In January, Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell — the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — told ISIS that they could either surrender or U.S. troops would beat them to death with entrenching tools. Since then, Troxell has received 240 entrenching tools for him to autograph, his spokesman told Task & Purpose.

  • “This is from people sending an e-tool to him with return postage or people bringing an e-tool to an event or engagement he’s present for,” said Army Master Sgt. Robert Couture. Troxell writes directly on the e-tool itself, numbering it, writing a personal message and often signing off with the hashtags #SEAC3, #etoolnation, and #ISIS_SurrenderOrDie.
  • Troxell receives up to five e-tools per day, and when he returns from long trips, he often finds between 10-15 entrenching tools waiting for him, Couture told Task & Purpose. In recent events at Fort Bragg and Washington, people have lined up with e-tools for him to sign.
  • Some organizations, such as Military Times and a ROTC program in Troxell’s home state of Iowa have also given the command sergeant major e-tools with inscriptions on them, Couture said.
  • “Another interesting side note: An e-tool manufacturer called him to thank him for his service and to let him know about the surge in e-tool sales,” Couture said. “CSM Troxell receives no proceeds, stock dividends, payment or financial benefit for signing entrenching tools or advocating for their use in annihilating ISIS.”

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