Oath Keepers Board of Directors
E. Stewart Rhodes – Founder and National President
U.S. Army Airborne Veteran (Disabled and Retired)
Volunteer Firefighter Veteran
2004 Graduate of Yale Law School
Stewart is the Founder and National 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 in the Marine Corps.
Following the family tradition, Stewart joined the U.S. 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 (Co. E 60th Infantry, 9th ID Scouts (Airborne) until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump (jump #36!). The unit was thereafter re-designated as E Co. (LRSC) 109th MI Bn. (CEWI).
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 (Stewart has trained in Gracie Jiu Jitsu (to blue belt under Royce Gracie) and then with MMA fighter John Lewis (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), Jeet Kun Do, Western Boxing (Berry’s Boxing, Las Vegas, NV), Villabrille-Largusa Kali with Lindsey Largusa, and military combatives. He has also trained in firearms at Suarez International, Gunsite Ranch, Front Sight, Thunder Ranch, King 33 (simunitions force-on-force), On-Point Tactical, and others. He also worked as a Nevada State certified concealed carry firearms instructor and a professional sculptor. 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 taught rape prevention and self defense to the Yale Law Women student group, and also founded a student shooting club called “the Yale Law Gunners.” 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 initial 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 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 has written articles on the Bill of Rights for S.W.A.T. Magazine; for The Warrior, the journal of Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College; for www.moreliberty.org; for Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO); and for his own Dirt Rhodes Scholar blog where he was an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration’s many 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.
Below is the Bill O’Reilly interview, where O’Reilly surprisingly voiced support for the gun confiscation during Hurricane Katrina, noting that the governor had declared a state of emergency, with Stewart cooly responding that a state of emergency does not trump the Second Amendment.
Maj. Rex H. McTyeire, U.S. Army Special Forces (Ret.)
National Oath Keepers Vice President (Deceased)
Honorary Eternal Member of the National Board of Directors for Oath Keepers
Rex was a founding member and founding National Board Member of Oath Keepers (formed October, 2009) and served as the Oath Keepers Eastern National Vice President until he suffered a fatal heart attack on June 6, 2012. He died with his boots on, in service to this org and to this nation, spending his last years working tirelessly in the cause of liberty, instead of simply enjoying his retirement with his lovely wife, Karen. We were honored to have him. At all of our physical meetings of the BOD or national officers, there is an empty chair with a shot of Scotch placed in front of it, in honor of Rex. De Oppresso Liber, brother. See you in Valhalla.
You can read his personal oath testimonial that he sent in to us in June, 2009, here. After receiving it, Oath Keepers Founder Stewart Rhodes contacted Rex and recruited him into leadership.
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 (Rex was a “triple canopy” stud). A “Mustang,” Rex 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 was a life member of the Special Forces Association, and was also a member of American Mensa for 35 years. His degrees were 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 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 continued to actively support the voice of the people and freedom in Scotland. He worked for the resident choice on the issue of Independence of the Scottish Nation, and a final end to Monarchy. He wrote 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 brought to Oath Keepers a solemn commitment to the US Constitution, and avidly supported the rights and voice of all people everywhere.
John D. Shirley
Retired Peace Officer – Houston, TX
National Lead 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 twenty years of service to the citizens of Houston, John served as a patrol officer, bicycle patrol officer, crime analyst, policy development officer, patrol supervisor, internal affairs investigator, homicide investigator, and 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 Lead 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.
Texas State VP
Michele is an experienced business executive who has been with Oath Keepers since 2009. She has run our billboard program which has placed powerful billboards about the obligations of the oath outside of military bases across the nation, as well as in the Metro DC area, so that employees of the NSA, CIA, FBI, etc will see them as well. Michele serves as our Texas chapter VP and is also on the Oath Keepers National Board of Directors.
Jay Stang, Veteran U.S. Marine Corps – Texas Chapter President
Texas State Chapter President
The son of famous anti-communist firebrand Alan Stang, Jay Stang is a hard-core Marine Corps veteran and patriot who has been with Oath Keepers since April 19, 2009 when we stood on Lexington Green, MA and renewed our oaths, recommitting to restoring the Republic. Jay is our Texas Chapter President and also serves on the Oath Keepers National Board of Directors.
Sheriff Denny Peyman (Ret.)
John Karriman, Current Serving Police Academy Defensive Tactics Instructor
Missouri Oath Keepers State Coordinator
Oath Keepers National Peace Officer/LEO Liaison; Member of Operation Backstop and STOP Program Leader Team
John J. Karriman is a police officer veteran who is currently the lead instructor at Missouri Southern State University’s regional police academy. With experience at the city, county, state, federal and international level, and a background in the life protection arts, he has devoted over thirty five years to preparing a broad range of LEO personnel for the harsh realities of the street by teaching them effective defensive tactics.
John was a team leader in both of our Ferguson, MO operations. First, in 2014, to protect minority owned shops and apartments from the deadly threat of arson and other criminal violence during the riots, and then in 2015 to protect independent journalists on the street. In both cases, John also sharply criticized police actions that violated the First Amendment protected rights of free speech and assembly of peaceful protesters and journalists, and he advocated for effective police tactics and methods that would focus only on the smaller number of actual criminals who were committing acts of violence, arson, and looting.