Is Military Anti-Gun?


December 27, 2006, 07:47 AM
I've only gotten "into" firearms in the past year or so. In that time, I've noted a bit of a paradox. For those of you who have been in the service: Is it just me, or does the military seem like a very "anti-gun" organization? There are so many regulations surrounding the possession and carrying of firearms on Army bases, that it seems as if the goal is to discourage independent training with pistols or rifles. I’ve found that many bases have closed, or are in the process of closing, on-base “rod & gun clubs”. I’ve even heard from a few older guys that the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) used to carry firearms for sale at many of the larger bases.

At the individual level, most of the officers I know shoot to qualify barely once a year, shoot once or (maybe) twice before being deployed, or go for years without touching a pistol. Given the current operational tempo, you’d think the Army would be pushing all service-members to become proficient with a firearm – especially in the Army, where we don’t have the equivalent of the Marine’s concept: “Every Marine a Rifleman”… I began training on my own only after realizing that there was no-way, no-how I was going to be able to shoot in combat. Oh, I passed the shooting qualifications, but I had no friggin’ idea how I was doing it. Certainly, I knew how to keep the weapon “on safe” and how to field-strip it for cleaning, but I didn’t really know how to shoot the damn thing anywhere near accurately! Luckily, when I finally did deploy, I was never caught in a firefight.

For the most part, I also don't think this is an officer/enlisted issue. At all my postings, including my current assignment, all the enlisted personnel are required to qualify on the M-16 once a year, too. To the best of my knowledge, they're not even required to qualify using 3-round bursts.

I presume this is very different among the infantry folks. What about armor, engineers, and combat support? I can tell you that the picture looks bleak among the combat service support folks (especially medical).

How do you instill a “warrior” ethos or mentality into military personnel trained to disdain or fear the tools that can save their lives in combat?

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Dr. Dickie
December 27, 2006, 07:58 AM
I suspect, but do NOT know, that this is just more trickle down of the "guns are evil" mentality in our society.
Tight regulation of military firearms on a military base makes sense. The tight regulation of civilan firearms on a military base may make the regulation of military arms easier, but I would still bet that deep down it is the huge media and societial bias againt guns that is the root of it.
If you cannot trust your soliders to own firearms, why would you trust them in combat?

December 27, 2006, 08:19 AM
Speaking only from my experience with the Army, the establishment has an institutional memory of the draft era and the quality of the people furnished under that system.

It was safe to assume that every barricks held a goodly number of criminals. those folks that were caught up in the draft and those 'recruited' by juvenile judges. "Boy, you gotta choice, a year in jail or join the Army".

Seldom did a payday weekend go by without a brawl or murder. On larger posts, there would be a 'lineup' several times a year. Every soldier would line up on the street in front of their company area while a victim in the back seat of an MP sedan would cruise up and down looking for a rape/murder/robbery assailant.

Then the racial problems started. Draftees from inner cities would band together and go wilding. These thugs would beat, rob and murder over the least provocation. When Enlisted Men's clubs closed for the evenings, there would be UPs and MPs stationed all around to provide a show of force. When the thugs came back from the clubs, they would provoke fights in barricks. Weekends were a stressful time. These same thugs would go off post and commit gang rapes and robberies. By the 60s, most Germans wished that they were occupied by Russians rather than Americans. By the time the Russians were more disciplined that our troops.

These thugs were emboldened by the way their depredations were classified. If seven blacks that had been drinking jumped a white soldier and beat him senseless, the event was recorded as a "racial incident". This very term whitewashed their criminal intent and actions.

Anyhow, the Army has long memory of troops misbehaving enough without access to firearms. Hopefully the high quality of our current troops will prevail and the Army will accept them for the dedicated professionals that they are and not prejudge them as criminals. (they will always be accomplished thieves as any supply sergeant will attent.LOL)

And yes, the military is a microcosm of society. Political correctness has hurt them as much as cutbacks and budgetary issues. During the clinton era of shame, the Defense Advisory Commitee on Women in the military (DACOWITS) got to vet every promotion to flag or star rank. If you were too blood and guts or too harsh or judgemental (you stood for something or were a warrior) you quietly retired as a an 0-6 and were thankful to escape the madness. This is the same group of hillary devotees that seriously proposed removing sonar from submarines so there would be room for female wardrooms. This would give female officers an opportunity to serve on subs so they could get promoted as rapidly as men.

Think this was bad? Wait until Nancy Pelosi begins reviewing promotion jackets and begins 'helping' the pentagon with policy decisions.

December 27, 2006, 08:22 AM
When I lived in the barracks, I think we were allowed knives with blades less than 4 inches. I forget what the length was for sure, but there was a set length on how long of a knife you could have. I never did figure out why you couldn't kill someone while drunk in a fight with a 3" knife buy you could with a 4" knife. Before I got in, soldiers were only allowed 1 6 pack of beer per soldier per room. So what did soldiers do? They kept the case in the trunk of their car and the 6 pack in their fridge. When I got to my first station, I had my own barracks room and their wasn't any regs on how much beer you could have. We deployed to Bosnia and I got stuck with a roommate when we got back because we got a ton of new guys right before we left. We went back to the 24 hour barracks babysitters (cq) and so on.

This is one of the biggest reasons I despised the military. I had more respect and was given more responsibility from my preschool teacher than I was given as a 2 year specialist in the Army Infantry. Very few people had personal weapons in my units. In Germany, they all had to be locked up in the arms room. I think there was one place that you could go to shoot and you had to practically get an act of congress to do so. Stateside, E4 and below could not keep guns in their barracks rooms or off post apartments. Isn't that nice. Second amendment and self defense denied to our own soldiers.

I think I'd take a court martial before I would live in a barracks setting again. I never felt like such a child as I did while living in one.

December 27, 2006, 08:28 AM
As others have said, this has been caused by bad behaviour in the past and a reflection of our society in general. Almost every regulation or prohibition against firearms is directly linked to people who abused their second amendment rights.
As an aside, the ammo budget for training of combat units is dismally small. IMO, every member of the military should be expected to go through at 500 rounds of ammo per week. Unfortunately, some do not even go through that many rounds a year. :(

Crazy Uncle Al Gore
December 27, 2006, 08:33 AM
What's even more paradoxical is that the liberals hate the military despite the fact the that we are everything the social "progresives" believe in. We are a group of people that is completly employed by the goverment, everyone has goverment provided health care, we have goverment provided housing etc. It's everything liberals want for the civilian world yet they still hate us :scrutiny: .

Eleven Mike
December 27, 2006, 08:35 AM
The military's not anti-gun, nor are our soldiers taught to "disdain and fear" guns. But the military has become as burdened with red tape as everything else in society, and just as frightened of lawyers. We had inspections of Privately Owned Vehicles on a regular basis. Not just to look for "contraband" in the trunk, but also to check headlights and brakes, and so forth. Even though our cars went through state inspection that should have taken care of that.

If you're an officer or NCO and one of your subordinates gets into trouble with his car, his gun, etc, you'll have to answer for it. So, the military has learned to cover its assets, just like the rest of us have. If some soldier goes on a shooting rampage on or off post, the chain of command would be embarassed and feel the need to axe some officer or another. So, letting Private Snuffy have fun with his .22 is not a priority.

You'd think the military would want to encourage its people to shoot as often as possible, so they would make it easy for them to shoot on their own time. Not so. Like other bureaucratic entities, the military thinks it can manage that better than you, the individual soldier, thank you very much.

I presume this is very different among the infantry folks. Only slightly different, in my experience. I was infantry for about three years, and got out just before 11 Sept. We carried our weapons in the field frequently, but fired blanks more often that live ammo. We "qualed" at least once a year, but I recall being at the range a little more often than that. Not much.

December 27, 2006, 08:36 AM
Foreigndude You are right in the regard that officers only have to qualify once a year with a pistol. It is sad that the Army doesn't have the policy like the Marine corps that "every marine is a rifleman"
Officers are taught to lead from the front but when it comes to leading in quite a few areas they really don't. The Army pins a badge on you if you get familiar enough with a certain weapon when you fire it down range and it always galled me when I never seen Officers never qualifying with an M16/M4, I am talking combat service support and not infantry. An officer shouldn't be an officer if he can't fire a weapon, M9 pistols included. The regs are there, it's called untrainability. I have seen some personnel "try to qualify" with pistols and it by and large was something to be embarrassed about.
Shooting a firearm simply isn't enough in the military, you really have to gain rock solid confidence that that particular weapon will.
#1 Put steel on target any and every time you require it.
#2 Accurately
#3 Know that weapon like the back of your hand, inside and out, it's characteristics, flaws, strengths.
#4 You have to undeniably trust that weapon with your life.

When you get put into a tight squeeze that weapon then becomes a part of you and all of that training takes over.

December 27, 2006, 08:50 AM
When I went through basic training I was very proficient with all types of firearms except handguns (not even sure I had ever fired one). We trained using AR15's that were 'retired' field issue from Viet Nam and they were what you would expect. I was on assigned KP when my training company qualified and I was sent with another company to qualify with a weapon I had never had an opportunity to shoot before qualification so you can imagine how that went. My Sgt. was expecting me to shoot expert and I barely qualified. During all of my weapons training I never saw any cadre shoot - officer or enlisted. All they did was a lot of yelling.

Is the military anit-gun? Let's just say IMHO they certainly aren't pro-gun.

December 27, 2006, 09:00 AM
When you stop to think about it you will realize that the militia exists due to the evil inherent in a standing army. At least that was the way that the Founding Fathers saw it.

December 27, 2006, 09:09 AM
This military is not anti-gun. Everything is regulated in the military.
They are simply out to protect their "investment". That's why guns (as well as knives, hot plates, incense, etc) arent allowed in the barracks and people in base housing have to register their guns with the MPs.

In the Marines we were certainly taught how to shoot. Not everyone was a sniper, but just about everyone understood how to make a wind call, adjust sights, assume a good firing position, etc

In five years, I got to use burst once. We had to waste up a bunch of ammo at the end of the year and were instructed to fire it off as fast as possible.

3-Round burst on the M-16 blows.. leaving it on semi and pulling the trigger really fast is more effective in getting rounds downrange IMO

Eleven Mike
December 27, 2006, 09:26 AM
In the Marines we were certainly taught how to shoot. Not everyone was a sniper, but just about everyone understood how to make a wind call, adjust sights, assume a good firing position, etc

In five years, I got to use burst once. We had to waste up a bunch of ammo at the end of the year and were instructed to fire it off as fast as possible.

That is about the only time we used the burst setting, although we were told to use it when our SAW was changing belts or jammed.

When I went into the Army, I did not know how to shoot. I would have left the military in the same condition, except that I bought a rifle and started getting into it on my own time. And I was in the infantry. :eek:

Janos Dracwlya
December 27, 2006, 09:41 AM
My little brother is an Air Force (now Air Guard) officer. He didn't qualify with an M-16 until he was on his first posting and was only able to do so then because he had become friends with the NCO who ran the base rifle range. On the other hand, he was already a gun person before he left college and ROTC. I went shooting with him the weekend he graduated and was commissioned and he could hit a five gallon bucket at several hundred yards reliably with his Garand.

Chuck R.
December 27, 2006, 09:50 AM
In addition to the discipline issues, and yes there are/were quite a few of them, there's the suicides.

In 22 years I served in units that had a total of 6, to include one of my lieutenant's, the mix of young soldiers, away from home for the first time, alcohol, and the holidays often had bad results.

My command OERs also hinged on the actions of my unit/soldiers, the majority of whom were great Americans, but there was a minority that I had a tough time trusting with anything larger than a penknife.

As for weapons training, it's a question of budgets and priorities. The Infantry usually gets it, the support guys don't. My guys qualified with small arms annually, but live fired our howitzers quarterly.


December 27, 2006, 10:11 AM
Chuck R.

I hope you weren't one of the officers and ncos that ruined my view of the military. Yes, there are idiots in every group. But why did everyone get painted with the same brush? Was it because officers and ncos were to lazy to lead and manage? I distinctly remember standing in a morning formation with our first sergeant demanding that all team and squad leaders will go to the barracks every morning and make sure that all of their soldiers were at formation on time. As he is saying this, a married soldier pulls up in his car. He didn't say a freaking word about married soldiers being late. I couldn't stand the class difference between married and single soldiers. It involved everything from housing, off duty treatment, pay, you name it. If a sensitive item came up missing, you can bet that the ncos and officers were tearing our barracks apart while the married soldiers sat in the company area and slept.

If any officer or nco is incapable of discerning a responsible soldier from an irresponisble one and thus treating him like an adult instead of a child doesn't deserve to lead the drive through at McDonalds. As far as I'm concerned the nco corp is one of the biggest hindrances of a professional army. The "back when I was a private, I had to do this or that so you have to also" attitude drives good people out of the military. A good soldier screws up once, he is marked forever and a bad soldier does something good once, they want to pin a medal on his chest.

December 27, 2006, 10:35 AM
I presume this is very different among the infantry folks.

Only slightly different, in my experience. I was infantry for about three years, and got out just before 11 Sept. We carried our weapons in the field frequently, but fired blanks more often that live ammo. We "qualed" at least once a year, but I recall being at the range a little more often than that. Not much.

Its funny I was reserve and remember hearing the media criticize our deployments because we "didnt recieve the same amount of training as full time grunts". We drilled every month (although it was mostly blanks) where as your full time guys seemed to only touch their weapons once or twice a year.

We trained using AR15's that were 'retired' field issue from Viet Nam and they were what you would expect.

Ditto our armory was a time capsule. Rack after rack of M16A1's, and 40 year old M60's with shot out barrels. I always had to wonder if the rifle I was carrying was the same rifle carried by my Uncle in Nam. Hell I never touched an M4, A2, or SAW untill we were deployed. Its not so much that the Military as a whole is anti-gun, alot of posters here are either current or former military. I think its all about covering their ***. Think about it when a rape happens in Detroit it stays in the local Detroit media, when a rape happens on a military base its world news. Now imagine Private Pyle snapping one day and shooting up the Officers Mess with his issue. Its all about CYA not personal feelings IMO.

December 27, 2006, 10:46 AM
Think this was bad? Wait until Nancy Pelosi begins reviewing promotion jackets and begins 'helping' the pentagon with policy decisions.

Speaker of the House has nothing to do with military promotions. Senior level promotions are selected by senior military boards, the SECDEF, and the President.

Eleven Mike
December 27, 2006, 10:48 AM
We drilled every month (although it was mostly blanks) where as your full time guys seemed to only touch their weapons once or twice a year.Maybe you're getting the wrong impression. I don't know who pulled the trigger more often, but we went to the field several times per year. These usually lasted about a week, during which time we had weapons at all times, slept with them, carried them at all times, and so forth. We put on the laser-tag gear and loaded up with blanks about twice a year, I think. It was only the live ammo that was uncommon. We did sometimes clear trenches with live ammo, I think. It's been a few years now, so I might be a little fuzzy. Unfortunately, in a mechanized unit, shooting the big guns on the tracks sometimes crowded out the training on personal weapons.

December 27, 2006, 11:04 AM
If we want a military made up of adults, we need to make several changes.

I believe that a private enlisting should start off making $30k. Barracks need to be done away with and converted to apartments. Make it like the real world. Pay single soldiers the same as married soldiers. If you are a single soldier, you get the choice of renting a barracks room or getting an apartment off base. Why should a single e4 have to share a room with another e4 while a married private gets housing allowance and can have his own off base apartment? Even when I was in Bosnia with separate rations, hazardous duty pay and no federal taxes taken out, I still only made less than $1600 a month. I can make half that in a week now working a little overtime in a factory now. I'll make $48k this year. I know when I'm going to work and when I'm leaving. My boss doesn't come to my house to make sure that I'm up and at work on time. It's the real world. I'm an adult and am expected to do my job. If not, I get fired. No babysitting and coddling out here.

I got married while on leave pcs'ing from Germany to Fort Carson. I took home about $1700-1800 a month then. Quality of life was a huge improvement living off base in my own apartment. I didn't have to worry about my squad leader coming to my house to inspect my quarters. I had a 123 GT score so I qualified for every open mos at reenlistment. I was ordered by my sergeant major to go to reenlistment to talk to them. I was forced to answer to all the higher ups as to why I didn't want to reenlist. I never knew how good of a soldier I was until my reenlistment window came up. I took 36 days of terminal leave and left Carson eary. All of my superiors were aware of that and yet they still couldn't get my ets award out to me on time. I had to call my E7 a couple of times to ask about it. I was in the Battalion S3 shop as the Battalion Commanders humvee driver. I finally called the S3 himself and I finally got my award. Somehow I wasn't such a good soldier after I got out.

Officers and NCO's are rated on their OER's and NOCOER's by reenlistment. Do they think that soldiers are that stupid that they can't see through their "interest" in getting soldiers to reup? If Officers and Soldiers would actually lead instead of punishing all soldiers with blanket policy, then maybe the reup numbers will come into their own.

December 27, 2006, 11:07 AM
11M, what units were you in and when? I was 11M from Sept. 95 - March 99 I was stationed in Vilseck, Germany and Ft. Carson. I went to 2/58 at Benning.

December 27, 2006, 11:07 AM
Eleven Mike like I said most of our "gun time" was spent with MILES gear, but this was on a regular monthly basis. My observations impressed on me to believe full time enlistees didnt quite do as much combat training after basic. Perhaps I am wrong but I was merely pointing out the irony of media criticism that we were somehow unprepared in comparison of regular forces.

December 27, 2006, 11:17 AM
I think the heavy regulation of firearms on militiary bases has a lot to do with fear of fragging incidents. For those unfamiliar with the word "fragging," it is slang expression for the intentional murder of officers. In war zones it happens all the time. Just EXACTLY how often is open to conjecture. Had an enlightening conversation a few weeks ago with a WW2 veteran of the Philippines campaign (1944-45) on this very topic.

December 27, 2006, 11:24 AM
hard*** nco's and officers tend to lighten up a bit when their soldiers have live ammo. When I was in Bosnia, we were issued 210 rounds. We had to empty our mags once a week and have our squad leader count every single round. I would hope they aren't doing this to the soldiers in Iraq.

Eleven Mike
December 27, 2006, 11:26 AM
11M, what units were you in and when? I was 11M from Sept. 95 - March 99 I was stationed in Vilseck, Germany and Ft. Carson. I went to 2/58 at Benning.Dude, I was in a top-secret, super-ranger sniper unit!!!!111. We were totally elite and we all carried MP5es, dude!!!!1111 Awsome. :D

December 27, 2006, 11:53 AM
11M, okay. That added what? I see that after you left the Army, you joined the grammar police. I bow before your wisdom.

December 27, 2006, 12:10 PM
11M's grammar Nazi skills would make him an excellent Navy XO.

Who cares if you can lead and fight, as long as the paperwork looks right.

December 27, 2006, 12:16 PM
Guys, the average grunt just ain't that bright. And more often than not, testeosterone is what fuels any brain function which occurs. I _would not_ want to have loaded firearms present in the average barracks.

Or those big ugly knives, for that matter... Saw a coupla guys slice each other to ribbons with those little swiss army knives that they'd let us have... They were trying very hard to inflict good slashing wounds on each other, and succeeding...

December 27, 2006, 12:30 PM
Army Infantry here, by way of the New Hampshire National Guard. I would say that 75% of my company is very pro-gun, shoots on their own time, and understands the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment. I don't know about the other 25% because I haven't talked to that portion yet.

I can't speak for the on-base mentalilty, but I suspect the National Guard is always going to have a higher percentage of "true believers," especially in states where you can go home after drill and pull out your own AR-15, 92FS, et cetera.

Eleven Mike
December 27, 2006, 12:37 PM
Guys, the average grunt just ain't that bright. Nonsense. I've met quite a few that weren't so well-educated. Most weren't interested in being egg-head geeks. But most were fairly intelligent.

11M's grammar Nazi skills would make him an excellent Navy XO. That hurts. Navy and an officer? That hurts, man.

Hornady, did you think I was picking on your grammar? Sorry, I was just being silly. But if you were just calling me a grammar-NAZI because I am one, that's fine. It just means I'm smarter than you.:neener:

December 27, 2006, 12:40 PM
Grammar nazi-ism is one of the reasons I will never make it past LCDR. Heck, making LCDR is debateable.

FWIW, the Navy is just as bad, if not worse than the Army about having guns in my experience.

December 27, 2006, 12:46 PM
What's even more paradoxical is that the liberals hate the military

Always someone from the "party of personal responsibility" who manages to blame everything on the liberals.

Well, my liberal family has served in numerous capacities. Must be their fault.


December 27, 2006, 12:49 PM
Guys, scoring well on the ASVAB (or whatever they call it today...) was NOT a prereq for being an 11bangbang... Yeah, you get a few intelligent infantry folks, and a lot of people from the other end of the spectrum.

Yeah, there are high-speed, low-drag, ubertactical folks out there... But, quite frankly, the average NCO's biggest worry involves his people doing dumb stuff.

Eleven Mike
December 27, 2006, 12:55 PM
So, because a high ASVAB is not required, grunts must be dumb? Because young people tend to do foolish things, then grunts must be dumb?

Kali Endgame
December 27, 2006, 12:58 PM
IMHO the access to alcohol is one of the reasons the US Military is so strict on firearms regulations on base. Most of the fights were alcohol fueled altercations. We had a person in our unit smuggle a gun into the barracks and shoot another person(his friend). It is hard to treatneverkeepkeep when you are blowing a .29 BAC. The shooting was an accident but left the unit without two members. One in the Brig and one recovering from a serious gunshot wound.

December 27, 2006, 01:01 PM
So, because a high ASVAB is not required, grunts must be dumb? Because young people tend to do foolish things, then grunts must be dumb?

Because the true dummies aren't filtered out, some grunts are dumb.
Because young people tend to do dumb things, and grunts tend to be young, some usually smart grunts do some incredibly dumb things.

And because the 'military life' goes home with them, and the urge to not have something happen, etc... Rules tend to be passed over everyone over the dumb actions of a few.

edit: Oh yeah. I imagine that it's like the AF. Those with higher ASVAB's tend to be prodded towards more intellectual career fields, thus leaving mostly the 'dregs' for 'grunt' career fields.

December 27, 2006, 01:11 PM
11M, I guess you were too much of a snob to answer my question? What units and what time were you in?

I had a 123 GT and I knew several grunts who had higher than that. One would think that the dumb ones wouldn't have a whole lot of ambition, so why would they want to join the infantry when it requires a lot of physical work? Doesn't take a whole lot of brain cells to turn a wrench by army standards.

11M, you'll like this one even more. My mother was an English teacher. When you aren't in an environment that immerses you in proper grammar, you tend to lose it. I work with industrial maintenance guys who can't spell maintenance. I don't see how a smart*** comment that adds nothing to the discussion and bashes another poster makes you seem any more intelligent. More snobbish, but not more intelligent.

Chuck R.
December 27, 2006, 01:32 PM

Not everybody gets painted with the same brush, and generally folks get what they earn. Unfortunately during the draw down after Desert Storm, we did get rid of quite a few soldiers for minor infractions, but we had to. We also lost a whole bunch of good officers and NCOs during that time for the same reasons. As my BN CDR told me once, some will have to go, and some of those really are the good ones. At that time, those minor infractions were viewed as discriminators. The citizens of this country wanted a “peace dividend” and that meant a smaller Army.

Sometimes folks confuse the normal regime as getting screwed with. The military isn’t a club and there’s a whole bunch of “stuff” that seems pretty chicken chit, but is a part of a climate of good order and discipline. I’ve been in really good units and some bad ones. You can usually spot the indicators for a bad one in a couple of days and it’s sometimes how all the chicken chit stacks up. I've also investigated serious incidents in other units and the tell tale signs were there.

As for the married soldiers getting different treatment, I agree, but some of it was do to legal constraints. Off post folks are protected to a degree by constitutionality that does not apply on post. I couldn’t search a quarters off post without probable cause and a warrant. It’s that plain and simple. It’s not fair, but it’s part of being in the military, you lose some of the rights you’re there to protect. I had a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for my soldiers and if that meant Health & Welfares, than that’s what we did. The same went for urinalysis, smoking a couple joints or doing a couple lines is no big deal on the outside, for the military it’s terminal. To tell you the truth, I was more concerned about a couple of my “all-stars” getting liquored up and playing with their knives, numchucks (sp), bats, and or guns in the barracks.

As far as driving folks out of the military, there are some folks that just aren’t cut out to be in the military in the first place. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just the way they are. The good ones realized it wasn’t for them, did their duty, and ETS or resigned and got on with life. The bad ones became a real PITA, and ended up being chaptered sooner or later.

When it comes to more money, it’s basic economics, law of supply and demand. Privates get paid X $$$ because that’s the magic number that equals Y number of privates, same for 2LTs, same for LTCs and the same for Generals.

As for me, I was enlisted 78-82 made E-5 and got out to see the outside. Joined the Guard, went to college, ran out of money and the ROTC folks caught me. Next thing I know I’m an old 2LT in the Field Artillery. I figured I’d do another 4 years, pay of my debt and move on (again).

I retired in 05.


December 27, 2006, 01:34 PM
When I took the ASVAB (pre 9-11) I was at the marine recruiter's office, but the AF Army and NAVY were all next door. I scored above average (Not to gloat) and the Marine called all the other officers over. The AF marines and Navy were all but pissing themselves trying to get me talking about all the jobs I could do (medical, engineer, etc.) The army guy was buzy with someone so he didn't stick around. I had an AA degree and so they were pushing for me to get in the OTC in college so I'd go in as an officer. They were doing everything in their power to discourage me from wanting any grunt jobs. My buddy took the ASVAB several times to get a decent score, he went into Marine Infantry because that's all he could score into.

Anyway, due to a hereditary back condition, I won't be able to serve my country in that manner. So, I'm planning to work as a civilain for the Army Corp of Engineers upon graduation, atleast I can serve my country in that light.

December 27, 2006, 01:51 PM
In our base, a spent 22 shell can get you in heaps of trouble according to the regs. Possession of a grip panel from a 1911 is also bad news.

December 27, 2006, 01:53 PM
I agree with the tone of the thread.
In Basic and AIT we were all gung-ho and ready to go. Going to hit all the Hooah schools and get good training.
Then you get to your unit. Realize you are just another soldier on the line. Pulling some ridiculous detail or another. Sweeping the motorpool, mowing the grass, polishing the floors at Division HQ, yup I did that. I know it has to get done but...I'll sum it up this way.

I can only speak for my Army experience. Soldiering is 90 percent drudgery and 10 percent "the cool stuff".

Yes, if you are E4 or lower, you are treated like a child. If you had a privately owned weapon it had to be locked up in the armory. Anyone remember contraband amnesty, health and welfare inspections?
Hardly any of us had any desire to pursue weaponry any further. You eventually just look at it like a job. An unusual job, but still a job that you look forward to time off when you can get it.

Eleven Mike
December 27, 2006, 03:05 PM
hornady, I don't know who you thought I was bashing, unless it's the sort of people who pretend to be in elite units. Since no one in this thread is doing that, I didn't think I'd anger you or anyone else. I don't recall seeing any grammatical errors in your comments. Did I pick on you some other time?

As far as my service record, I'd prefer not to get into it. In hindsight, I should have just let your question go unanswered. I just thought I would have a little fun. Sorry if you misunderstood me. Since you must know, I was in the First Cav, Fort Hood, Texas.


My ASVAB was 130, or whatever the highest score happened to be. I don't recall being pushed toward any other MOS, although I think they did ask me about it.

December 27, 2006, 04:35 PM
Speaker of the House has nothing to do with military promotions. Senior level promotions are selected by senior military boards, the SECDEF, and the President

The House doesn't have any say, but I believe all field grade promotions get approved by the Senate. It's pretty much a formality for 0-6 and below, but General Officer promotions do get scruntinzed and occasionally withdrawn if a Senator takes issue with the person. John McCain was able to hold up G.O. promotions in the AF for quite awhile due to his dislke for what he AF did on the Boeing tanker deal.

December 27, 2006, 04:43 PM

I took your smart*** response with the terrible grammar to be a poke at my post. I was just curious if we had ever crossed paths. That's all. Not trying to fly my black helicopter over your house to spy on you.

December 27, 2006, 04:46 PM
All my friends are military and they love guns. Heck everytime we go to the gunshop and i'm looking at something, they are always pointing at the AR-15's or the AK47's and telling me to purchase it unless you meant the military in general?

December 27, 2006, 04:58 PM
Chuck R.

I got a company grade article 15 while I was in Bosnia. My charge was disrespect to a non commissioned officer. What happened was I was on my way back from chow when I asked the corporal who was ncoic of the toc at the time, if I had gotten any mail. I hadn't gotten any for awhile and anybody who has ever been deployed knows mail is important. I was engaged at the time and was getting letters regularly from my fiancee. He told me I had gotten 4 or 5 letters. He was on his way to chow so I left it at that. I got back to my tent. I shared a tent with an E5 that was getting ready to go on the night shift at the TOC. I nonchalantly told him, "Hey Sergeant, go to the TOC and get my mail", with no attitude that I was ordering him to go do it. He was still in his underwear and getting dressed. I realized he wasn't going to go running out and get it right then. He kept telling me that I didn't get any mail, he'd already checked. The way I saw it was he was antagonizing me about it. I lost my cool and another E5 overheard it and ran to the acting first sergeant and ratted me out. I got my article 15. The E5 that I was arguing with didn't have the balls to tell the CO what really happened.

When we got back to Germany, almost everyone got put in for an award. I was told I couldn't get one because of my article 15. Meanwhile, a guy gets busted shoplifting at the px after we get back and is pending a field grade article 15 and they give him an award for Bosnia.

In my unit of 100 or so guys, at least 14 got an article 15 in the lead up and while deployed to Bosnia. Some got more than one. Doesn't that show a breakdown of morale in a unit? My CO was only interested in his OER.

Blanket policy for all soldiers is piss poor and lazy leadership. If a squad leader isn't able to determine a correct course of action for an infraction, then they shouldn't be in leadership.

I did 4 years in the Guard after I got out of active duty. Who could have thought that leadership could have gotten any worse? It did in the Guard, trust me. I had an E5 who couldn't hold a job managing a convience store and had to have people drive him to drill.

December 27, 2006, 08:26 PM
The military in and of itself is not Anti-Gun. As has been mentioned most restrictions are for base security. It realy comes down to who the comanding officer is and what his or her political ambitions are. When I was in the Navy I was stationed on board the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN CVN-72 Home ported @ NAS. Alameda.CA. '91-"95. In '91 all personal firearms had to be stored at the BASE ARMORY, no personal firearms were alowed on board ship. This was a hasel, but understandable. In '94 we got a new C.O. @ NAS. Alameda and he was so Anti-Gun the first standing order he gave was that no personal firearms could be kept on base at all. I was just begining my 90 day's term. leave and was packed up and on my way, so it did'ent impact me. I think it was chalenged in milatary court and either overturned or the new CO. balked and recinded the order, I think it was a combination of the two.

December 27, 2006, 08:31 PM
anybody ever notice how sh. draws flies?


December 27, 2006, 08:45 PM
AKusp, What are you talking about?

December 27, 2006, 08:55 PM
Sorry, I let a certain poster distract me. IMO the military isn't anti gun. Some military commanders probably are. Recently here in Alaska, a Commander ordered that his troops would not be allowed to carry concealed weapons off post as is permitted by our state law. Of course that Commander may have concerns that have nothing to do with being "anti gun".


December 27, 2006, 09:28 PM
Akusp, I understand.

December 27, 2006, 09:29 PM
I was in the Army, 12B combat engrs, in '74 - '78. and yeah I felt like I was treated like a kid quite often. We shot our Mi16's maybe twice a year. the CO and 1st SGT didn't care that we could shoot that well. I didn't think that the Army was anti-gun, they just didn't seem that pro-gun either. I had a couple of pistols I had to keep in the armory, and had to sign them out when I went shooting. I spent my last several months at Fort Ord, CA and really hated that. I danced in the street when I finally got out of the Army.
I scored a 146 GT, and never got any encouragement to go in a particular part of the Army.
Interesting to hear everyone's experiences while they were in.

December 27, 2006, 10:38 PM
When I tested, recruiters for each branch shared office space. I was looking to get out there and do something but hadn't made up my mind except that I didn't want join the AF. I had spent my life as an AF brat and knew I wanted something different. After looking at my scores the Navy offered me a choice between a nuclear program or advanced electronics. Neither the Army or Marines offered anything comparable. A younger brother tested very well too but wasn't offered much. It probably depends on the needs of the service at the time.

The guys that I knew that were interested in hunting and firearms left their stuff at home with family. The ship was your home. I don't know that anyone ever got comfortable enough with any Naval Station to call it home. Heck, we usually found the front gate and maybe the laundry the rest of the base was a mystery. Forget about finding an armory :)

I almost forgot...we did find the club too.

December 27, 2006, 11:36 PM
Odd mix.

In Basic (Lackland) we made two trips to the range. Day one: "This is an M16 rifle . . ." and they had us shoot off 60 rounds. This was our "practice" day. Day two: couple days later we're back at the range, shooting at silhouettes, going through another 60 rounds. Those of us with some boyhood experience shot expert. The rest were all over the place.

Two years later, on station in the UK, we had to requalify. All done. The only other contact we had with weapons was on post alert, when one of us would be issued an M16 and given a gate to guard.

There was never any inspection of barracks for weapons. I had a collection of antique swords, several pocket knives, and a few Gerber hunting knives I picked up at the BX in Germany.

We had some guys with truly exotic weapons. Oriental stuff, Philippine "cutlery," a few spears, an axe or two, several bayonets, the occasional bow & arrow. Never saw any firearms, though.

I was told at the range, when I requalified, that "we encourage all personnel" to practice regularly. First I'd ever heard of it. Best kept secret base policy.

We had an active Rod & Gun Club, but I was ignorant and stupid and it never occurred to me that someone in the military ought to be any good at shooting.

As far as "dummies" in the military, I noticed something that didn't really click until years later: I worked with some really bright guys -- in their "real life" specialities. These same guys were all over the board when they were on duty.

First class mechanic. Brilliant with wrenches. Put a set of overalls on him, stick a wrench in his hand, grease him up a bit, and the guy was a freakin' philosopher. Put him in his drabs and stick him in the comm center, and the guy was a zombie klutz. Same on the parade ground. Same on barracks inspections. It was like an "IQ attenuation" switch.

We had any number of those. We also had the "bright while on duty, dumb when off duty."

I use the term "impedance mismatch" to describe the "apparent stupidity" phenomenon.

There were VERY FEW airmen who actually grasped that the military framework was just a game, and who could function as well inside as outside. I was not one of those. I took it all very seriously, and it manifested as a kind of on-duty cluelessness. This despite top test scores and aptitude numbers. I was just a little too good at suspension of disbelief, and it made me contextually myopic. (I never grasped the politics of the military community.)

Now that I look back, I have to wonder why there wasn't more active encouragement of the troops to achieve levels of competence with weapons.

I mean, it is, after all, the MILITARY!?

December 27, 2006, 11:44 PM
Now that I look back, I have to wonder why there wasn't more active encouragement of the troops to achieve levels of competence with weapons.My experience was that the various and sundry command structures lived in abject fear of having to deal with masses of 18-26 year old males with access to intoxicating fluids and firearms. Since they couldn't regulate the liquor aspects (out of fear of an out-n-out revolt), they simply precluded access to any firearms as much as possible.

December 27, 2006, 11:53 PM
Akusp, I Know what you mean about not calling any naval air station home. When we were in port me and some of my friends from my Div. would rent an apt. in town. Anyone In my Div. that was into guns was a hunter and left there shotguns and rifles at home. I was the only one with a .45 Colt 1911. So when I was on duty or we got underway I stored it at the Base Armory, it was the most secure place for it.

Eleven Mike
December 28, 2006, 12:36 AM
There's quite a bit to combat units besides shooting, even for infantry. "Shoot, move and communicate" is the motto. Learning to move cross-country, in proper formation, keeping the right distance between elements, is crucial. Units must learn how to react to ambushes, or to sniper fire (run away!), how to assault through an objective, etc. There are also special situations like urban terrain, trenches, clearing obstacles. Learning to communicate with voice and radio is also important.

Then there are items like setting up assembly areas, the myriad tasks related to detecting and protecting against chemical agents, etc. Now, soldiers have nonsense briefings every few weeks, about race relations, sexism, sexual harassment, and so on.

Actual marksmanship gets lost in the mix.

December 28, 2006, 09:25 AM
To be honest after a while I stopped looking forward to trigger time and started to dread it. Hours spent detail striping weapons on a cold cement floor with a can of brake cleaner, and a tooth brush will do that to you. Could very well be why I waited so long to add an AR to my collection bad memories, hell I doubt you could give me a M60 based on that. 11M is right on his last post the bulk of our time out was spent practicing things like moving forward using cover fire (which was a guy behind you yelling bang....bang....bang no I'm not joking) walking in formation, setting up an ambush, reacting to an ambush, and so on. Actual live fire range time was a rare event. In the end tactics are more important than individual marksmanship.

Eleven Mike
December 28, 2006, 09:36 AM
Glockfan, you must have been in first Cav, too. That mirrors my experience pretty closely, except for the brake-cleaner. :) I think it does inhibit professionalism when you're laying there with an empty M16 or M249 and chanting "bang" in 3-shot bursts. Cap guns would have been better.

December 28, 2006, 09:43 AM
11M yeah they would send us down to the auto parts store to buy out their brake cleaner, WD40, and shop rags each month. The saddest thing though was when we were told they were low on blanks so when we ran out we were to shake our guns and yell bang (to those not familiar MILES gear works off recoil so a good hard shake would trick the unit into firing). Well that and guys taking cover behind bushes :uhoh: . Oh and how could I forget our CO suggesting we buy our own mags, since they didnt have many 30 rounders in stock they seemed to grow legs and walk away (this was during the AWB). Ah the dark days of Clinton, perhaps things are better now.

December 28, 2006, 10:23 AM
IMHO Command in Alaska is overstepping their bounds by denying RBKA to soldiers in Alaska. That is the Second Amendment Period.
It's also a shame that the over 90% of the NCO's don't develop soldiers like they are supposed to with positive counseling as well as negative counseling. Does a soldier wrong. Doesn't get worthy soldiers promoted and gets unworthy soldiers promoted. Dirtbags who should get kicked out don't because leadership's lack of discipline to follow through with timely and effective counseling. It's our Army and we have to police it.
Positive leadership develops great leaders.

December 28, 2006, 12:21 PM
1)I don't think that the military is anti-gun, just pro-cya.

2)I agree that lower enlisted get treated like children and while that is unfair to some, it is neccessary for many. When my "super troops" question me about it (which is rare since I try to treat my Joes as individuals to the best of my abilities) I explain to them that sometimes I have to cater to the lowest common denominator like it or not, and the best course of action is to excel and get promoted to SGT.

3)The way we handle promotions now is part of the problem. Instead of allowing me to reccomend the best soldiers for promotion I have to justify not promoting somebody. The problem with this method is that anybody that manages to keep their nose clean, regardless of leadership ability, gets promoted. This makes for some piss poor NCOs.

4)hornady, I realize that you had some poor experiences with the military and I'm sorry for that. While I respect your opinion about the NCO corps being a hinderance to the development of the military I must respectfully disagree with you.

If you have ever seen an Army without an NCO corps (i.e. Russia) then you would know that our system is vastly superior. When you don't have proffesional NCO's then ALL leadership is handled by officers, most of whom were never enlisted. Remember what you said about "when I was a private I did it, now you're the private so you do it, when you're an NCO you will supervise as I'm doing now" (not you're exact words, but that the way it works. In an Army with no proffesional NCO corps it goes like this "I'm an officer and have never done what I'm telling you to do now (and probably couldn't do it if I had to), and your chances of getting to become an officer like me are virtually non-existent, now get to work."

Morale in this situation is always terrible, while moral in our Army is often (but not always) dependent on the individual unit leadership. Good leaders = high morale, bad leaders = low morale. And leadership changes every few years so if your platoon SGT, 1SG, or CO are terrible, chances are they are leaving soon and hopefully the next one will be better. This is why almost every Army in the world that has no NCO corps comes to us to learn to build one.

4) The Army now has a philosophy similar to the Marines "Every man a rifleman." It's called the Warrior Ethos and it is within the Soldiers creed.

I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.

Within this framework we are pushing the concept that every soldiers secondary MOS is 11B. It is new so it will take a while to become institutionalized, but it will happen eventually. You can see it already with the advent of monthly realistic hand to hand combat training down to the company level and an increased emphasis on weapons proficiency.

December 28, 2006, 02:15 PM
When I got out of the army in 2001 I was a SGT. I can say that I could shoot the hell out of a tank. The M1A1 is on bad MOFO and I was a pretty good gunner. Now the M16 and the 9mm was another thing. The army showed me how to field strip, cleaning,assemble, and the basics...and I mean the basics of shooting both. They tell you from the range tower, Lock your slide to the rear, insert your magzine, release your slide.....ect. But did they ever show me how to do a combat Did they ever show me how to shoot and walk at the same They give you the basics and thats it. Of course I can only speak on the armor side of the house maybe the crunchies get alot better training on personal weapons.:neener:

December 28, 2006, 02:35 PM
This is a great topic for I work as an armed security officer at a major chain hotel in the SouthEast US. I deal with many tourists who ask me about my state's security regulations reguarding weapons and my duty sidearm. I do not mind strange looks or questions by non-military guests but I'm not thrilled by some of the active duty service members and/or veterans that act the same way. About 2 months ago I dealt with 2 USMC members that got bent out of shape by my working armed at the hotel. Another active duty US Army member from FT Gordon GA made snide remarks to me and other hotel employees. As a US Army veteran I do not really understand why US military service members or their family act this way. Weapons are a part of most training. Just seeing someone carrying a firearm does not mean that person is dangerous unstable or untrained. :banghead:

Rather than looking sideways at an armed security guard or officer these armed forces members should first ask what type of licenses or training the person has. Or better yet understand gun laws and or know a state's firearm related statues before making any comments. ;)

Rusty S

December 28, 2006, 08:54 PM
11M and Glock45, you brought back some big time memories. I remember sitting on top of my foxhole laughing and tapping my miles laser at a Spanish mech infantry unit as they did the I'm up, he sees me, he sees me, he sees me, he sees me, I'm down manuevers in Spain. I spent 2 weeks in the Ukraine for Peace Shield 96 with 8 other foreign militarys and the Russians were one of them. Who would ever have thought that in 1996 that American soldiers would be drinking vodka with Russian soldiers. That was a great time.

I just bought an AR. I always said I would never get one after using a paperclip to clean out the roll pin on the front sight post. That is how anal our nco's were.

I do realize that it takes people to change the Army for the better but I knew I would die of hypertension before I would ever see the change. That is why I got out.

Blacksuit, you were probably the DAT that kept shutting your tanks off so that us grunts couldn't warm up and dry out. Ha!

December 28, 2006, 09:17 PM
11M and Glock45,

Have you ever "accidentally" lost entire saw drums full of blanks or your m16 keep "jamming" because you didn't want to have to clean all the carbon out of your weapon?

Ever do mout training at Ft. Knox at their "high speed" mout site with opfor who wear boonie hats with no miles halo who stick their entire head and neck over the wall? You fire 100 rounds at them 100 meters away and the OC's refuse to asses casualties to the opfor?\

As far as I was concerned, the "pow, pow, pow" method was just as affective as blanks and miles and it made for a whole lot less work when you got back to the rear.

In the guard, they always wanted us to walk in the woods when it was pitch black with no nods, never seeming to care that most of us had jobs to go to on Monday. Kind of hard to do if you break an ankle walking through the woods when there was absolutely no training value in it.

December 29, 2006, 06:57 AM
hornadyln, Never lost a SAW drum but then our armory didnt have SAWS at the time. I do recall spending one night running around the woods looking for an A1 with a M203 launcher that some absent minded fool left leaning against a tree. Another time I got home Sunday night and discovered a belt of live 7.62 that I forgot was in my LBV :uhoh: . Oh and a few 20 round mags that found their way home once by mistake. Our M16s always jammed like I said they were 35 year old A1s ;) . Opfor was always a bunch of local ROTC, as you can imagine they never had a chance :evil: . Sorry if this thread is drifting but now I am getting to some fond memories. Honestly I would consider another term but I have already had my *** in the sand once. Now I got the wife, kids, job thing going so leaving them behind isnt a attractive option.

December 29, 2006, 08:34 AM
Strange... I didnt have some of the anti-gun experiences you all seem to have had. Weapons, marksmanship, and training were expected and utilized.

I was 0311 USMC Infantry. I spent most of my time carrying the M249 SAW, and qualified with it as well as the M16A2 it seemed like every month or so. I spent so much time with a weapon in my hand I could practically BZO in my sleep. I had virtually no interest in weapons because I was essentially forced every waking moment to clean, fire, clean a few more times, clean someone else's weapon, clean my own again, possibly fire again. Back in the barracks, almost everyone who could afford it, usually E-2 and up, had a firearm or two in their storage lockers. My company basically depleted stores for miles around of WASR-10s and AK's and whatever else caught their fancy. The only time our unit ever even got annoyed was when they found one Corporal with 7-9 firearms, loaded, in his wall locker. Other than that, I cannot imagine our unit being in any way anti-gun. As for knives, there seemed to be an unwritten competition for who could strap the wierdest, most tacticool knife to their gear, and nobody really blinked at blade length as long as you werent dragging a 3' saber around.

That said, there were the infrequent alcohol-fueled brawls, some with weapons, but all that I can remember were of the threat-variety, and not actual attempts at physical assault.

Also, im a grunt, but at the same time, I put the average grammar Nazi to shame.;)

December 29, 2006, 10:18 AM
I retired from the Marines in '99.

Speaking from my experience only in the Marine Corps, the military is NOT anti-gun. The Marines ARE totally anal about regulations and covering one's six.

Folks in the grunts are also totally non-conformist about many regulations that they percieve as stupid. Once you step off of the pavement and "go tactical", there's an entirely different mindset and culture toward everybody "back in the rear". "Back in the rear" would mean anybody who's more than a click behind you, or anybody who might be under the shelter of a GP tent. The guys in a fire team generally look upon the company 1stSgt as being totally out of touch with reality since he generally rides in a hummer and doesn't share exactly the same existence as every rudipoo PFC.

The Marines spend a lot of mental energy "idiot proofing" every situation to the nth degree. It's no stretch of the imagination to figure out that a bunch of testerone-pumped Rambos should probably not be left with weapons and ammunition in the barracks. Those .029 BAC guys are living in an alternate universe, and there's no telling what might happen. That's not to portray a picture that all Marines are drunken idiots, but all of us have been at one time or another.

BTW, JonB, all officer promotions in the military above 03 require confirmation by the U. S. Senate. There have been many occurances of individual officers being stricken from a promotion list in the Senate for political reasons. During the Tailhook Scandal, all Navy and Marine Officer promotions were held up by the Senate until each Officer selected for promotion was cleared of any possible involvement. That's one reason why a CO's pucker factor will skyrocket whenever there's "Congressional Interest" in one of the members of his command.

December 29, 2006, 10:43 AM
Camp Pendleton isn't anti-gun: We have a Trap/Skeet/Sproting Clays range, weekend Pistol range for everyone, and the rifle ranges get used on the weekends by the CMP for matches and practice, we also have a small archery range and a couple of paint ball ranges. There's a sporting goods store on base that sells guns.

Even in the Peoples Republic of Communist **********, we aren't anti-gun. For my "assult weapons permit" I did my finger print cards through the MP's.

Here's the issue, people liveing in the barraks are not allowed to have weapons or ammo in thier rooms. Technically you aren't supposed to have a knife with a fixed blade bigger than 3 or 4 inches in your possession. Putting civilian weapons into the armory require CO's permission and to get them out for the weekend requires CO's permission... why the CO's premission, because once your firearm enters the armory, he becomes responsible for it's location, not if it's damaged, just as to it's location, so your Remmy 700 & 870 just became as important to the CO as to the rest of his weapons, (ie M16, M9, M249, M240, M2, MK19, DMR) and you're personal weapons while in the armory are part of the sight count daily, we're strict on weapons control and custody. I know several of the guys that live in the barraks just keep thier firearms at one of thier friends houses that lives in base houseing or off base, so that they have access to thier guns a little easier.

Like Moondoggie said, "That's not to portray a picture that all Marines are drunken idiots, but all of us have been at one time or another." I lived in the barraks for the first 4 years of my time in the Corps, there's no place for weapons there of any kind there, we'd get drunk and beat the crap out of each other for fun, the big trouble came when we'd go to other units barraks and beat the crap out of them, there were some pretty heated nights were knifes and broken beer bottles came out.

Eleven Mike
December 29, 2006, 11:35 AM
As for knives, there seemed to be an unwritten competition for who could strap the wierdest, most tacticool knife to their gear, and nobody really blinked at blade length as long as you werent dragging a 3' saber around.Only for dress uniform, right?

December 29, 2006, 05:47 PM
I believe the Army is anti gun. I have worked with any number of active duty Military Officers. Individually they are interested in things that go bang, but institutionally they are not. The Cold war officer is profoundly anti gun. I have been lectured by Majors, LTC’s that skills with a firearm are irrelevant. “We have machine guns, mortars, tanks, nuclear bombs by God!, what is a guy with a rifle going to do?!”. This was of course pre Iraqi, but it reflects that attitude of the Army since the 1970’s.

One gentleman I worked with, a retired LTC and fervent gun nut, used to teach Statistics at West Point. For those who do not know, West Point is the Holiest of Holies in the Army. It took him seven years to get the Officers Pistol range opened up. Apparently West Point had a personal pistol range that Officer’s or maybe Officer Candidates could go and shoot their personal pistol, and it had been closed down for years. May be closed again. But the frustrating thing for him was at West Point, the Holiest of Holies and the font of all Army doctrine, it was an oxymoron that an officer needed to be familiar with a firearm.

My friend thinks the down turn was when officers began to be issued firearms. There was a time when an Officer, like Patton, chose his sidearm, got to use it, some became familiar with it. But when the pistols were issued, if you lost it, your career was ended. So Officers stopped carrying sidearms, and in time, the thought of an Officer wanting to carry a sidearm was considered, what’s the term?, something like wearing white socks with green trousers, a social blunder perhaps?

It is my considered opinion that what has happened is a combination of attitudes, one that an officer is not a warrior but a “manager”. Also cost cutting created the cult of technology. That is technology will replace basic skills, therefore there is no need to get primitive with nasty weapons. Also, the fact that familiarization with firearms requires practice, practice that takes time away from painting rocks or marching in formation, practice that wears out weapons and consumes expensive ammunition. All of which require money, which is not available in peace time. Clever guys get promoted for saving money; the institution has been saturated with the idea that “today’s combat doctrine has reduced the need for firearms training”. Once the mid set is there, it does not take long for the institution to become antigun.

We will see if the current generation of junior officers coming out of Iraqi will make a dent in the anti gun institutional attitudes that are practiced by the Cold War Officer core. It may take a generation or two, and then cost cutting will bring it anti gun back.

Eleven Mike
December 29, 2006, 06:12 PM
The first pistol I ever fired was a Sig, the private property of my Platoon Leader. He was my platoon's lieutanent. Is that what they're called? Platoon Leader? Anyway, I was firing my personally-owned rifle at a civilian range, and he happened to come by with his Sig.

By the way, I kept my guns at an off-base storage locker that I rented. In the barracks, guns had to be registered and kept in the arms room. It was not worth the hassle.

December 29, 2006, 07:35 PM
-Blacksuit, you were probably the DAT that kept shutting your tanks off so that us grunts couldn't warm up and dry out. Ha!

LOL I wouldn't shut them off if you had something to trade...loll I never minded letting the fellas dry off and warm up.:)

December 29, 2006, 08:32 PM

I know those suckers sure could put out some heat. Hey, do you know the difference between a tank and a vacuum cleaner? The tank holds 4 dirt bags!!!!!:neener: :rolleyes: :neener: :evil: :p :p :D

Please tell me that you actually got off the tank to use the latrine. I'd heard of several tankers that would traverse the turret and sit on the gun barrel.:eek:

December 30, 2006, 12:11 AM
Obvious the military is not anti-gun, if it was then it would be a pretty useless military. :rolleyes:

I do believe that the military is like a microcosim of society. It is a very diviverse like American society, there are going to be people that don't believe in the RKBA. Many of them might be in positions of power who will enact restrictive measures based on their own fears. On a side not some of the most anti-people I know severed in the military, for sometime and gained high ranks.

December 30, 2006, 02:20 PM
While I was on active duty in CONUS(FT Lee Virginia-91/93:military police) we had a MP/E-9 SGT Major who as post SGT Major set up a free shooting range for use of "private weapons". I never used it myself but would have if I had firearms/time.

Really I think this E-9 just wanted a safe/free place to bust caps, ;) .

I'd hope more active duty US military NCOs/commissioned officers would be so "enlighted".

Rusty S

Gaucho Gringo
December 30, 2006, 03:58 PM
Years ago I read an idea that I think is very applicable to the military even today. We need two versions of the military, one for peacetime made up of polite pencil pushers and PR types and one for wartime the mean sob go to it guys like Patton and such. Ever notice how some of the most decorated soldiers in combat are also the scewups when it comes to rules and regulations in the military. As far as fights between soldiers historically untill WWII officers stayed stayed out of them and let them solve their differences between themselves. If somebody got killed then the other party got charged.

December 30, 2006, 04:05 PM
Gaucho is on to something. Nowadays, officer promotions, and enlisted in the senior ranks are more on how they look on paper, over how good of a warfighter or skill within their specialty.

Not to be contrary to good order and discipline, but, who would you rather have with you when the crap hits the fan?

1- The guy who always has every reg memorized, never has been in any trouble, but can hardly qualify with his weapon, and is not very "aggressive".

2- The guy who has been in a little trouble (I'm talking MINOR stuff, maybe a barfight in port, not trying to frag a superior), is an expert with his weapon or equipment, and has the "warrior mindset". Not the written on paper to be memorized ethos memorized, but the real-deal.

Guy #1 is far more likely to be promoted, as long as he has the minimum required competency in his job.

Guy #2 is who I would want as my door gunner or wingman. (or on my fire team, etc)

Just my $.02

December 30, 2006, 04:10 PM
Weapons training in the active duty does suck , while stationed in Weisbaden AB 85'-88' I may have touched my asigned weapon TWICE . Since I was the airfields primary NAVAIDS tech I never went to the field . During qualifications I would just show up at the range and use a friends weapon shot qualifiy (perfect score every time :) ) . The reason I could do this was because I grew up with guns and was taught by my grandfather (a WW2 first wave Omaha beach survivor ) Most military members at that time I wouldn't trust with a broken slingshot . And believe me the military looked at it the same way , for example during the Libyian bombing crisis I can remember being on guard duty on the runway with my M16 (borrowed from the pervious unit member who was on duty before me) with a empty magazine . Of course I have a loaded one in my BDU pants cargo pocket :uhoh: (seems the local Rod n Gun had a run on all of its 223Rem ammo the week before ) Now on the other hand I was IRR 88'-93' in Germany training was plentiful . The people who were also IRR members were VERY progun knowledgable and most of us had or own AR15s or used Ruger Mini-14s .

December 30, 2006, 04:41 PM
Just finished reading an article concerning a proposal to remove Napoleonic military drill from all mliitary training. I had never thought about it before, but the average soldier, sailor or (especially) Marine spends weeks and weeks learning to march. Think if that time was spent on hand to hand and basic combat skills instead. Is there really a drastic need for marching and passes in review?

December 30, 2006, 05:09 PM
That is more done as a discipline building exercise now. As to it's practical purpose, not so much.

But, learning what a "prepatory command" and a "command of execution" are is important.

December 30, 2006, 06:50 PM
Soldiers must be baby-sat. When a commander is responsible for all the actions of 18-year-old beer drinking beavises and buttheads, It doesn't matter if 999 of them are normal, the final one is a moron who will mix gunpowder with budweiser. Therefore, soldiers never get the benefit of the doubt, and are never allowed to handle their own weapons as free men are. This subsequently engenders a culture of complacency and carelessness, because soldiers are never expected to actually handle hot weapons. They the get deployed to a war, and start blowing toes off. We are trusted to keep and bear arms, soldiers aren't. They are there to preserve democracy, not practice it.

Weapons training takes time and money. Every time an armorer lets a weapon out of the arms room, he has to insist that the operator maintains it correctly. If he doesn't, it means more scrubbing and paperwork for him. Letting weapons go out becomes an all day project, especially if it's more than one.

I didn't even qualify with a rifle in basic. I was an armor crewman, and our primary weapons are pistols. When I got to Germany, I asked my sergeant when I would have time to practice, and he rolled his eyes at me. Like, that really isn't important in the work we do here.

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