Nation, it's officially go time.

Stephen Colbert has at long last been deployed to the Persian Gulf to embark on a weeklong USO tour dubbed Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando.

Beginning Monday, the Comedy Central pundit will be broadcasting a week's worth of Colbert Report's in front of roughly 450 U.S. troops, marking the first time in USO history a TV show has been produced in a combat zone.

"The USO counts this as military service, right? I might want to run for office some day," said Colbert, who arrived at Baghdad's Camp Victory this morning.

Colbert has long been teasing fans and troops with the promise of taking his truthiness overseas to broadcast from somewhere in the Middle East—or, in Colbert-speak, to "Bob Hope it up"—though has not been able to reveal the dates or location of his trip until now.

Gov. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, apparently wasn't as privy to the security briefing as Colbert, letting slip last month that she would be making a taped appearance on the Iraq-bound show.

"All jokes aside, if there's anything I want my viewers to walk away with, it is not only a good laugh, but also a greater appreciation for our men and women in uniform," Colbert said. "They work hard and deserve the best."

All proceeds from iTunes sales of The Colbert Report next week will benefit the USO.


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