A Facebook post written by a senior enlisted U.S. military leader raised eyebrows this week after it instructed troops to beat ISIS fighters with a shovel if they don’t surrender.
Senior Enlisted Adviser to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Command Sergeant Major John Wayne Troxell, wrote Tuesday that ISIS has two options: “surrender or die.”
“If they surrender, we will safeguard them to their detainee facility cell, provide them chow, a cot and due process,” Troxell wrote. “HOWEVER, if they choose not to surrender, then we will kill them with extreme prejudice, whether that be through security force assistance, by dropping bombs on them, shooting them in the face, or beating them to death with our entrenching tools.”
An entrenching tool is a collapsible shovel-like tool often carried by military personnel.
The post included the hashtag: #ISIS_SurrenderOrDie.
When asked by E News All about the post, Troxell’s spokesman, Master Sgt. Robert Couture, said Troxell’s comments “emphasized the sincerity of the coalition’s resolve in defeating ISIS, or Daesh, who over the past four years, have committed countless atrocities against men, women and children around the world.”
“[Troxell’s] intent is to communicate the tenacity of the warrior ethos, that even when faced with the brutal and unforgiving nature of combat, will use every resource available to fight and win,” Couture added.
Asked about the hashtag, Couture said that Troxell came up with it while doing a USO Holiday Tour in December with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford.
“He delivered this message to primarily service member audiences at their various stops to include Iraq, Afghanistan, Spain, Poland and aboard the carrier U.S.S. Teddy Roosevelt underway,” Couture said.
He added that the hashtag reinforces the larger slogan used by U.S. Central Command: #DefeatDaesh.
Troxell did deliver a nearly identical message to troops in Afghanistan while on the USO Holiday Tour. A video, first identified by the Washington Post and shot by a Stars and Stripes reporter, shows Troxell telling service members that ISIS must be “annihilated.”
Get your E-tools ready. pic.twitter.com/MuUCr4SIp0
— Chad Garland (@chadgarland) December 24, 2017
He goes on to repeat the line used in Tuesday’s Facebook post, telling troops, “That may be through advising, assisting and enabling the host-nation partners. It may be by dropping bombs on them. It may be by shooting them in the face. And it even might be beating them to death with your entrenching tool, but we are going to beat this enemy!”