About Boots on the Ground (BOTG-NGO)

We're a 501(C)(3) international non-profit humanitarian aid and charitable organization, dedicated to empowering veterans and qualified civilians to provide in-field emergency and primary medical care, and other assistance required to sustain life, facilitate recovery, and to encourage and promote long-term development, stability, and peace in underserved areas of the world.

What We Stand For

We believe peace can be secured by empowering people to develop and control their own futures. In the wake of both man-made and natural disasters, we assist individuals, villages, and communities with their most immediate needs, which includes heath care, water, food, shelter, and other necessities required to sustain life. We invest locally and encourage community participation and ownership of the programs, while actively promoting economic development and intellectual growth, especially for women and children, by establishing well-rounded culturally sensitive educational programs. This is all reflected in our branding too.

Who We Are

Boots on the Ground was loosely founded in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and officially incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2010 after our volunteers returned from their first visit to Haiti.

Our core operational leaders are composed of individuals heavily trained and experienced in highly specialized areas including disaster management, emergency and primary medicine, global security, counter-insurgency, and civil affairs operations. Most are former active duty military personnel who've deployed all over the world. Their mission is to recruit, develop, and insert highly skilled teams into local communities to set up programs to meet our primary mission and humanitarian goals.

Our front line rapid response teams are made up of highly dedicated and motivated volunteers from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom have served in conflict theaters while in uniform. One of our primary missions is to empower returning veterans with opportunities to use the skills they developed while in the military, to serve others in need during disaster recovery operations both domestically in the United States, and abroad.

Like our front line or operational responders, our support volunteers also come from a variety of backgrounds, and possess a broad range of skills and abilities that are essential to BOTG's strategic, operational, and ground-level success. They come from all walks of life ranging the gamut from retired educators and homemakers, to students and C-level executives. We depend very highly on those who can offer their time, knowledge, experience, and finances to further our common goals.

Our corporate sponsors, organizational partners, and individual donors are our backbone. Their generous financial support makes it possible for us to do what we do.

Why the Name?

The term “boots on the ground” is a generally used to describe direct military action against an enemy in a theater of operation, as opposed to aerial bombardments, missiles, attacks from off-shore fleets, or through other advanced technological means. While many countries do not have substantial air or naval forces, nearly all have armies. And those soldiers on the ground are uniquely suited to engage opposition forces unilaterally or in concert with allies during police action, contingency and counter insurgency operations, or declared war. As former soldiers ourselves, we understand that men and women on the ground can do things that other “hands off” approaches simply can’t.

We know from experience that it takes people getting off the couch and actually putting their boots on the ground to save lives—to positively impact others. We know for real change to occur, there must be contact. We're also at war—at war with poverty, disease, illness, and hunger. We're at war with big business non-profits that produce very little results. And how donor's generous gifts are being squandered by these charities in name only. We're also at war with what war has done, and will do, to countless brothers and sisters who've served in the military. And we're dedicated to helping other veterans reconnect with their humanity, to find a sense of purpose, and to utilize the unique skill sets and leadership abilities they developed while in the service to help others during disasters or other times of crisis.

Though the term “boots on the ground” may be used to describe armed conflict most of the time, especially over the years since the September 11th attacks, it is also sometimes used to denote when a government sends its military and other agencies to encourage democratic institutions, deter conflict, and respond to crises or disasters. In this respect, those persons who actually have their boots on the ground can build trust, confidence, save lives, and promote regional stability.

It’s this latter approach that fills us with hope for the future of mankind. As veterans, we intimately understand the implications of both sides of that same coin. It's for this very reason that we've deliberately co-opted the term as our organization’s name in an effort to reflect our commitment (in word and deed) to put our boots on the ground for one purpose: to have a direct, tangible, lasting positive impact on people’s lives. We don’t sit in cubicles  theorize, pontificate, or politicize things. There’s plenty of people out there who talk a good game, but never actually do anything. As Mahatma Ghandi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” We’ve taken that very seriously. And we invite anyone who "get's it" to join our ranks.

BOOTS ON THE GROUND is a nonprofit corporation operated exclusively for charitable, educational, and humanitarian purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or the corresponding section of any future Federal tax code. Always consult a tax professional regarding charitable donations.

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