups loyal to the progressive cause. “League of Women’s Voters?” You get the idea.

    1. GREG SAID:

      What struck me this morning is the President’s indifference to this cause. On the one hand, he pardoned 7 Iranians in exchange for US prisoners, which may stave off WW3 for a while. On the other hand, a simple pardon for an unjust application of law, pushed against the Hammonds would go a long way to getting this issue resolved in lieu of Civil War 2.0. It makes absolutely no sense unless that is exactly his agenda.

      Brilliantly stated Greg. My hat is off to you. And spot on. If you don’t mind, I will quote you on that. Are you a veteran or former police officer? Where did you serve? I’d like to be able to add that when I quote you.

      1. Thanks Steve!
        You absolutely can quote that. Sadly, I never served militarily or domestically. It’s strange because all the Unconstitutional BS we are witness to right now, I was preaching about 30 years ago. There were Agencies being granted “Titles of Nobility” (punitive regulations) all over the place. Pretty much everything repugnant to the Constitution is in play now, from Article 1 right to “intervened” of the 27th Amendment Everyone would generally hit me with “You must be hiding something then.” I backed off sort of. Not anymore.

        Am really impressed with how the Oathkeepers (and others) are handling this situation. You’re right, it’s hard to help someone if they don’t want the help.
        Keep up the good fight Patriot,

      2. Hello Gregg. I too am outraged of the corruption of our government. The revolutionary war was started an fought over far less than compared to the corruption of today. I am confused by the message from fellow patriot organizations condemning bundys tactics but agree with his message. This isnt all done for the purpose of the hammonds or the people of harney county, but for the continuous corruption of this government all over the country. To say well the hammonds doesn’t want any part of the bundys, i guess i would make the same statement if i was threatened by th he fbi. Lets face it, who is going to stop the fbi. Certainly not anyone in the hammond family. What would you do. Do you think that the hammonds aren’t thrilled privately, that this injustice is now being heard by the public and officials. I know i would be. I totally agree with what bundy is doing up to now and the result he is trying to receive. Justice and truth. So for these organizations not to be supportive confuses me. Are they afraid of retribution or what.

      3. Hi Tj,
        You’re premise is spot on. The Hammonds are what we call in policy courses “A focusing Moment.” Others may use “rally cry” or something of that nature. Truth is, I was briefly WA State lead on “Tea Teams.” Problem was, we couldn’t get anyone to pick up the hammer and go to work on the various issues. I am especially passionate about Environmental Issues, and I believe in my heart that Land Grabs are the race vehicles to tear down our Self Determination.
        It would be easy to pick apart Bundy’s tactics, and to be honest I started to do that. Then I realized, he will learn this leadership role. My hope is that Oathkeepers help him to integrate these skills as quickly and painlessly as possible. After all, Bundy is doing exactly what the control freaks have been doing for 40-50yrs. One of his biggest challenges will be controlling the fringe elements that are attaching to the cause. It’s great they are showing up, there’s strength in numbers, but as we witnessed yesterday some are more extreme than what is required for this job. BTW Oathkeepers are in Burns.

        The reason I’m on this forum, I’ve been keeping track of the Oathkeepers for about 2yrs now, give or take. They have a realistic approach to all these situations which they are involved with. They have the right connections. They seem to be right leaning Libertarian and Constitutionalists like myself. Most of they have a mission and are sticking to it.

        Personally, if I had their connections I would start a “Continental Congress” tomorrow. It’s time to determine “Our” future, which may or may not include using force. Should the latter come to fruition, we will need the structure they can provide. Look at these BLM, Occupiers, looting, raping, and razing whole cities for contrast. We need to be on the right side of history, and the Oathkeepers understand that.
        Keep up the Good Fight,

      4. Stewart I am a thousand times sorry!!!! I read your post without glasses. Kill me now.. Thousand + times sorry….

  5. I thought that Oath Keepers was staying away from this? Does anybody see the possibility that the feds and the Bundy’s are actually working together to rope the patriots in? I think it is high time that the patriots walk, actually run away from this as fast as they can. This is a setup and there are already two undercover informants up there; Jon Ritzheimer, and Blaine Cooper. Pete Santilli also seems to be an informant of some kind and here is a link to a video that shows that he is not Lilly white as he seems; People need to stay away from this mess, it is a powder keg.

    1. So what you are saying is, for evil (corruption ), to abound, good men need to stand dow. Thats like telling the people at ghe alamo to go home. Or that the shot heard around the world not be taken and to go home and salute the king. Standing up for others, justice and truth are worth standing up for and fighting for.

  6. For someone complaining about key board warriors seems to spend time there himself. Great you have the time to be there I’m not RETIRED!

  7. Thank you for all your hard work showing America just how crazy you and your supporters are and guaranteeing support for gun reform from all parts of America. Keep up the good work.

  8. What a bunch of effin idiots. You cannot uphold and defend the Constitution by taking the law into your own hands. You cannot call yourselves patriots while breaking the law. You are simply a bunch of low-life losers, many of whom are practicing stolen valor. Many of you are living off the government’s tit while playing like you actually served.

    SGM Joseph A. Santoro (Ret) has absolutely violated his oath by ignoring his promise to, “…obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me…” This phrase means SGM Santoro doesn’t get to decide what is and is not Constitutional. He doesn’t get to decide who is and who is not a domestic enemy. In fact, by his actions, SGM Santoro has become a domestic enemy and can expect that eventually the Constitutionally empowered Government of the United States will hold him and the other domestic enemies involved in these acts of domestic terrorism to account before Constitutionally constituted Federal courts of law. When that day comes, I pray I’m chosen to sit on one of the juries.

    1. Hi Cowboy,
      This seems like a fairly unfair indictment of participants and the Oathkeepers in general. Here’s why I believe that.

      You stated ” This phrase means SGM Santoro doesn’t get to decide what is and is not Constitutional. He doesn’t get to decide who is and who is not a domestic enemy.” Sargent Major Santoro has not fired a single shot, or physically hurt anyone at all. In fact, all he did was call folk to “Stand Up” against an Unconstitutional Government. Currently we are seeing every segment of society doing just this. We have the “Right to Assemble Peacefully.” I understand you feel that taking occupancy in Government buildings is a threat to the government, but sometimes you have to scramble eggs for the best omelet. BTW comparing these protestors to BLM (I hate comparisons like this) they sure aren’t razing businesses, raping women, or throwing rocks a LEOs. In fact, the Oathkeepers went to Baltimore (if memory serves) and told the good folk of that community; “You have a Right to Keep and Bear Arms, we suggest you do so.” They were offering a solution to their “Self Determination.” Empowerment is the hallmark of Leadership. Our government has done everything but, for a very long time. Problem is, all segments of society have passively stood by and allowed it to happen. Even worse, it’s as if we picked our personal favorite “Right” from the Constitution and beheld it as a segment of society. That has created a serious division between people’s. It needs to end poste haste.

      If you get the chance Cowboy, learn about the “Idiotes” of the Greek Democracy. They went along to get along and it destroyed that form of Democracy. Here’s a primer;

    2. Crouch down and lick the hands that feed you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and my history forget that you were our countryman.

    3. Old Cowboy, what an “effin Idiot” to use your own words. You may want to do a little more research troll. The following is for your edification: The military oath taken at the time of induction reads:

      “I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God”

      The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809[890].ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the “lawful command of his superior officer,” 891.ART.91 (2), the “lawful order of a warrant officer”, 892.ART.92 (1) the “lawful general order”, 892.ART.92 (2) “lawful order”. In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ. And there you have it!

  9. One question, why don’t we agree with the Bundy’s method of occupation to gain the attention of the American people? The left occupies Wall Street, no Federal Agency repercussion. They occupy parks in Washington smoking their dope and defecating in the streets, no Federal Agency retaliation. The “Occupy” movement is still going on, and they are not only NOT prosecuted, they are protected! I think what the Bundy’s are doing is the right thing to do. And, I would like to get off my keyboard and in some way I have. I went to the Bundy ranch after the big showdown and met the family, I bottle fed the calves that the “BLM” had left starving and motherless, I spoke with Ammon Bundy on the ranch and he told me of his false imprisonment and jailing in Las Vegas. I sat in their living room and it’s just like every other rancher’s living room I’ve ever sat in. These are normal, everyday Americans who never asked for this fight but are standing up for their Constitutional rights and are risking their lives for our rights too. These are not limelight people, they never aspired to be on film, they just want to live free. They have been and still are being vilified by Left and the Press. If ranchers can be made to be cartoons, so can veterans, garbage men, waitresses, nurses, doctors, any one of us. I pray for the Bundys of America. Long live the simple man!

    1. Frank, the Occupy Wall Street protests failed miserably and are barely a memory now – they are NOT still going on. That is why we avoid similar strategies. Planting our butts in a tactically weak position as well as a symbolically pointless one and saying “come get us” is poor planning. Unfortunately, we may all be stuck with the dice that Bundy has cast.

  10. The situation in Burns will never be like Waco. Waco was private property. The people in Waco set fire to the structure. The people in Waco were in a defensive mode to protect their cult.

    The idiots in Burns are attacking US property. The are stealing US property. They are hacking into US government computers and stealing the identity of employees. The idiots in Burn are out for their own personal gain. They are each in it for what they may individually gain. More land to graze, Indian artifacts to sell, a book deal, and one acts like he wants to be a model. Wacoing these idiots is too good for them.

  11. Wow, SGM Santoro – I new I recognized the voice when I clicked on the video. I am one of your former EOD soldiers from long ago. GREAT to see what you are doing, most admirable and inspirational. Thank you!

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