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Idaho Dispatch

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‘Defend the Guard’ Bill to be Heard in Idaho Senate on Monday

By • March 3, 2024

Senate Bill 1252, also known as the “Defend the Guard Act,” will be debated on the Idaho Senate floor on Monday. If passed, the act would disallow Idaho National Guard troops from being sent into active-duty combat without a Congressional declaration of war.

The bill describes the Legislature’s intent:

“The Defend the Guard Act follows the principles that guided the writers of our inspired constitution, embodied in the United States Constitution and the writings of the founders. Section 8, Article I of the United States Constitution vests in the congress the exclusive power to declare war, and by abdicating the war powers to the executive branch, the United States Congress has failed to follow the United States Constitution and the intent of the founders. The legislature recognizes that the Idaho national guard is separate in function and authority from the federal branches of the military. The legislature of Idaho should zealously protect its authority over its own militia to ensure that the mission outlined in Article IV of the Constitution of the state of Idaho can be fulfilled.”

The text of the bill describes the creation of the act and explains the parameters:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Idaho national guard and any member thereof shall not be released from the state into active duty combat unless the United States congress has passed an official declaration of war or has taken an official action pursuant to clause 15, section 8, article I of the United States constitution to explicitly call forth the Idaho national guard and any member thereof for the enumerated purposes to expressly execute the laws of the union, repel an invasion, or suppress an insurrection. The governor shall take all actions necessary to comply with the requirements of this section. Nothing in this section limits or prohibits the governor from consenting to the deployment of any Idaho national guard member pursuant to 32 U.S.C. 101 et seq., defense support for civil authority missions within the United States and United States territories.”


The bill is sponsored by Senator Ben Adams (R-Nampa) and Representative Ted Hill (R-Eagle). It was drafted and is championed by Dan McKnight of Meridian. McKnight is the Chairman of the Board of a national organization called Bring Our Troops Home. Defend the Guard is a project of Bring Our Troops Home with the goal of passing this legislation in all fifty states.

The mission statement of Defend the Guard describes their intention,

“The goal of Defend the Guard legislation, a project of Bring Our Troops Home, is to have states use their inherent, sovereign authority to rebalance war powers between the branches of the federal government.

State legislators have an essential, civic obligation to their constituents to demand that the federal government adhere to congressional wars powers as mandated by Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. Without an official declaration of war by the U.S. Congress, states have a duty to withhold their troops from active combat.

The sole objective of the Defend the Guard movement is to obligate the federal government to obey the U.S. Constitution before sending our sons and daughters to fight more endless wars.”

McKnight’s biography explains,

“Dan McKnight served 13 years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, U.S. Army, and Idaho Army National Guard, including a National Guard response and support mission during Hurricane Katrina and an 18-month deployment to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Pech River Valley of Northeastern Afghanistan. Serving in the Global War on Terror opened Dan’s eyes to the gross misuse of the men and women who proudly wear the uniform and serve our Republic.

In an effort to refocus the proper use of the United States military, Dan founded Bring Our Troops Home in February 2019 with a mission to force Washington DC to end these undeclared wars and commit to reclaiming the congressional enumerated power “to declare war.” Losing friends in the war, continuing to lose friends to the epidemic of veteran suicide, and watching another generation of friends serve in a global conflict that began before they were born are three driving factors that push Dan to continue fighting the military-industrial complex.”

McKnight tweeted multiple times about the bill, asking Idahoans to attend on Monday.

Idahoan and U.S. Air Force Veteran Staff Seargent Lauren Walker told the Idaho Dispatch,

“We see Congress sending American money and troops overseas to benefit their military industrial complex stock portfolio with no pushback or repercussions. Every foreign hellhole another one of our service members dies in, is an uptick in Congress’ portfolio. Veterans and service members have had it with being treated like dollar signs and fodder. If Congress wants to wage war, the least families deserve is for them to sign their name on the line (declaration of war). Personally, I’d like to see it go even farther than that; but this legislation is an impactful first step to righting this ship.”

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Tags: 2024 Idaho Legislative Session, Ben Adams, Bring Our Troops Home, Congress, Dan McKnight, Declaration of War, Defend the Guard, Deployment, Idaho Legislature, Idaho National Guard, Idaho Senate, Lauren Walker, SB1252, Senate Bill 1252, Ted Hill, Washington DC

13 thoughts on “‘Defend the Guard’ Bill to be Heard in Idaho Senate on Monday

  1. I support this 100% and hope it is the guidon for other states to enact the same legislation across our nation.

  2. Can we also add that the National Guard and/or State Police will never be allowed to attack or hinder The People of Idaho?

    1. In all honesty our politicians , government employed and the military are the only enemy on the planet that has bankrupted us , stole our income and destroyed this republic.

  3. Waaaaaay overdue. Thanks for the bill. The waste of human life and limb by overstaying our welcome in undeclared wars has been atrocious.

    1. Kent: Why do you deny grabbing my balls when I delivered doordash to you at your place on Back Cat???

  4. Pay close attention on who votes against this bill. I predict demos and rino republicans will vote against this bill. I hope I am wrong. Between you and me I am tired seeing the traitors people vote into office not representing the people. USAF veteran

  5. Please do a deep dive into the VA treating the southern border invaders, thus taking resources and personnel from their intended missions…………

  6. 30 years ago I wondered if the day ever came, would the U. S. Military ever turn against its own people. As someone else said, there should be a provision written in that would prevent ANY Military organization from interfering with any U. S. CITIZEN. Notice I said citizen, not illegal alien, migrant, immigrant, and now the softened term, “newcomers”

    1. I wouldn’t trust the military or government employed further that I could spit with a dry mouth. Our politicians, government employed and the military have bankrupted this nation [us] with out conscience

  7. During the time I was in the Guard, 1976-83, the National Guard was becoming one of the U.S. Army’s prime reserve force.

    1. That’s because no one wants to join and serve anymore since leadership is woke, but thanks to rino’s, they aren’t going broke :⁠-⁠!

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