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.
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 Arizona.
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
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.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Veteran
Oath Keepers National Interim Treasurer and Merchandise Director
James Nelson Ayala was born in New York and is named after his Grandfather, “Nelson James DeYoung”, who was a decorated member of the U.S. Navy being awarded the “Purple Heart” and “Bronze Star” during WWII. Jim lived in Minnesota for 8 years, then became a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada in 1972 and graduated Chaparral High School in 1981. He lettered in three sports including Football, Baseball and Wrestling. Jim attended two years at Clark County Community College in Las Vegas learning to be an Emergency Medical Technician (EMS #03577) and volunteering his work locally.
A long time small business owner, Jim created and co-owned a donut shop for five years in 1987. He then worked in construction and later became a certified Home Inspector in 1999, until present. Always an active member in the community, Jim was elected as a National Delegate for the State of Nevada and participated at the 2012 Republic National Convention in Tampa Florida.
Jim, as a vigorous supporter of our country, met Stewart Rhodes in Las Vegas during the 2007 Ron Paul presidential campaign. Their newly found friendship began talks that were spearheaded by Stewart, about creating a new organization dedicated to the Constitution called “Oath Keepers” in late 2008. Stewart wrote “Oath Keepers Declaration of Orders We Will NOT Obey” and asked Jim to create an introductory promotional video based on that declaration (https://youtu.be/Zztaj2AFiy8). Jim’s personal efforts in the beginning were instrumental in the success of Oath Keepers and included investing personal funds for its “start-up”.
Jim has performed various duties within the organization including video producer, membership coordinator, interim treasurer and manager of OK merchandise sales. He is currently a proud member of the Board of Directors, and is a founding member of Oath Keepers (membership #3). Jim has patriotic conviction and love of his country with a strong constitutional base and that is the foundation of his beliefs and goals that are the spirit of the “Oath”.
Sgt. Maj. Joseph Santoro, U.S. Army (Ret.)
National Operations NCO
I am the second generation soldier of my family and my son is the third
generation who has served his country. My father retired from the Air Force as
a LTC and a highly decorated veteran with twenty six years. My son retired
after 29 years as a decorated Warrant Officer 4, from the Special Forces.
I enlisted as an 11B and was sent to the 9th Infantry Division, 1st Brigade and
assigned to a Recondo company for 4 years where I served as an Infantry Squad
Leader, as the Bn TOC radio operator and as the S-2 NCO until I suffered a
spinal injury. In order to stay in the Army I retrained into Explosive Ordnance
Disposal (EOD) where I served for an additional 21 years.
As an EOD SGT I served as an EOD Team Leader in a Nuclear Unit, the 34th Ord Det
(EOD), Sierra Army Depot, Herlong, CA for 4 years. I was fortunate enough to
have worked on the Harvey’s Casino Bombing Improvised Explosive Device at
I was further assigned, as an EOD Team Leader SGT to the South Base EOD unit in
the Sinai peninsula of Egypt for one year. My EOD Team did the only successful
US Army scuba recovery of foreign ordnance from depths to 100 feet. This was a
mission we were not trained for but we successfully completed the mission.
I was transferred to Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, AL as a SSG and served as an
EOD Instructor and Lesson Plan Writer for 3 & 1/2 years and then as the EOD
Evaluator for EOD Army Readiness Testing and Evaluation Program for 18 months
evaluating EOD Units for their EOD skills and the application of those skills.
As a 1SG I was then transferred to the 6th Ord Company (EOD) Schofield Barracks,
HI for 3 years. The 6unit was responsible for the land masses from India to the
West to the West Coast of America on the East. Initially, with 12 EOD
Technicians, the unit provided support to The Hawaiian and Pacific Islands,
Johnston Atoll Chemical Destruction Plant, Recovery of MIA remains from World
War II and Vietnam sites over the entire Pacific and SE Asia and EOD Support to
POTUS, VPOTUS and visiting foreign dignitaries. While attending 1SG School I
was selected for the SGM Course. I graduated in the top 10% of my class from
the 1SG Course.
As a MSG I attended Class 42 of the SGM Course in 1993/94 and graduated in the
top 10% of my class. I was promoted to SGM and assigned to the 52d Ord Bn (EOD)
at Fort Dix, NJ where I served as the CSM for the next 3 years. Five of my
units were solely responsible for providing EOD Support to the US Secret Service
for the POTUS and VPOTUS and their families and all visiting foreign dignitaries
in and around the Washington DC area.
In 1996 I was transferred to the SGM Academy at Fort Bliss, TX where I served as
a SGM Class Instructor for the last three years of my service.
Mary and I retired in 1999 and moved to Pueblo West, CO. I worked on our home
from 1999 thru 2001 when I accepted a position at the 10th SF Group, Fort
Carson, CO as a contractor in the Dive Locker. I spent five extremely
productive years there until the contract ended.
I then worked for the Secretary of Defense interviewing EOD Units returning from
Iran and Afghanistan. The objective of these interviews was to learn what was
going right and wrong with supported units and EOD, equipment problems, response
times being too long and why, and did supporting units understand their roles.
The end result was that many changes were made at all levels of the DOD
concerning EOD units and their missions.
In 2008 I was asked to come to Redstone Arsenal, AL to teach EOD recruits. Mary
and I happily returned to Huntsville for the next three years where I taught for
the next three years until the contract ended.
Upon returning home I worked for a year on the recall of Senator Giron because
of her position on the Second Amendment. She and two other CO Senators were
recalled or resigned from the Senate because of these actions. These 2 recalls
and resignation sent shock waves thru the Democratic leadership of CO as they
believed they were indestructible and could not loose. After the recall and for
the next few years I served with the Pueblo County GOP as a Precinct Captain and
the County Precinct Coordinator. For the 2014 election the GOP turned out 85%
of the registered GOP voters which was approximately 50% more than had been
turned out in past elections and we won several important races.
After the 2014 elections I did a lot of soul searching. I decided that our
great county was in deep trouble and that something had to be done to stop what
has and is happening. I joined Oath Keepers and have never looked back. I
serve as the CO State Coordinator and have served as the National Logistical
Coordinator at the Sugar Pine Mine op in OR and the White Hope Mine op in MT. I
just recently returned from the Pacific Patriots Network (PPN) op in Burns, OR.
coordinating between PPN and Oath Keepers. I ask every Oath Keeper to honor
your oath when the next operational call out is issued.
God Bless you all.
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 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.