Can't confirm this, but there's a copy of a letter going around that just sounds right enough to me — having gone through a similar act about 40 years ago.
Essentially ... the President has declared all combat troops out of Iraq. How did he do it?
In one instance by re-designating an HBCT (Heavy Brigade Combat Team) an AAB (Advise and Assist Brigade). Same mission, same personnel, same armaments ... just not a combat brigade any longer.
Naturally, the press has lapped THAT up, but what else would you expect?
According to a piece in a January 2010 edition of Stars and Stripes:
"Although the same size as brigade combat units, AABs are designed to concentrate less on combat and more on training and mentoring Iraqi security forces, reflecting the shift in the military’s role in Iraq. The AABs include more field-grade officers serving as advisers and come equipped with more expertise in engineering, military policing, civil affairs and other subjects, officials say. Training is offered in Iraqi culture and teaching techniques." (this from a story of how a brigade of the 82nd Abn. was re-designated an AAB. Hmmm, another combat troop withdrawal, I guess).
Where have I heard "designed to concentrate less on combat and more on training and mentoring" before?
Let me think.