The U.S. defense chief lavished praise on a solider who not only got caught last week with his pants down -- he was wearing pink boxers.
"Any soldier who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip-flops has a special kind of courage," Gates told an audience in New York Thursday night. "I can only wonder about the impact on the Taliban. Just image seeing that -- a guy in pink boxers and flip-flops has you in his crosshairs."
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
Specialist Zachary Boyd, 19, ended up on the front page of the New York Times last Tuesday in pink, "I heart New York" boxers when his base camp came under fire and he didn't have time to put on his uniform, his mom said. It just happened that an Associated Press photographer was on hand.
"He immediately grabbed his rifle and rushed into a defensive position clad in his helmet, body armor, and pink boxer shorts that said 'I Love New York,'" Gates told an audience at the Intrepid Museum last night. "Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your perspective an AP photograpaher was there for a candid shot."
Gates said Boyd thought he might get fired for the fashion faux pas but the defense chief said the North Texas soldier will keep his job.