Saw a show about either Rangers or Green Berets being able to pick their own weapons.


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SometimeIWill
September 13, 2009, 12:29 PM
But I can't for the life of me remember which it was. I'm assuming it was Green Berets, but can't find any info online to substantiate that. It was on the History Channel and it was a current commander saying, paraphrasing here a bit "we figure if the guy is going to put his life on the line he should be able to use whatever weapon he trusts most". It was an across the board rule as well.

Did anyone else see the show or know which of the Special Forces it was? I'm almost positive it was the Green Berets but hate not having confirmation.

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Pistol Toter
September 13, 2009, 01:13 PM
I am not doubting you! What you say may be true; but can you imagine the logistics of up keep / maintenance of a dozen or more different platforms, manufacturers, and calibers of weapons.:scrutiny: I some how doubt the validity of such a battle plan. Some where in a given unit there must be someone who is an armorur and he would by necessity be required to have every tool, jigs and fixtures, and every part for all arms being used in that unit. Costs and training for such a program would be high. I think standardization would rule out that kind of activity. Just my two cents.

peyton
September 13, 2009, 01:16 PM
nope, it is not personal weapons, that is against General Order #1. The military has a lot of hardware, but units are issued it.

BillyBothHands
September 13, 2009, 01:28 PM
I've heard more than once that the snipers of various elite units get to pick theirs, and the reasoning if I remember correctly was that these guys did most of their own work. Have no idea where i got that info but thats the way I remember it lol.

DMK
September 13, 2009, 01:34 PM
I saw a program on SEALs where they showed the various small arms the use. They might not be able to pick their own weapons from just anything, but they do appear to have a large variety of small arms available to choose from depending on the mission.

Some where in a given unit there must be someone who is an armorur and he would by necessity be required to have every tool, jigs and fixtures, and every part for all arms being used in that unit. Costs and training for such a program would be high.Cost and training for elite and special forces are much higher than regular units. But the number of units and the number of men per unit are fairly small.

I'm almost positive it was the Green Berets but hate not having confirmation. Are you sure you weren't seeing Delta Force? They are more similar to SEALs than Green Berets.

Rangers are highly trained and capable, but don't seem to have the leeway that "special forces" do. They seem to be somewhere in between Special forces and regular troops, with much of the specialized training, but more standard equipment.

SharpsDressedMan
September 13, 2009, 02:54 PM
This I know for a fact. Two special forces reservists, who were getting rather active deployments to Afghanistan (circa 2002-2004) purchased a left hand Remington 700 that was set up as a "pseudo sniper" by me. It was a rather stock, 700 VS lefty, .308, with barrel set back, rechambered, recrowned and threaded at the muzzle, M60E3 flashider (with ability to use a sound suppressor), parkerized, and carrying a Leupold 12X with mil dots. I painted the stock a woodland pattern theme, and it easily shot 3/4 minute. These guys contacted me off Sturmgewehr (one happened to be living in Kent, Ohio, about 25 miles from me. They stated they were allowed to bring their own weapons to Afghanistan, and that they were looking for something like a Remington PSS, but left hand. Since Remington doesn't make a lefty PSS, they wanted to test fire the gun. I said fine, let me know if you want the scope too. They shot it, and grabbed the package as it was, scope and all. I can only hope that rifle is doing some fine work in Afghanistan. They guys belonged to the SF Reserve unit in Youngstown, Ohio. You all can believe what you want, but the guy I was dealing with was who he said he was, and legit in every other detail I could confirm.

rocky branch
September 13, 2009, 03:56 PM
I was US Army Special Forces, 1966-1970.
Rvn "A" Camp Aug 68-March 70.
I belong to the association and keep up with events.
Use of the term SF is common, but incorrect for any other units.
They fall under the newer SOF umbrella.

Anyways. Under some circumstances we were indeed allowed to choose our own weapon.

Today there is more of a standard variety and modifications and variations continue.

You ain't gonna bring your Desert Eagle or something like that.

Conventional unitss need everybody with the same gear.
Mission, training, and supply mandates that.

SF is not like the old days with a variety of museum pieces being lugged about, but they do have a wider range of available gear.

I carried a silenced Sten on a few local operations. No good reason for it, actually.
I know some project guys that even had a few gyro jets laying around.
They were not considered useful and never were taken to the field.

Corporal K
September 13, 2009, 04:16 PM
This topic comes up fairly regularly here on at THR. There is some flexibility, but not much especially in the 75th Ranger, which is still considered "Big Army".

Rangers and SF (Green Berets) use the standard weapons (albeit with plenty of custom bells and whistles) like everyone else, with some other things in the mix for specialized duty (i.e. suppressed weapons, etc.)

metallic
September 13, 2009, 04:18 PM
I think there are a couple high-speed/low-drag guys on here. Maybe they'll chime in?

leadcounsel
September 13, 2009, 04:20 PM
I'm not a Green Beret, but work with and for them and am in an SF unit and have deployed with an SF unit. I've carried an M4 and an M9, and a Browning High Power.

I can say for a fact, based on personal experience, that longtabbers (Green Berets) have more luxury in selecting their tools. Standard Soldiers who are issued a pistol receive an M9. GBs can select from either M9, Glock, Browning HP, 1911s, and Sig Sauer. For clarification these are NEVER personally owned weapons. They are from Government inventory.

We also have other choices of longarms, but I can't get into that on this forum.

otcconan
September 13, 2009, 04:23 PM
Differentiate from small arms and personal arms. Small arms, they're either issued M-4's or MP-5's. Personal arms, that is, the pistol, they can choose to carry the 1911 instead of the Beretta.

My brother was in Iraq as Naval Intelligence and lots of the SF guys were carrying .45's.

Eightball
September 13, 2009, 05:11 PM
I would imagine that what was meant in that instance was that they could select from a given range of military options, not just a "I'll take that Deagle wit da beams, yo!" type of selection.

I don't claim to be SF, or know anyone in it, but the above would be the option that makes the most sense, in that it'd achieve the same goals, and not cause the armorer to go postal.

Frog48
September 13, 2009, 06:01 PM
Are you sure you weren't seeing Delta Force? They are more similar to SEALs than Green Berets.

Army Special Forces Groups and Navy SEAL Teams are both Tier 2 units. The 1SFOD-D (aka "Delta") is a Tier 1 unit, and their Navy counterpart is Naval Special Warfare Command DEVGRU (aka "SEAL Team Six").

SharpsDressedMan
September 13, 2009, 06:40 PM
So far, I think we have a definite "maybe".

DMK
September 13, 2009, 07:01 PM
Quote:
"Are you sure you weren't seeing Delta Force? They are more similar to SEALs than Green Berets."

Army Special Forces Groups and Navy SEAL Teams are both Tier 2 units. The 1SFOD-D (aka "Delta") is a Tier 1 unit, and their Navy counterpart is Naval Special Warfare Command DEVGRU (aka "SEAL Team Six").

Good point. I was thinking specifically of the Anti-terrorist SEAL team. I suppose the other teams are more like Green Berets?

jamesb
September 13, 2009, 07:46 PM
I am not a long tabber but was assigned to 2/10SFG(A). All the weapons were bought on the government dime. We chose from the inventory which had many choices. If something was needed that was not in the inventory it was purchased either through contract or government credit card. Now there are exceptions to every rule so I am not saying it doesn't or won't happen but it is not the party line or the norm for soldiers (of any Army unit) to purchase their own small arms.

SometimeIWill
September 13, 2009, 08:27 PM
Yeah, I'm guessing what they meant was they could pick any available option in the armory.

And I'm almost certain now that I think about it that it was the Green Berets. I know it wasn't Delta or DevGru. It was a show about the history going back to the beginning.

Thanks for all the info though!

mugsie
September 13, 2009, 08:46 PM
I was a "green beret" (SF) way back when. I served in Viet Nam in 68 and 69. We used a variety of weapons, from AK's, to M16's to Car15's to Springfields, to shotguns (can't remember the make). We used whatever Charlie was carrying. Ammo was never a problem because it was always available from Charlie (I capitalize Charlie because I respected the little bastard, he was a worthy opponent). It also confused him when we were in a fire fight. Hearing an AK fire usually stopped the return fire for a few minutes until he figured out what was happening. It bought some very valuable time!

catfish101
September 15, 2009, 01:11 AM
A friend on mine has a son that is they SF and is in Afg. now. He does his personnel pistol but the "rule" was that it needed to use military ammo.
When I was in Iraq we asked and was told no but I know the SF have some privileges.

MarineOne
September 15, 2009, 02:04 AM
I know a close friend of mine, a Marine captain, was allowed to bring his personal sidearm with him to Iraq so he brought his SA XD 45. I've even seen some of the officers here on the Army FOB that I'm located at with personal weapons, although these are all 9mm.

So the answer is yes they are allowed, however the stipulations are that they need to be able to fire standard issue ammo and they need to qualify with it.

I haven't seen any long arms here, but then most of the soldiers here are regular GI's and not SF.




Kris

psyopspec
September 15, 2009, 07:47 AM
So the answer is yes they are allowed, however the stipulations are that they need to be able to fire standard issue ammo and they need to qualify with it.

And that they need to either be of rank, or be friends with someone of rank, that has the ability to modify Gen. Order 1 for them.

MarineOne
September 15, 2009, 09:29 AM
Sorry I forgot to add that part. They have to be commissioned or warrant officers.



-K

1911 Operator
September 15, 2009, 01:27 PM
green berets in vietnam were allowed to carry weapons of their choice (whithin reason of course) at the start of the war. they were standardized moreso torwrds the end (with exeptions of course).

from veterans i've talked to, i hear a lot of berets were carying 357 magnums pistols and ak47's

no.5enfield
September 15, 2009, 03:38 PM
What about SFC Jerry 'Mad Dog' Shriver? Didn't he carry a Marlin levergun for a while?

jad0110
September 15, 2009, 10:34 PM
I am not a long tabber but was assigned to 2/10SFG(A). All the weapons were bought on the government dime. We chose from the inventory which had many choices. If something was needed that was not in the inventory it was purchased either through contract or government credit card. Now there are exceptions to every rule so I am not saying it doesn't or won't happen but it is not the party line or the norm for soldiers (of any Army unit) to purchase their own small arms.

From what I can gather, this is true of Green Berets too, at least some of the units. A friend's brother-in-law is currently a GB (don't recall the exact unit), on his last deployment to Iraq his sidearm of choice was a government-owned S&W Model 29. Even I thought that was a little odd, I asked about it but was told "don't". :p

John Parker
September 15, 2009, 10:54 PM
I don't think this is really accurate, but mission specificity really does dictate. There are all kind of shady missions going on out there, many of which are not run by the usual suspects.
During my last tour in A-stan, our resident SF guys (TF 10-2) all used M4s and M9s, with some SR25s thrown in. The tier one guys from CAG, TF 373, and TF Blue were using whatever they wanted and/or could get their hands on. A college buddy of mine now assigned to 'No Fun One' carried a Glock 26 around, while his DEVGRU pals are now arming themselves with HK MP7s for house raids. Nice little guns...
As a human intelligence collector assigned to low-profile THTs, my team and I had some leeway on what we'd use. We had both M9s and M11s on hand, a couple Glock 19s and some AK variants that we worked drug deals for.

Chindo18Z
September 16, 2009, 12:42 AM
I finally got the popcorn done.

I hope this thread lasts awhile... ;)

heypete
September 16, 2009, 12:48 AM
I dunno about the SF policies regarding such things, but my experience in the army is remarkably similar to the conversation described in a reply to someone who asked if Marines could pick their own rifles at boot camp. The conversation went something like this:

Drill Instructor: "Marine, you choose this rifle!"
Marine: "Sir, yes sir!"
Drill Instructor: "Outstanding!"

In both army basic and when assigned to a unit, we were assigned rifles and pistols from the unit armory. That specific weapon would be for the exclusive use of a particular soldier (unless sent off to be repaired or something). Of course, I was in a tank unit, so we rarely dealt with small arms.

DeadLiver
September 16, 2009, 01:26 AM
This thread reminds me of a joke I picked up a while back from a High School teacher of mine who was with 19th SF. It speaks to the aforementioned differences between Rangers and SF.

Ranger Vs Special Forces Organizations

The Chief of Staff of the Army asked his Sergeant Major, who was both Ranger and Special Forces qualified, which organization he would recommend to form a new anti-terrorist unit. The Sergeant Major responded to the General's question with this parable: If there were a hijacked DELTA 747 being held by terrorists along with its passengers and crew and an anti-terrorist unit formed either by the Rangers or the Special Forces was given a Rescue/Recovery Mission; what would you expect to happen?

Ranger Option

Forces/Equipment Committed: If the Rangers went in, they would send a Ranger company of 120 men with standard army issue equipment.

Mission Preparation: The Ranger Company First Sergeant would conduct a Hair Cut and boots inspection.

Infiltration Technique: They would insist on double timing, in company formation, wearing their combat equipment, and singing Jody cadence all the way to the site of the hijacked aircraft.

Actions in the Objective Area: Once they arrived, the Ranger company would establish their ORP, put out security elements, conduct a leaders recon, reapply their face cammo, and conduct final preparations for Actions on the OBJ.

Results of Operation: The Rescue/Recovery Operation would be completed within one hour; all of the terrorists and most of the passengers would have been killed, the Rangers would have sustained light casualties and the DELTA 747 probably would be worthless to anyone except a scrap dealer.

Special Forces Option

Forces/Equipment Committed: If Special Forces went in, they would send only a 12 man team (all SF units are divisible by 12 for some arcane historical reason) however, due to the exotic nature of their equipment the SF Team would cost the same amount to deploy as the Ranger Company.

Mission Preparation: The SF Team Sergeant would request relaxed dress and grooming standards for the team.

Infiltration Technique: The team would insist on separate travel orders with Max Per Diem, and each would get to the site of the hijacking by his own means. At least one third of the team would insist on jumping in.

Actions in the Objective Area: Once they arrived , the SF Team would cache their military uniforms, establish a Team Room, use their illegal Team Fund to stock the unauthorized Team Room Bar, check out the situation by talking to the locals, and have a Team Meeting to discuss the merits of the terrorists' cause.

Results of Operation: The Rescue/Recovery Operation would take two weeks to complete and by that time all of the terrorists would have been killed, (and would have left signed confessions); and most of the passengers would be ruined psychologically for the remainder of their lives. The DELTA 747 would be essentially unharmed, the team would have taken no casualties but would have used up, lost or stolen all the "high speed" equipment issued to them.

Not entirely accurate, but entertaining nonetheless.

Based on the stories from aforementioned teacher, SF seems to be able to choose weapons from the armory based on personal preference and mission, but not personal weapons. On the same line of thought, I have a friend who claims to have brought his personal Barrett M82 to Iraq in 2004 when he deployed as part of 10th Mountain Division. I don't believe him.

C-grunt
September 16, 2009, 07:17 AM
I gotta agree with Dead Liver on this one. When I was in we shared Ft Benning with the 75th Ranger Batt and my platoon became friends with the SF team on our FOB in '05.

The SF guys were super laid back but deadly SOBs. They all used M4s pretty much and only one guy carried something besides the M9, a 1911. The sniper also used a .300 Win Mag rifle as well. One thing that stuck out was how much they used Common Sense to solve the missions they had, unlike what the standard command used some times. I think thats what the Q Course is... common sense tactical training.

Example: One time we went out to back them up in an attempt to get a HVT. Coming up to the objective we received heavy fire from the house. I thought I was about to see some super high speed ninja secret squirrel sh*t go down and they were gonna do a raid. But they dropped the high speed stuff and used that common sense approach. The team leader walked up to the lead Bradley and asked them to politely pump 20 or so 25 mike mikes into it. After the dust settled they walked into the house and retrieved the HVT's body. mission accomplished.

I always laughed at the commercial for the Army where the two SF guys are watching the terrorists through the scope of the Barrett .50. They had food for 3 days, its day 12, are you tough enough? Knowing the SF guys I have worked with (3 of the guys on my old squad are Green Berets now) they would have blown that cave up on day two, stolen some locals truck and been at the nearest bar by day three. LOL.

zombienerd
September 16, 2009, 10:31 AM
Knowing the SF guys I have worked with (3 of the guys on my old squad are Green Berets now) they would have blown that cave up on day two, stolen some locals truck and been at the nearest bar by day three. LOL.

That's what I'm talking `bout right there.

I've always loved the military commercials. I made a spoof of the Navy one while I was on a deployment one time, I may have to track that down and put it on Youtube or something. It showed the various "Jobs" you could do in the Navy, and then showed each rating Cleaning, Painting, or sleeping on the job :)

Marlin 45 carbine
September 16, 2009, 10:41 AM
I remember seeing some SEAL's in 'Nam carrying Stens and AK's and shotguns.
the issue was the M16.

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