Jason Van Tatenhove, a member of the Oath Keepers, participates in a tactical training session in  Montana. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Members of the Oath Keepers and others not affiliated with organized groups learn navigation skills during a tactical training session in  Montana. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

In the early hours of Nov. 9, 2016, Donald Trump exceeded expectations in a stunning victory to become the 45th president of the United States. Hours later, Shorty Dawkins, the associate editor of Oathkeepers.org, wrote, “We have won a battle, but not the war.”

The Oath Keepers, according to Reuters photographer Jim Urquhart who photographed the group and other local militia groups for over a year, is a movement that promises to defend the Constitution of the United States at all costs, protecting it from what it deems “all enemies — foreign and domestic.”

Members of the group call themselves patriots.  Law enforcement officials, The Washington Post’s Kevin Sullivan reported last month, “call them dangerous, delusional and sometimes violent, and say that their numbers are growing amid a wave of anger at the government that has been gaining strength since 2008, a surge that coincided with the election of the first black U.S. president and a crippling economic recession.” Just last week the group offered webinars instructing members to head Trump’s warnings of a “rigged” election.

But not all members of the militia believe the end is near. Jason Van Tatenhove, a member of the movement who lives in Montana, told the photographer, “I don’t think there’s any doomsday scenario coming down right on us, but it’s always better to have these skills and not need them than to need them and not have them.”


Members of the Oath Keepers and others not affiliated with organized groups fire blank rounds while defending a position during a tactical training session in  Montana. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Members of the Oath Keepers and other participants rest and warm up by the fire during a tactical training session in northern Idaho. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Members of the Oath Keepers and other participants return fire during a simulated attack as they take part in a tactical training session in northern Idaho. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Mountains seen from a fire watchtower in Montana. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Jason Van Tatenhove, a member of the Oath Keepers, puts on camouflage face paint during a tactical training session in Montana. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Copies of U.S. Constitution are seen on a motorcycle before members of the Josephine County Oath Keepers, which later disbanded and became the Liberty Watch of Josephine County, participate in a Memorial Day parade in Oregon. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Brandon Rapolla, a founder of the Pacific Patriots Network, leads a firearms handling and safety class in Grants Pass, Ore. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Members of the Josephine County Oath Keepers, which later disbanded and became the Liberty Watch of Josephine County, prepare for a parade in Grants Pass, Ore. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Members of the Oath Keepers and others participate in a tactical training session in Idaho. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Participants take a firearms handling and safety class that was open to the public in Oregon. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)