Armed U.S. troops in residential streets of Crookston, MN

It’s no longer the stuff of crackpot conspiracy theorists.

Imagine you’re in your living room, glance out your window, and saw this.

That’s what Maggie, a resident of suburban Crookston, Minnesota, saw — U.S. troops armed with rifles walking past her home, doing a “training exercise” in a residential street lined with family homes.

Aaron Mathis reports for The Libertarian Review, April 30, 2012:

The photo shown above was taken by a subscriber in the city of Crookston, MN from the front porch of her suburban home.  No, the men pictured aren’t from the local high school’s J.R.O.T.C sqaud – they are in fact trained soldiers serving in the Minnesota National Guard, Unit 2-136 CAB / B Company. Now, I have never personally been to Crookston (although I’m sure it’s lovely), but I’m relatively confident that they are located on domestic soil, and unless I am missing something, the citizens of Crookston weren’t dealing with any natural disaster at the time this haunting snapshot into the coming police state was taken.

No, what was actually going on that morning was a “training exercise” involving a quiet neighborhood that probably isn’t that different from your own. Being the patriot that she is, Maggie decided it might be a good idea to start asking some questions. Nothing too difficult, mainly just what the hell they were doing walking fully armed down a street regularly used to facilitate the innocent pastimes of all American kids.

Glancing at her briefly one Soldier responded, “Just training Ma’am. Joining up with another patrol at the rally point.”

Not accepting this as a reasonable answer to her inquiry, Maggie went on, “Oh, ok. What are you training on the streets of town for exactly?”

At that the young soldier replied, “To be honest ma’am, I don’t know.”

The reason for his domestic training exercise that morning might be unknown to him, but sadly this is not only just another indicator of the uncertain times ahead, but also a revealing indicator of how worried the Feds are of a possible outbreak of civil insurrections across the nation.

Source: The Libertarian Review (

H/t BeforeIt’sNews



37 responses to “Armed U.S. troops in residential streets of Crookston, MN

  1. Canadians must be getting ready to invade,again…
    please point them towards Washington so they can
    recapture it from the Muslim Brotherhood.


  2. Maybe you’d also like us to burn down the White House as well, w/the Obamanation within it? Just a passing thought….


  3. Just have to connect the dots.


  4. OMG troops actually training! That must mean the end times are at hand! I do so love reading conspiracy ass clown comments. Look-troops train. These are Minnesota National Guard troops that are training in Minnesota. Although training is probably a loose term for it. More like killing some of their 2 week yearly commitment by walking around on a spring day. Of course you guys would be much less paranoid if the troops were walking in some soybean field instead.


    • Rick, this is not AT, or at least in the normal sense. Camp Ripley has excellent facilities for urban training, and if the NG did need to do local training like this they would have most likely given advance notice in the local paper. Considering that special forces did something similar in Chicago a few weeks ago I believe Homeland Security is involved.


      • But there is an armory right there in Crookston-why drive 3 and a half hours to do something you can do in your own backyard? How about kudos to the Guard for not wasting gas?


    • OMG Rick actually knows all about those armed troops crawling over Crookston’s residential neighborhood! – despite the fact that no news media had reported this, even less conducted investigative journalism on this. But Rick knows!!!!

      When the troops get to your neighborhood in St. Paul, MN, 255 miles from Crookston, just remember your own words:

      No need to get all wee-wee up “conspiracy ass clown”. Those armed troops passing your house are merely “walking around on a spring day.”



  5. Somebody should be out there handing out Oath Keeper pamphlets…


  6. lol…. “fully armed” what a joke any branch of the military would never allow their personal fully armed training unless its at a firing range away from civilians, yes they may carry rifles with magazines but never with live ammunition. to believe the us military would ever allow fully armed troops preform training in populated areas is ignorant. lastly its the national guards job to train to defend the streets of our country, they have done this for years.

    As a former citizen of Mankato MN, serving my country in the Active ARMY Air Defense Artillery, in South Korea, I am appalled by such disrespect to the men and women defending, sweating, bleeding, and giving up their youth for your country. we are here to protect you… smh some people.


    • Now how would that poor woman Maggie know all this when she looked out of her living room window and saw soldiers carrying rifles on her quiet residential street.

      I am appalled that you chose to direct your selective outrage at Maggie, The Libertarian Review (that alone reported this incident), and this blog — instead of at (1) the Crookston city govt, (2) the Minnesota state govt, and (3) the federal govt for not announcing this “training exercise” and assuring citizens not to be alarmed; and at (4) the Establishment Media for not doing its job by reporting this, instead leaving it to the Alternative Media to do the job.

      You should be ashamed of yourself.


      • As a Private (PFC) in the Active ARMY, it is not in my rank or jurisdiction to do any of that nor my chain of command. If i was in the Guard and had the rank I would have gladly informed the public of the training exercise.

        And as for Maggie if she was going to report this incident, wouldn’t she have at least had the common sense to believe that US soldiers in the area would mean no harm being that they are defenders of her nation, if she were so patriotic? And wouldn’t she want to research more in depth that her case was legitimate before reporting to authorities instead of jumping to conclusions? She could have asked the soldier to get the personal in charge of the group (usually a non commissioned officer or a commissioned officer) and question them for a better direct answer, or look online to find out what kind of routines and how the routines are carried out by that nat guard. I mean that’s like saying if some one reported to the police, a group of children, on bikes riding down the side walk, as a gang of thugs trying to run amok or terrorize your town, with out of asking them what they are doing, a just decision. Do we have to be this paranoid?


        • Mr. Private First Class,

          “Do we have to be this paranoid?”

          While I thank you for your military service to our country, you are sadly naive and just plain ignorant.

          Have you heard of a piece of law called the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act of 2012) that authorizes our govt to arrest and detain US citizens without cause or trial?

          Have you heard of the Bonus Army incident of 1932? when the federal govt called in the infantry, cavalry, and 6 tanks (led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur) against a march on D.C. by 17,000 World War I veterans and their families, who just wanted the immediate cash-payment redemption of their military service certificates.

          Go to our Police State page (click here), then come back here and we can have an informed intelligent conversation.


          • yes and the national guard would have detained maggie because she asked them what they were doing, then followed up with bringing in the infantry, cavalry, and 6 tanks since she and 43,000 other maggies were rioting in the streets with 17,000 combat experienced maggies because the government is currently too poor to pay her, your logic makes all the sense in the world. Yes i went to jr. high school and learned about the BA incident of 1932 also. And i have received my counter terrorism espionage ect. training for NDAA and how not to abuse my authorities, its not like i can just take average Joe off the street and detain him because i thought he was a terrorist/spy its much much more complicated than that, and i have enough commonsense to find out whats going on with the person i have suspicions about before i jump to the conclusion that they are a spy or a terrorist, ect. unlike some people….


            • In his letter to Edward Carrington in 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “”If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.” But you choose to mocking me/us for being vigilant. By your yardstick, Thomas Jefferson was being overly paranoid and downright foolish.

              Your sarcasm really doesn’t become you. I expect better from a soldier in the US Army whose wages are paid by taxpayers — and I am one of the 53% of Americans who still pay the income tax.


  7. PFC :I’ll thank you for your service just as I’ll thank Maggie for hers.
    A watchman on the walls calls out a warning….and those boys
    aren’t squirrel hunting. You know and I know it’s a recon and
    familiarization exercise and an excuse for a field trip to beautiful
    downtown Crookston and they probably don’t have ammo if there
    are any politicians around, but you have to admit they sqaundered
    a chance for good PR for a bit of Psy-Ops melodrama.


  8. Nice to know this blog is Not interested in a full and open discussion. If it was, you would have posted my last comment. It really sucks when rational objectivity and facts sweeps away paranoid speculation doesn’t it? Vote demonstrate attend meetings have free and open discussions-this country is a decent place to live. People who care about the country are crucial to keeping it healthy and vibrant-but ease off on the acidic, hateful, paranoid, bile. And remember compromise and working together to achieve things are not concepts to shun.


    • Oh, spare me your self-righteous finger-pointing.

      This is the first comment your wrote on this site, in which you call us “ass”, “clown,” “paranoid”:

      “OMG troops actually training! That must mean the end times are at hand! I do so love reading conspiracy ass clown comments. Look-troops train. These are Minnesota National Guard troops that are training in Minnesota. Although training is probably a loose term for it. More like killing some of their 2 week yearly commitment by walking around on a spring day. Of course you guys would be much less paranoid if the troops were walking in some soybean field instead.”

      You are a guest on a privately-owned non-commercial blog where I and the other writers are unpaid and work our butts off as a public service. But you come onto my blog (I’m the owner) and the first thing you do is to heap contempt and names on us. There is a way to disagree without being disagreeable. You were more than disagreeable; you were downright rude, obnoxious, and abusive. That’s why you’re banned from this site — and you will continue to be banned from this site. FOTM doesn’t owe anyone the “right” to have their comments be published. Go exercise your free speech rights elsewhere.


      • Writing this blog is an option for you dont go saying you work your butt off writing a blog that you arnt obligated to write. Its not like you get payed to do so.
        And how dare you talk down on a service member like he’s some uneducated child. From the way I see it he is just as educated as you on the situation if not more. And I find it disgusting how you and your followers say in open view of this soldier that writing this blog is hard painstaking work.


    • Bravo Steve, I’m falling in love with your mouth (errr hands?)… 😉


  9. Whenever our local military or guard are doing an excercise that entails using civilian streets for that purpose; there is a general announcement to that affect. They don’t just go out into the streets and start patrolling an area in the neighborhood for their excercises. And the reasons should be obvious. An unannounced excercise of this kind is not usual. Frankly being around the military of all branches all my life; I would be stunned to see them walking down my street like this without some kind of prior announcement.


    • I’ll agree on that, but the extent to how this was brought up and said to be a conspiracy ticked me off. Just an excuse to make the military look like some sort of evil organisation like we are taking over neighborhoods that we really only seek to protect and serve if needed be.


      • videriquamesse

        Your claim to be a member of our military is belied by your British spelling of the word, “organisation,” rather than the American spelling, “organization.”


  10. Rick and PFC O, I am appalled at how you have treated Dr. Eowyn, Maggie, an American citizen, and those of us who find American soldiers patrolling our streets unusual! What planet are you on? If I saw American troops with guns coming down my street, I would ask the same questions as Maggie!

    Rick, your insults truly indict your own sarcastic and rude character! No one has mentioned any kind of conspiracy. Nevertheless, anyone with intelligence who is well-informed of current events, CAN FIND NOTEWORTHY THE UNUSUAL EVENT OF U.S. TROOPS WITH GUNS INHABITING THE STREETS OF SUBURBIA!

    PFC O, I thank you for your service to our country, and therefore, your service to me! Accordingly, try to have some common sense and empathy with American citizens who find U.S. troops walking down the streets of suburbia a noteworthy phenomenon!

    One last thing, soldiers are not the only people who serve their country. Dr. Eowyn serves her country every single day of her life by working tirelessly on this blog to expose lies and to give Americans the truth of what is happening in our country and our world. She is a PATRIOT PAR EXCELLENCE! And, she is a professor emeritus of Political Science, and she knows precisely what she is doing. Her special gifts include but are not limited to researching in such a responsible manner, that her posts are documented. She is actually more qualified than an excellent investigative journalist. If you pounce on Dr. Eowyn again for informing us of this strange event, it will then become obvious that you do not know how to treat a true patriot with respect and consideration.


  11. I live by at least 4 military installations and have for over 25 years. NOT ONCE have I ever seen or heard of any military training exercises in residential streets.

    I have no fear of the military whatsoever. It’s the CIC that scares the crap out of me.


    • Yup, conflicts with town civilians and police occur even when the rare training event that does happen off-post is fully coordinated because somebody doesn’t get the word and misunderstandings happen; e.g. the military “escapee” thinks the cop has been briefed on the exercise but the cop doesn’t know anything about it and shoots him. Murphy’s Law.


  12. American troops on American streets. You act like they are invading or something? You know the National Guard is for defending this country right? And they would be much more prepared if they were used to the terrain and features of lets say, Crookston, MN. If I saw American troops walking down my main street, I would assume that they weren’t there to do anything bad, because they are on American soil.


    • We are fully aware of what our National Guard does TYVM.

      Like I said, never have I seen military walking down residential streets in the 25 years I’ve lived by posts. Why wasn’t it announced?

      Not afraid of our military, just their CIC and NDAA implications.


    • videriquamesse

      Have you ever encountered the term, Posse Comitatus?


  13. I’d like to point out a few things:

    1. MN National Guard Mission Statement: “When directed by the Governor, we provide ready units and personnel to perform missions relating to state emergencies and the protection of our citizens.”

    — The housing area where they were conducting the training is 1.4 miles from their armory. What better place to train for a local emergency, than in the city they are based at? With the current budget constraints it is a lot more economical to train locally than pay to transport a regiment across the state or country.

    3. The war we are fighting in Afghanistan is based on asymmetric warfare. The enemy is not based out of a military installation, but lives on a farm, in an apartment, or a house. The days of patrolling the jungles with tanks and fighting mass organized armies is a thing of the past. After you train in the same area so many times, it becomes second nature. You become accustomed to the environment and training stops being effective. A soldier is never going to raid the same house twice. It becomes a choice between moving the unit, building new training facilities, or in this case…utilizing local resources.

    4. Consider the following examples: An AC-130 flying an orbit pattern over a city, an A-10 making touch-and-gos at a civilian airport, a nuclear submarine sailing through a port. How are these examples any different than the Guardsmen training in Crookston? All of these weapon systems have the ability to destroy anything without anyone even knowing they are there. Should the Air Force and Navy stop training as well?

    5. Read the message below. According to the Guard the citizens were notified of the training activity. Can anyone that actually lives in Crookston confirm or deny this?

    ~~ Attributable to Lieutenant Colonel Mark Wiens, Commander of the 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment ~~

    “On Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28 the Minnesota National Guard’s Crookston-based B Co., 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment conducted urban operations training in Crookston.

    The training occurred at two houses scheduled for demolition (416 and 424 Summit Avenue North) with city administrator approval. Crookston police department was informed, notification was sent to the surrounding neighborhood and an announcement was made on the local radio station.

    Residents were informed in advance to expect high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles traveling between the Crookston National Guard Armory and Summit Avenue.

    Residents were also informed that Soldiers were utilizing blank ammunition and had military issue weapons. Soldiers on site were available at all times
    to answer citizen questions about training during the exercise.

    The Minnesota National Guard enjoys great support from the citizens of Crookston as it was the first established Beyond the Yellow Ribbon network in northwest Minnesota recognized by the governor for its efforts.

    The unit has been active in supporting community needs in times of need — for example, flood response — and the community has responded to support deployed soldiers’ families and currently helping returning veterans find employment in the Red River Valley.

    There is a great mutual admiration and long-standing respect shared between the community of Crookston and its National Guard unit, B Co., 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment. We continue to serve and honor this relationship.

    Upon reflection, the successful training was a valuable exercise that prepared the Citizen-Soldiers of the Crookston unit to respond to any possible future state or federal mission in an urban environment.”


  14. videriquamesse

    I will fight and I will die before I see the country I love evolve into a Middle East dictatorship. Will my death serve as a deterrent to the coming militarized police state? Not likely, but several hundred thousand or a million such deaths might restore our republic to something that more resembles the vision of our founders.


  15. cool about the Crookston troop movement. we in the small town south east of that town have seen many a convoy of trucks of military go thru our town and to see those boy drive thru makes one feel safe. now you should see all the deer hunters around hunting season! and they do not have officers to keep those boys in line! this hoopla of worry about troops walking around in streets should be laughed at. worry when the troops have different uniforms on. like what happened in France in world war two. THEN we have stuff to worry about for sure!


  16. National Guard troops are NOT US troops. Stop pressing the panic button.


    • If National Guard troops are not US troops, whose troops are they? If National Guard troops are not US troops, then why are they sent to the Afghan War? To play badminton?

      The U.S. National Guard is not only “a reserve military force” but “the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States.” “The National Guard of the United States is administered by the National Guard Bureau, which is a joint activity under the Department of Defense.”

      You need to stop pressing the ignorance button.


  17. Really guys?
    They’re based out of Crookston. That is why they are training in Crookston. AT is held at ripley, not monthly drills. The Crookston armory does not have anything available to them for these types of drills.
    They were walking back from a training at one of the abandoned houses they do exercises in. Yes, they have city permission.
    Maggie needs to take a chill pill.


  18. Charles Thompson

    During the 80’s while stationed in Germany we conducted an annual excercise called REFORGER( return of forces to Germany), and all the UN affiliated countries were invited to participate. We had the run of the country and if we parked in a Germans field or barn the next morning they would greet us with breakfast. I also wonder if a soldier would kick your door in or aim his weapon at an American citizen, orders or not. If a squad of armed Generals are walking down your street that would be a good time to worry.


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