boots on the ground
 n.pl.— «“In the first Gulf War one in 100 ‘boots on the ground,’ as they call it, was a private contractor.” When the U.S. invaded and occupied Iraq in 2003, one in 10 was a private contractor. “Today, as we speak and the U.S. is launching a war in Falluja, one in four ‘boots on the ground’ is a private contractor.”» —“Berkeley Author Investigates Iraq War Profiteers” by Judith Scherr Berkeley Daily Planet (California) Nov. 30, 2004. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)