General Martin Dempsey, the nation’s top military officer, stunned reporters today with the announcement that beginning immediately, the use of military boots, often inaccurately called ‘combat boots’, will be phased out. Beginning next week, new recruits at all armed forces boot camps across the country will be issued athletic shoes and other footwear of varying types.
“Two hundred years of military tradition has been cast aside to clarify the new twenty first century missions of each branch of the Armed Forces,” Dempsey told the standing room only conference room. “The presence of military units in this country has been described for decades with the wholly inaccurate phrase ‘boots on the ground.’ But that ends now.”
Dempsey explained that it is time for the military to acknowledge the different roles played by its members. “For instance, there is no necessity for soldiers in clerical roles to wear heavy military boots while working on a computer in an office. Therefore, even though those troops might be in-country, to say they are part of the ‘boots on the ground’ in any campaign would be erroneous.”
White House officials rejected that this move was in response to the President’s promise not to put ‘boots on the ground’ in Iraq and Syria. Reached aboard Air Force One en route to Atlanta this afternoon, Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated General Dempsey’s earlier statements regarding the changes in military footwear.
“These are modern times, and modern times call for modern footwear. The standard GI military boot was designed for combat in the second World War and Korea. I think you will agree that the world is very different now than it was in the 1940’s and 1950’s.”
Asked if it would now be accurate to use the phrase ‘footwear on the ground’ in any future military actions, Earnest promised he will have an answer later today for the Press Corps, but they were about to land and he needed to be sure his seat back was in the full upright position.
A press briefing packet issued by the Pentagon shows that active duty Air Force personnel will be issued Nike Air Jordans and wingtips, depending upon rank, active duty Navy personnel will be issued Dockers, Army will be issued New Balance hiking Shoes, and the Marine Corps and other elite units can choose shoes at their discretion, so long as they cannot be mistaken for a boot of any kind.
In a similar development, Secretary of State John Kerry said from Paris, where he is meeting with foreign leaders, that the official footwear of the State Department going forward will be flip-flops. No explanation was given for this decision.