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November 14, 2020 1:00 am
Nikita chats with Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, one of the original members of the U.S. Army's Delta Force & former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. After 36 years of service to the United States, he now serves as Family Research Council's Executive Vice President and is passionate about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
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The devil's worst nightmare coming up today. A man's man hates true hero well in my eyes. A true patriot to our nation. Lieut. Gen. Jerry Boykin retired an amazing 36 1/2 your military careers spent 13 years with Delta force of your family without.
I mean high profile missions, including 1980 Iran hostage rescue attempt in 1992 hunt for Pablo Escobar Columbia Black Hawk down to talk about that. If you remember the movie Black Hawk down. He's an author is a teacher. He's an amazing man of God coming up Lieut. Gen. Jerry Boykin don't miss this such an honor to have this man with us today. I know you're going to be blessed by his story. In fact, you want to talk about a story I mean this man has such a remarkable life and career that were probably can have to break the show and into two parts.
Honestly, Lieut. Gen. Jerry Boykin. I mean such a distinguished career in the military. If you're not familiar with him will make sure we get you all the information where to find him, but I mean I don't even know where to begin when I when I look at his career in all of his distinguished awards that he is one over the years. We can talk about some of that today. Let me just go ahead and welcome Gen. Boykin to the show.
Welcome general Nikita. Thank you so much for having me on your program and thanks. Thanks so much for what you're doing in the kingdom.
Well I'm excited to have you on the show and certainly when we talk about a title like it's time to man up when I think about you, Gen. Boykin that you certainly qualify for the show in my in my eyes you know you're truly as I mentioned, you have such a remarkable life and career in the military and I will you. I go thou that's a man's man right there. I'm just saying it's like it's great to have you on the show and I mean speaking of really of your your military career. What I want to do is religious kind of backup for our listeners and in really kind of go back a few years*, in the earlier years, you know, growing up in, and how and when you know you made a decision to join the military but also talk about you know you I guess in my mind I was sick about the syndrome. Like, here's a man a deep man of faith and how does a man of faith marry that or or merge that together with it with a military career like like you had and maybe just start with, like if you would, Gen., where you grew up in and just start there and then move into. Hey, here's what I knew I was going to go into the military. Yeah, I actually grew up in North Carolina grew up in New Bern, North Carolina and my father was one of five brothers that were in World War II, and I will just tell you Nikita. I made the decision that I was going to serve in the military very, very early in life goes. If you were a male in the Boykin family there was an expectation that you would serve this country.
Not that you would like your career but you would serve and my dad was a like my dad was the only one of the five that the was wounded and he was wounded on the day and live the rest of his life as a disabled veteran. Although he was fully functional. He was a disabled veteran, so I made that decision early on, realizing that that was that was really sort of an ethos. It was a tradition. It was a an expectation within the Boykin family that the males would serve the country so I knew early. But then I went off to Virginia Tech to a football scholarship in and went into the Corps of cadets. There is one of the five major military colleges and as a actually has a coordinate know they live together they wear uniforms they so I went to join the core there. Realizing that with my pathway to being able to serve, and when I graduated in December 1970 from Virginia Tech.
I took the oath of office, took her commission and I was in the military. From that point on until I retired 36 1/2 years later while so you bring up a couple of talking points for me there one football career.
We really have relatability there because I played high school college football have my sights set on professional football.
So what what position did you play general yeah I was a true believer recruited as a fullback and linebacker.
But I got to Virginia Tech and move into alignment. Ultimately, a played defensive guard okay defensive guard back in way back in the day in and that's kinda relatable you play linebacker a played offense and defense, I did. I did both the play defensive and but also play tight and I loved catching the ball head. According to my one of my quarterbacks in college with a pair of the softest hands he'd ever saw.
He went on to play four years backed up Phil Simms with the New York Giants. Mark Reid was his name and paid me a high compliment went my senior RT was inducted into the school Hall of Fame with the best record in like 100 years of football at Morehead State University so Europe at VT Virginia Tech and Andy playing defense and and the other interesting thing that in just a curiosity question. You mentioned going into a military Academy right yeah it was you know we have the military academies.
They are made.
Maybe the Air Force and even the Coast Guard as well as the merchant Marine.
But there are five colleges like a Texas A&M The Citadel VMI Virginia Tech and there's another one up in New England and actually have a Corps of cadets okay so you know they are there in uniform all the time and date essentially do the same thing to the do it. The academies accepted at a school that also has a cohort of students that are not inside the core.
There just the regular civilian student.
Okay so that's different because I'm I'm familiar with. I guess you're probably familiar with this is there some type of military And Fork Union, Virginia.
Do you know what I'm referring to.
And those are those are yes I do know very much as Fork Union military Academy and those are for people that have that are still in high school. Okay, those are schools for young men, primarily, that are is like a boarding school, but they are based on a military structure and labor course they wear uniforms as well. But then at the university level. Their older really only five major military college.
Okay so that's more of a high school because I've actually spoken there.
I've done some ministry there are several years ago now, but I was kinda blown away by by all. You know all the young cadets there and and and and how many of professional athletes came out of Fork Union Academy in in a different different sports level. So that's kind. I guess kind of a transition if you will kindly between high school, college, or they could actually essentially I guess go from there to one of the other universities.
Your your referring to absolute they are set up very well for scholarship by one of the military services, and people probably don't even realize with Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Coast Guard Academy and the I mean the Army Navy and Air Force, as well as the Coast Guard all provide scholarships for people who want to get a commission and then go into that branch of service.
So there many students in these colleges and universities that are own scholarship there that is provided by the military service. Okay well and so you mentioned 36 1/2 year career military, even though you weren't necessarily initially thinking of it being a career which I should set the top the show. By the way, thank you so much for serving our country and you can't thank you enough for that. Thank you and it was a great privilege to be able to serve well and because of guys men and women like you who certainly have given us the freedoms that that we experience in and continue to experience so I 36 and how I dilute the low background research and on your on your career and 36 1/2 your military career 13 years and I might say you made in my world like the famed Delta force. I mean I know there's a lot of different as you mentioned branches in different different organizations within those different branches, but the Delta force said that was what was that like for you to be a part of the Delta force yeah I was incredible. I was one of the original members actually in the and I will tell you Nikita it was. I don't know what I'm getting into.
None of us knew what were getting into. We all we knew was there was a challenge and and we were being invited to to come into this organization.
If we could meet that challenge.
If we could meet the standards of we could get through the assessment and selection course and it was a was only about 18% of the people that they came in the coming actually made it selection. We felt that we had done something special in that.
Consequently, we were in a very special place that that was going to do something good for the country and that has certainly proven to be the case now, you mentioned that you know certain type of parcel much selection course. It was at me like yours. I guess certain qualifications want to even get on the list and then secondly once you're on the list, then to be accepted as a part of Delta force. Yeah the what what would occur as the Army would would look through the records of the officers and noncommissioned officers there no privates and Delta me, you're either a noncommissioned officer or an officer, commission, and not the Army personnel branch would look through and find what they thought were good candidates for that and and then they would contact you and say do you want to volunteer for this. I was a man there was no there was no trying to force you into this. This was here's what were going to ask you to do and this is all we can tell you about it that were putting together a new, special operations force is very secretive. We will put you through a 30 day trial. If you make it through that trial, we will ask you to volunteer to be a member of this new organization.
It's going to be the toughest thing you've ever been through. Be in the best physical condition you choose to try out and we need your answer in the next hour next and also that's what you guys that's what I got so close. Wow. Okay.
And now, so I'm I'm just thinking about that and there was an inner and outer. You cover much of what you might want to refer to this or, if if I know my history or did my homework right so from from the Delta force. One of the one of the things that stands out. If I'm not mistaken you can correct me from wrong, but is there. I know all kinds of missions and many that I'm Street cannot talk about, but there was a movie produced years ago called Blacklock down was that in reference to that that was really kind about this unit right that you were part of you knows all about this unit and that is a matter fact I had worked my way up from you know from being a captain in this organization all the way up to the rank of colonel and I was the commander of the Delta during this, the events that are of you referred to is Michael down and that are shown in the movie there and I was responsible for the Delta force and course we had rangers on the ground to the day I integrated them into the Delta force as part of it and you know we were trying to conceal the fact that there were Delta force on the ground so we called ourselves task force Ranger and in and as you know, Nikita. We we were there to capture a notorious warlord named Mohammed three IDD was the alligator clan and this man was evil diabolical man and his militia was just as bad as he was in one operation. They killed 24 Pakistani peacekeepers that were just trying to feed hungry people and that's when the United Nations and Pres. Bill Clinton said that's it go getting and bringing to justice course there was an understanding that if he got killed in the process that would not be a bad thing but we were not directed to kill and we were directed to capture him if we could write right and then we got in the unit. We will in the city six times and got a lot of firefights and they know sadly we killed a lot of people.
But on 3 October 1993 we went in that city and we got an 18 hour firefighting.
That's what is portrayed in the movie is an 18 hour firefights that we thought there okay October, so if some of our listeners want to go back and pull a family Blacklock down what they would essentially be watching and viewing is the unit that you were directly in charge of and and then therefore the results of even what you're talking about right now so yeah that's exactly right. Wow, that was it was a long day at night. I got some unit eight ATC 18 hour Mexican standoff right yeah I was. It was a continuous battle for 18 hours right.
I think we really kind of started that fight about 330 in the afternoon and it was really about 4 o'clock the next morning before we actually were able to get everybody out to safety, to include the wounded and okay Nikita is is I think you know and you probably heard me say this at the man's compasses that we attend but you know I got I got down on my knees before we launch that operation in the parade in Ascot as I had done for every previous operation. I just ask God to protect these men.
My most vivid memory is of is a 5 ton truck coming out of the city.
At the end of that 18 hour firefights in the that truck was filled with the dead and wounded, so we had to get them out of the city with 115 ton truck and I walked over that that truck can help to drop to okay when I looked in the back of the truck. I tell you what was broken out broken emotionally, but I was broken spiritually because I started asking the question where you got where you can you hear my prayer, you can stop this in the I looked in there in the blood just poured out the back of the truck like water.
The general bottom on the bottom and the wounded were on top of the dead, so we had very graphic and movement so we had and I just and let me tell you my faith was shaken to to the Coronet says we got them all put on airplanes and got them out to medical care or evacuated the body as you know I sent down the bucket. It was just gotten dark. I said, Bucking I just began to say God where were you and all of a sudden all of a sudden in my heart.
I just said there is no God, there is no God, there was a God. This wouldn't happen. He would've heard but listen is all I want your listeners to take away from this moment.
I said there is no got.
I heard the voice of the Lord and the voice of the Lord said if there is no God, there's no.
I immediately broke emotionally and began to sob. My chest heaved and I was saying I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm so sorry that I did magic will take this away from what I've just said. The moment that it was in my heart before I actually said it to be repentant. I was forgiven and the message is that I now try to make sure that I relate to every men's group or every group that I talked is I was forgiven. There is nothing in your life that you've ever done that you will not be forgiven for.
If you will confess it right and ask God to take into many men, especially men are still living with the burden of sins that they've already confessed and they don't have to. All they have to do is confess it and believe the word of God says in first John 19 if we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. You confess it, it's go it's go men carry these burdens that the don't they do, they do general tribunal to sweep. We do a lot of unit iron, parallel courses and in the sense of doing a lot of really Lotta men's ministry.
But you bring up a very valid point that the enemy is or is a real enemy you you have faced it in the literal sense many of us stationed in a spiritual sense and wants to keep key people in general and people and women people and in in a prison and in and in bondage and change since you know is so to speak, and so some very, very valid point you're making out in fact it was gonna want to ask you about that that mean that's a remarkable story you just told you you can because I know you're a deep man of faith have been with you been on the stage with you. Share the platform with UMC Eden and just been with you off the stage on on a very personal level and in regard to be a very dear friend someone that I love dearly. Let me ask you like about your faith like did you come to faith at an early age like you knew you wanted with the military or early aged.
Did you and then how how how did you come to bring those two together. You have such a military career and and be a man of faith yet. Thanks for harassing me that I grew up in the church love my mother was and is today even though she has Alzheimer's is an absolute site to spiritual mentor.
My dad was my hero, and so my idol, but to know. He struggled with faith in the he was a Mason and thought that he was redeemed, and saved just because by virtue of the fact that he was a Mason so he would attend church sometime but my mother was really my spiritual mentoring, but I grew up in a very legalistic environment I grew up in an environment where everything was a sandlot can tell you that I am not religious today. I am simply not religious because I had so much religion stuff down must go through growing up in them and and these were well-meaning people, but they were so legalistic that some lady when I was a junior in school.
She actually said to me well I just I just think that that football is a sin and that's when I literally said well I'm going to hail because I hadn't no way to go to college. My parents had no money right I had no way to go to college except on a football scholarship so I just said well I'm going to hell so I might as well just enjoy the ride and in college I was just that I was a hell raiser and I just I was going to have as much fun as I could when I thought was funny at the time, and because I knew I could live up to the standards of the church and I had some people came along beside me late before I graduated from college, and some people came along beside me and really started impressing upon me that no all Jesus wants is for you to confess that you're a sinner and that you need him as the Lord of your life and then do the very best you can. And when you fail to back up confess to get back up and carry on and I just opened up a whole new world to me.
So, three weeks after I came in the United States Army right by myself because I knew the word I knew what I had to do.
The Holy Spirit began to really bring me under conviction and I felt the Lord saying I have a purpose for the purpose for your life but if you don't submit to me, it will never be fulfilled in ride by myself at Fort Benning, Georgia in a little room down there that I was staying in meltdown) that in that room and I began to pray and say God I don't let alone live like this anymore, but I tell you something Nikita I when I finished praying the prayer is unlike what most people feel I did not feel that I had been redeemed. I just felt like I felt like God was saying to me. You remember that when that revivalist was there when you were 12 years old and he said if you don't make a decision for Jesus tonight. You may never make that decision or you may never have another opportunity will I set there and resisted the calling of the Holy Spirit. And now I was coming back to what I had to get to see my spiritual mentor and I got to see my mama said mom I am doomed to fail. What he told is a mama prayed to receive Christ blasphemed back when I was 12 years old, blasphemed in them.
I rejected Jesus then and I know that he can save me now, my mother does not have a high school education. My mother laughed at me. She said that's the oldest trick in the book did you confess your sins yes no she said do you believe the word of God. I said yes, she said. Then, if you confess your sins and ask God to be the Lord of your life. Your save net get over it and get on with that's all I needed to hear. That's awesome yeah that's awesome well you were at work.
We can bring you back next week is a me that this this for show as you story so fascinating.
But you bring up some wonderful things in general for listeners to certainly consider and that is the thing that comes to mind in just our closing moments. Here is the difference between religion what you were describing versus relationship and that I love what you said to know if there is no God, then there's no hope. And he is the God of hope and and certainly you have experience that not only in your military career, but just really. And life in general.
And that's a fascinating story they were going to come back for week two with you and that you got some books we want to talk about so many other things.
So out to our listeners out there to Nan Dahlen next week. More of general Jerry Boykin men I would like to challenge each of you to consider spending five days with less liver and I am pursuing the heart of ladies listening will send your manhole with God godly husband's and God will see you give them your blessing them.
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