Remember America 2017: Lt. General William G. “Jerry” Boykin6 min read

by Jenna Sliwinski
Remember America 2017: Lt. General William G. “Jerry” Boykin<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">6</span> min read</span>
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Warrior on the Battlefield, Warrior for Christ:
Lt. General William G. “Jerry” Boykin Speaks at Remember America 2017

“Three days later we went after him again, and this time we got him. Not a mark on him. We got him. We brought him back into our base there and we had a Sea-Land container set up to hold prisoners in, and I said put him in there. They put him in there; there was one guard with him. I said search him, they searched him; and then I walked in with no one in there but the guard, and I looked at him and said, ‘Are you Osman Atto?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Mr. Atto, you underestimated our God.”

Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, 36-year-Army veteran is one of our 2017 Remember America speakers on April 21, 2017.

Personal History

General Boykin is a traditional southern gentleman, born in Wilson, NC. Boykin was born into a military family, and his father served in World War II—and was wounded on D-day in Normandy, June 6, 1944. General Boykin was born in 1948 and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in education. Boykin joined the United States Army on December 26, 1970, at the age of 23. Since then, he has been involved in every war involving the United States Army since the Vietnam War to the ongoing war on terror.

Military Involvement

Boykin was a member and also a commander of the Army’s elite Special Forces unit: the Green Berets. The Green Berets were first assembled in the 1950s and are generally tasked with aiding foreign militia. An example of Green Berets assignments is aiding the Afghan soldiers to battle the insurgents and terrorists in Afghanistan.

In 1977 the Army put together the top secret unit now referred to as Delta Force. To qualify for Delta Force, Boykin and others were required to traipse through the mountains in the snow for 30 days. When Boykin qualified for Delta Force, the Army psychiatrist worried about recommending Boykin for Delta Force on the grounds that he relied too heavily on his faith in God. However, Boykin made it through and became a member of Delta Force. In 1992, Boykin was promoted to commander of Delta Force.

Significant Missions

General Boykin was part of several high-risk missions for the U.S. Army during his 36 years of service. In 1980, tasked with the role of operations officer, Boykin and the rest of Delta Force participated in a rescue attempt (Operation Eagle Claw). Approximately 53 American hostages were being held at the American Embassy in Iran. President Jimmy Carter sought to free the hostages by force after attempting diplomatic solutions for their release. The mission unfortunately failed and eight of the Delta Force members lost their lives.

In 1983, Boykin was involved in the invasion of the Caribbean Nation of Grenada. President Reagan sent troops into the nation to help protect the approximately 1,000 American citizens who were attending Medical School in Grenada. The nation had come under a new Marxist government and violence in the country began to intensify, creating a danger for the American citizens. The mission was essentially successful, with the medical students returning home safely; however, there were many casualties suffered on all sides, approximately 123 people lost their lives and almost 500 people were wounded.

Mogadishu, Somalia: October 3-4, 1993. Boykin commanded the raid assigned to capture clan leaders and warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. This mission took a turn when two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down by rocket-propelled grenades. General Boykin assembled a team to rescue the survivors at the first crash site. While assembling the team, two of Boykin’s Delta Force snipers were in a Black Hawk helicopter above the second crash site and were defending the survivors from the air. Master Sergeant Gary Gordon and Sergeant Randy Shughart pleaded with Boykin to let them go to the second crash site. Boykin refused twice and told them to continue to defend the survivors from the air. When their efforts from the air proved to be unsuccessful, they again pleaded with Boykin to let them defend the survivors from the ground. Boykin eventually allowed them to go in. Both men defended the second crash survivors until they ultimately lost their lives. The only survivor of the second crash and the ensuing battle was Warrant Officer Michael Durant who was the pilot of the crashed helicopter; he alone lived to tell the story. Boykin and the rescue team were able to fight their way into the first crash site and saved the survivors of that crash. Boykin survived a wound two days later from shrapnel being hurled into his legs and feet from a mortar round that landed in the airfield. This ordeal was depicted in the film Black Hawk Down.

On top of these numerous missions mentioned, as well as many others, Lt. General Boykin held several other command posts and even went on to serve as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence in the Pentagon. The military career of General Boykin lasted 36 years and ranged to a wide variety of positions.

Warrior for Christ

Not to be overshadowed by his lengthy military career is General Boykin’s influence as a soldier for Christ. Boykin currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council (FRC).  The FRC is an organization that seeks to “advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview.” General Boykin received some persecution while in the Army for remarks that he made involving Muslims, the War on Terror, and the current terrorist issues being a war on Christianity. Boykin has stood strong in the face of these trials and continues to share his beliefs despite stepping on a few toes.

In 2003, General Boykin expressed his concern as to why Islamic terrorists hate the United States. Boykin said, “Because, we’re a Christian nation because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian.” This bold statement yielded a number of complaints saying that Boykin’s remarks framed the war on terror as a war of religions. Former President George W. Bush rebuked Boykin for his comments saying that General Boykin, “Doesn’t reflect my point of view or the point of view of this administration.”

Most recently in March 2016, General Boykin spoke at Liberty Council’s Awakening 2016 Conference, where he called for Christians to call their government officials and tell them that gender neutral restrooms are not acceptable. Boykin received a significant amount of negative feedback for this statement since the LGBT community took offense to his statements. General Boykin has been teaching at Hampden-Sydney College for nearly a decade. As a result of the remarks, the administration at Hampden-Sydney terminated Boykin’s employment. Many people came to the defense of General Boykin arguing that Boykin’s free-speech was being censored. About two months after the remarks were made, Hampden-Sydney College restored his teaching position.

Despite all that General Boykin has endured in the last 15 years with regard to his exercising the right of his own free-speech, he continues to share, and back up his beliefs with the Word of God. The Remember America Speaker Series and Dayspring Christian Academy are pleased to have Lt. General William G. “Jerry” Boykin join us for our 2017 Remember America Speaker Series event!

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