South Dakota Regiment Led Vigilante Patrol at Sioux Falls Military Recruiting Office

Remember the gunmen who were standing outside the military recruiting center in Sioux Falls last week, against the Pentagon’s wishes? It turns out they were part of something called the South Dakota Regiment, a self-proclaimed “well regulated militia” serving in the spirit of the federal and state constitutions.

The group’s homepage says it formed on April 19, 2015. On the Facebook page, the South Dakota Regiment vows that “We are not revolutionists“:

The Constitution of the United States of America provides for, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” as well as the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, “The militia of the state of South Dakota shall consist of all able-bodied male persons residing in the state, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such persons as now are, or hereafter may be, exempted by the laws of the United States or of this state.”

We are the well regulated militia for the protection of the state, the preservation of order and the efficiency and good of the state.

We will defend South Dakota [South Dakota Regiment, Facebook “About” page, downloaded 2015.07.30]

Neither the Facebook page nor the website give any clear indication of who leads this Regiment, although recruiting center vigilante Zachary Gallegos III appears from this June 8 FB post to be a regiment organizer. But the above text appears to suggest that, by the South Dakota Constitution, all of us South Dakotans under 45 are members, including me! Where’s my pea-shooter?

The South Dakota Regiment boasts a military command structure, with Squadron Commanders, Troop Commanders, and Platoon Leaders, complete with insignia borrowed from the United States Armed Forces. The Regiment is recruiting medical specialists, sappers (to clear minefields in South Dakota?), pioneers (to camouflage positions), communications specialists (“a knowledge of Morse Code is preferred”), and armorers.

The “pioneers” who “camouflage positions” might be in charge of propaganda as well. The Regimental Pledge requires that members “shall hold no prejudice or animosity against any race, religion or ethnicity.” But the Regiment’s Facebook page responded to this summer’s controversy over the Confederate traitor flag with this post on June 25:

South Dakota Regiment, Facebook post, 2015.06.25
South Dakota Regiment, Facebook post, 2015.06.25.

Now, now, we know that, in discussions of the traitor flag, “Southern heritage” is code for, “Why can’t black folks just keep their place?”

The South Dakota Regiment says it has held training days and a 5K Ruckmarch on July 11. Its next events are an August 15 Training Day, Weapons Qualification, and a visit from the “Colonel” to the Black Hills Troop, then a September 12 Training Day and Colonel visit to the Lewis & Clark Troop.

I don’t have a problem with folks who want to march around in the Hills and the sloughs playing bang-bang, as long as they stay hydrated, don’t point their guns at anything they don’t intend to kill… and don’t fly the traitor flag. But the layering of fantasy over their activities (see FB image of Predator attached to call for defense against July 4th ISIS attackers, or FB link to clips of Sergeant Major Plumley from We Were Brothers to show what South Dakota Regiment leaders are like), the idea that they constitute a defense force against—against what, again, fellas?—indicates the detachment from the real world that gun advocates like these suffer as they take us away from practical daily problem-solving in civil society.

15 Responses to South Dakota Regiment Led Vigilante Patrol at Sioux Falls Military Recruiting Office

  1. Hmmmm April 19th??? Why oh why does that date have significance to the likes of this bunch of rabble?

  2. The post on June 25th also is interesting as that is anniversary of another racist’s attack, George Armstrong Custer. The Natives went shopping and got him an Arrow shirt.

  3. mike from iowa

    Good thing the Indians used arrows since Custer believed he and the 7th were bullet-proof. And above criticism.

  4. Bill Fleming

    The militia law is kind of sexist, don’t you think, Cory?

  5. You’re right Bill. Sexism for sure
    I’m guessing they believe women should be barefoot and pregnant

  6. Who is regulating this “well regulated militia”? Seems to me they are an unregulated militia because the”well regulated” one is the National Guard. These guys are the “unwanted wannabe militia”. From the looks of them they could stand a bit of regulation starting with exercise and discipline in the buffet line.

  7. Nick Nemec

    Who is the regulating authority? These guys are a bunch of self appointed dumbasses with guns.

  8. Porter Lansing

    Awwwww … isn’t that cute? Bless their li’l pea-pickin’ hearts.

  9. The law is sexist, Bill! But the SD Regiment does say they’ll apps from men and women, as long as they are citizens of South Dakota.

    Of course, “citizen” is not defined in state law. Hmm….

  10. Bill Fleming

    Point being, CH, is that if their “well regulated militia” organization allows women, then — unless the militia law is changed — they don’t meet the law’s “regulations” right out of the chute. Neither would any male over 45 years old. Do you smell what I’m steppin’ in here, brother Cory?

  11. bearcreekbat

    Bill, according to Jeff Sharlet in “C Street, The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy,” a similar sexist problem developed in the US Military. Sharlet asserts that Christian fundamentalism has taken hold of the leadership in the military, who worshiped with members of the notorious C Street “Family,” which included John Thune – see:

    One example of sexism that Sharlet describes involves the US Air Force. He asserts that officers in the US Air Force were telling young women who joined to become pilots that their correct role is to be a wife and to bear children, suggesting they had no chance to advance in rank. Sharlet asserts that this Christian counseling caused otherwise highly qualified women to give up any effort to become pilots or advance further in their military careers.

  12. Roger Cornelius

    During the 1973 Wounded Knee occupation, we call these types the “goon squad”.

    They’d probably poop their pants if they ever came face to face with ISIS, with an encounter being unlikely, they can only give “big talk” and remain nameless and mysterious. Real men have names.

  13. Donald Pay

    It’s pretty easy to dismiss these folks as little boys playing “soldier,” but you have to wonder how far away from reality do adults have to be before they have some sort of disorder that disqualifies them from actually being a soldier. I’ve never understood the need to inculcate oneself into a pecking order outfit where you are told what to do. I mean, what sort of person is going to want to join this outfit if he can’t be at least a Colonel. The “organization” page is just a hoot. Hell, if I am going to make up an organization, I’d make everyone a General (in other words, equals of the highest order). What sort of pathology does one have to have to think up something like this?

  14. Roger, the use of the term “goon squad” suggests that the group is aligned with a Dick Wilson. As far as I can tell, the South Dakota Regiment is not aligned with any specific politician or leader. Their website offers no names at all… which transparency I would think would be key to ensuring that this armed group is “well-regulated.” But we should watch: at the point where a group like this would start aligning with a candidate and trying to influence voters with their armed presence, we would have a grave problem.

  15. Donald, I would agree there’s something unhealthy in thinking that marching around with a firearm makes one into a movie hero. Maybe it’s time for Michael Moore to come make a sequel to Bowling for Columbine and compare the Michigan militiamen he featured back in 2002 to these South Dakota militaters.