The infamous words, “no boots on ground” have been said by President Obama sixteen times in the last three years- but last year, he had to eat his words.
The argument over semantics began when fifty US Special Operators were approved to go into Syria to “advise” in a “non-combat” capacity.
“This is an important thing for the American people to understand. These forces do not have a combat mission,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest in October of 2015.
Since then, the meaning “no boots on the ground” has been stretched to fit the narrative that best avoids having to say “we lied.”
For most, the simplest understanding is if American soldiers –who are wearing military issued combat boots– touch the soil, they have boots on the ground.
Today, US Army Colonel Steve Warren was given the opportunity to conduct a quasi-official live interview from Baghdad, Iraq via Facebook.
After about fifteen minutes of Col. Warren, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, providing a brief history of OIR and “ISIS/ISIL/DAESH” in Iraq and Syria the comment section inundated with opinions and questions.
Many thanked the jovial Colonel for his service, condemned ISIS to death, inquired about the recent loss of a Navy SEAL, but the question about “boots on ground” was just as popular.
The All Warrior Network hosts of the interview asked Col. Warren to define “boots on ground” for the audience.
Most would have expected an official “no comment” to dodge catching any flak from Washington as most field grade officers are prone to do, but not Colonel Warren.
Warren responded by saying “hold on one second” while he hilariously lifted his boot up to the camera and said, “just making sure.”
“One important item of my uniform which is in good order, serviceable and working and I’m here to tell you it is on this Iraqi ground right now”
While his announcement was not ground-breaking (we all know boots have been on ground), one thing is for sure, these “business casual” conversations with serivcemebers, press and veterans alike should happen more often.
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