Drawing on three years of ethnographic fieldwork with the Minutemen militia, this paper explores the performative dimensions of patrolling the U.S. / Mexico border. While informed by xenophobic ideological commitments, the Minutemen’s patrols need to be understood in connection to the concrete set of identity performances they are organized around. Specifically, in patrolling the border, this group of mostly aging military veterans re-enacts a lost sense of self and identity connected to being a soldier.