William G. Boykin

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America is a melting-pot society. We speak many languages, and respect many cultures and religions. But every man, woman and child deserves the freedom endowed by their creator. That's why America's cause is just. That's why we're the good guys. And that's why we will never surrender.

William G. "Jerry" Boykin (born April 19, 1948) was the United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence under President George W. Bush from 2002 to 2007 and retired general officer. During his 36-year career in the military he spent 13 years in the Delta Force and was involved in numerous high-profile missions, including the 1980 Iran hostage rescue attempt, the 1992 hunt for Pablo Escobar in Colombia, and the Black Hawk Down incident in Mogadishu, Somalia. He is an author and teaches at Hampden–Sydney College, Virginia. He is currently executive vice president at the Family Research Council.


  • Well, is he [bin Laden] the enemy? Next slide. Or is this man [Saddam] the enemy? The enemy is none of these people I have showed you here. The enemy is a spiritual enemy. He’s called the principality of darkness. The enemy is a guy called Satan.”
  • They’re after us because we’re a Christian nation.
  • Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this.
  • 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."

Never Surrender (2008)

  • Terrorists strike like lightning- hard, fast, and without warning.
    • p. 94
  • The left can scream all it wants that the war on terror is about oil or American imperialism or George W. Bush's personal amusement. That if we weren't such big, bad bullies, the poor third world jihadists wouldn't have attacked us, and the French would like us better. But we are not the bad guys. Our motto is life and liberty. The jihadists' motto is convert or die. And no matter how much the PC crowd would like to deny it, the inalienable right to liberty that America is fighting for is part of the Judeo-Christian heritage that is the bedrock of our nation. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, the right to liberty comes from outside us, planted in our hearts by our Creator, making it not merely an American ideal, but a human ideal. America is a melting-pot society. We speak many languages, and respect many cultures and religions. But every man, woman and child deserves the freedom endowed by their creator. That's why America's cause is just. That's why we're the good guys. And that's why we will never surrender.
    • p. 350

Man to Man: Rediscovering Masculinity in a Challenging World (2020)

  • I grew up under the leadership and tutelage of a real man who taught me about respect for the flag, pride in being an American, and expecting only opportunity from this great nation. He was so proud of my brother and me because we chose to serve in the U.S. Army. My sister was married to an Army officer as well, and my dad saw his dreams for his children fulfilled as we all served in some measure. It was important to him for us to carry on with the tradition of military service. I had no choice but to love America and to show that love by serving. If you were a male in the Boykin family and carried the family name, you were expected to serve. Two of my sons followed that tradition and joined the Army. I am so proud of them. The point here is that being a man is not about education level, physical strength, annual salary, or good looks. Rather, it is about character and demonstrated values. I was blessed to be raised by a real man who taught me a great deal about life. A man who set a great example who invested in me with his time and energy. This book is not about Cecil, but I would not be writing it if it weren't for him and the influence he had on my life.
    • p. xxiii
  • Cecil's habit of providing for others wasn't limited to his immediate family. One day he got word his best friend had lost his home in a fire. At that time Cecil was struggling to pay his own bills. But that didn't stop him: he cut corners and scraped together whatever he could. And he gave his friend all the cash he could find. I remember that day- as he handed the cash to his friend- because it looked like so much money to me at the time. I would guess it was no more than a hundred dollars in various denominations of bills, but to an eight-year-old it looked like a fortune. It left a powerful impression on me and just deepened my respect and admiration for him over the years. Throughout my life my father exhibited many examples for me to follow concerning the responsibility a man has to care for those he loves and for those who are in need. My father firmly believed it wasn't the U.S. government's responsibility to take care of his parents, his children, friends, or his neighbors. In fact, in his view, it was his role as an American who loved his country to provide for others as much as possible.
    • p. 3
  • A man provides leadership.
    A man provides direction, caution, and advice to others.
    A man provides emotional and spiritual support.
    A man provides stability and order.
    A man provides companionship and good company.
    A man provides identity.
    A man provides an example.
    All of these things require personal sacrifices of time, dedication, and effort. And from where does the strength and inspiration for that come? Or, in other words, what is worth living for, sacrificing for, and even dying for?
    • p. 5
  • In 1993 in Mogadishu, Somalia, I was the Delta Force commander during the events most commonly referred to as "Black Hawk Down." Two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down in the city of five million people, where most of those people were starving refugees. Within thirty minutes of the first chopper being shot down, the second one was shot down. When the first chopper went down I sent every one of my soldiers who were already fighting in the city to go rescue the crew and passengers of the first crash. I was left with few options when the second helo went down over a mile away from the first crash. I had to pull together a second rescue effort using those soldiers, sailors, and airmen who were left in the base- many of whom were not combat arms specialties (they were clerks, mechanics, communicators, and supply people). To their credit, every man was eager to be part of the effort to rescue their brothers at the second crash site.
    • p. 5-6
  • Two of the Delta Force snipers, Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon, watched the second Black Hawk go down from their position in another helo. The Black Hawk helicopter carrying Shughart and Gordon was being used as an airborne sniper platform. They radioed immediately to inform us the crew in the second crash was alive but injured and it appeared they could not get themselves out of their seats. They reported, "Their backs are probably broken. Put us in and we can get them out." The answer was immediate. "We can't send you in because we have nobody to support you with. You would be going into a hornet's nest since everybody's at the first crash site. Stay above them and keep shooting- take out as many Somalis as you can." They did. But they called back in less than thirty minutes and said, "There are too many Somalis coming in. You've got to put us on the ground!" The answer was "No" for the second time. The third time they called, they sounded both adamant and desperate. "We're the only hope; put us in." It was important to question their situational awareness regarding what was happening. Did they fully understand the risks? They reported that they were well aware of what they were going into since they were watching it unfold from their perch in the help. "Yes, put us in." They went in. And they fought valiantly, but both gave their lives to save one of their own. The lone survivor from the crash told us the incredible story of Randy and Gordy, which became the narrative for the recommendations of Medals of Honor for both men.
    • p. 6-7
  • I had the honor of standing in the West Wing of the White House as the U.S. president presented the medals to the widows and families of those two incredible warriors. There is no question those two men knew they were putting their lives on the line by going into that chaotic scene. Their request was denied twice. Yet they still asked to go in. Why? The answer is because they had a transcendent cause. And what was that transcendent cause? In their case, it was part of the fifth stanza of the Ranger Creed: "Never shall I leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy. Those two men lived and died by it. That promise to their fellow soldiers was their transcendent cause. Maybe we'd like to think it was the American flag or the U.S. Constitution or the oath they took to defend that Constitution. But, no, when you get to that level of combat, it's all about the guy on your right and the guy on your left. And your transcendent cause is the commitment you've made to each other. It's just part of who you are and what you do. You know he's not going to fail you and leave you. And he knows the same about you.
    • p. 8-9
  • We fought an eighteen-hour battle that day. Most people don't realize this, but we were fighting over two of our dead comrades- the pilot and co-pilot. And we took more casualties because we refused to leave them behind. We couldn't get those two bodies extracted from that helicopter, and we were not going to leave the remains of our two men behind. We were fighting over dead bodies. But, to us, it didn't matter. Alive or dead, they were our comrades and they were coming out with us. We knew they would have been there for us were the roles reversed. When Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon made that third request to go down into the street, they knew there wasn't much chance they would come out alive. That's a transcendent cause. And so was recovering the bodies of the others who died. The question for today is this- have we assessed our lives to determine who and what it is that's worth living and dying for? One can be part of today's "give me" generation or one can be part of "I'll give to you." Shughart and Gordon were givers- not takers. And they gave their lives. But they gave their lives because they had a transcendent cause. Their cause was- at the tactical level- the same for every warrior who's ever been on the battlefield: the guy behind you, in front of you, and on your right and left.
    • p. 9
  • Even in everyday life, something bigger, deeper, and more important than self-satisfaction needs to be inside us. Having a transcendent cause is not just some vague idea in the back of our minds, something we'll hang onto just in case of a crisis or a battle. No, it has to be there day in and day out. Our lives should reflect our commitment to that cause. One example of this may be as simple as your faithfulness to some uninteresting and seemingly unrewarding job- simply because you've got to bring home a check- and not giving up on it.
    • p. 13
  • A few Christian men I've met seem to think they are somehow robbed of their manhood if their wife has a job, and it's even worse if she has a serious career of her own. That's a foolish attitude. At the same time, what is even worse is a man whose wife is compelled to work because her husband refused to get a job.
    • p. 17
  • In every case, here's the challenging bottom line: practicing tough love is- without question- toughest on the man who loves the most.
    • p. 99
  • Talk through options and offer suggestions. Don't ignore an obvious problem in your family life and in your marriage.
    • p. 103
  • Big talkers have a greater tendency to compromise you than the string, silent types who aren't so eager to transmit the latest insider gossip. You have to think about those characteristics.
    • p. 118
  • Most of us have managed to hang on to a few good friends. They may not be battle buddies, but they've found a way to stay in our lives, and we're in theirs for the long haul. When that's the case, we have certain responsibilities to them. Sometimes we have the pleasure of applauding their accomplishments or sharing happy occasions with them. But, when necessary, we also owe it to them to be truth-tellers. And we have to hope they'll be equally straightforward with us.
    • p. 119
  • Some men can become increasingly self-indulgent and you notice over time they're spending more and more money on personal pastimes. They always want the very best gear available to enhance their hobby. Fishing. Golf. Hunting. Photography. Collecting fossils. Whatever it is, once they've bought every gadget or artifact they can possibly find, they move on to the next diversion, and on it goes. Before long, your friend- or your friend's wife- is trying to figure out how to pay the bills by month's end. Of course, you can't always stop somebody from making foolish mistakes and choices, but as a friend, you really do have a responsibility to try. You may be able to protect a very good friend from making a very bad life decision, and you've got to hope someday he'll find the courage to do the same for you.
    • p. 121-122
  • We also need to be encouragers to our friends. Some of them have hopes and dreams, yet although they've prayed and watched and waited, there's been no answer from above. I think most of us want instant gratification. We even want it in our walk with Christ. Sometimes we get quick and miraculous answers to our prayers. The more typical story is one of persistence and steadfastness; pray, watch, and wait. Do you remember the story of Elijah? He was up on Mount Carmel waiting for God to send the rain He'd promised. Elijah told his servant, "Go look. Do you see any rain clouds?" His servant came back to him six times and said, "Nope." Elijah sent him out yet again. That time the servant came back and said, "Well, yeah. I did see a cloud the size of a man's fist..." After seven tries, the rain was finally on its way.
    • p. 123

Quotes about Boykin

  • General Boykin spent over thirty-six years in the United States Army. He is a man's man. His last duty was at the Pentagon as the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence. He has played a role in almost every major American military operation over the last four decades, serving in Grenada, Somalia, and Iraq. From 1978-1993 he was assigned in various capacities to Delta Force. Not only was he a founding member of the Delta Force, he has also led Green Berets and other special operations units many times. Among his many successful operations was one in October of 1983- the beginning of the end of the Soviet Communist regime. A major at the time, General Boykin worked as an operations officer during Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada. During a dawn assault to free government officials, held by the Marxist People's Revolutionary Army, he was shot in the arm with a fifty-caliber round, splitting his bone completely in two. He was told he would never use his arm again, but God had the final say and today you would never even know he was injured. His citations for valor are too numerous to list.
    • Tony Perkins, Man to Man: Rediscovering Masculinity in a Challenging World (2020) by William G. Boykin, p. xii
  • God has had His hand on this man from start to finish and He is not finished with him yet. General Boykin is an author, an ordained minister, a professor, a decorated war hero for which he has my most profound respect and admiration. His courage and commitment to the truth extend beyond the physical field of battle. He not only has been willing to lay down his life for his country, he has been willing to lay down his life for his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and his reputation to serve Him. General Boykin will not shut up; he will not back up; he will not give up. He is a hero among heroes. He is the kind of man I want by my side in the spiritual war that is raging in America today.
    • Tony Perkins, Man to Man: Rediscovering Masculinity in a Challenging World (2020) by William G. Boykin, p. xiii
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