Does the US Army teach basic gun safety?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by FourTeeFive, Apr 17, 2008.

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  1. serrano

    serrano Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    My brother-in-law in the Navy was certainly well aware of all the safety rules - it was all very automatic last time we went to the range.
  2. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

    Jan 14, 2007
    From what I read here and my own experiences (USN 1987-95) it's pretty hit or miss. Some military members (especially USA and USMC) really know their small arms stuff, others (USAF and maybe USN too :) ) not so much, with exceptions all over.

    Back in my day, I thought the Navy's firearm instruction was a joke. I went a couple of years where the only shooting I did was me and some guys from my ship going to a range on our own time and dime with our own guns, because there wasn't enough time or $ budgeted to qualify everyone on our ship's small arms. The one time I was taken out to qualify with a 45 (1911), there was safety instruction but it was standard military instruction, geared towards the absolute lowest denominator. You know, 5 minutes of instruction on the 4 rules, crammed into an hour or so. I think the sailors on my ship were probably ok kind of safe, if not very capable with the small arms, but like a lot of people here seemed to experience, there were some of them I wouldn't have trusted with my neighbor's cat safety-wise.

    My last two years I was an instructor at a shore-based unit, where even sea-returnee staff instructors weren't allowed (even me as a shift supervisor) to qualify on or carry weapons. No, that was allowed only for the security force, a bunch of knuckle-draggers if there ever were any. One morning I came into work and, walking across the quarterdeck of the command, there's a nice hole in the wall of the guard shack, about knee level, and another hole across the entryway from it. One of the brain surgeon guards who was protecting the place had an ND at 0400 and almost blew his foot off with his pistol. Luckily it was at 0400 or something and the entry wasn't full of people coming in for the dya. After that sand-filled clearing barrels went up and supposedly they weren't allowed to carry loaded weapons. But were us nukes allowed to qualify on the pistols? Noooo, just like a college campus, we were supposed to cower behind a desk or something while these lame security forces were going to come save us if the base got attacked (not likely in South Carolina in the early 90s, but still, you get the idea). :cuss:
  3. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    Northwest IL--the other 'Downstate'
    In my experience, the Army was *good* about safety on ranges and controls and security of weapons and ammo--but truly missing in the basic fundementals that require an underlying sense of personal responsibility.

    The Boy Scouts teach gun safety--the Army, don't count on it.
  4. Drail

    Drail Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    I served in the Vietnam conflict and our weapons training as far as marksmanship was minimal. But I did witness one recruit sweep a DI with an M 16 and he was rapidly put on the deck HARD with a few words that could be clearly heard by everyone on the line. He was removed from the training session. Nobody seem to feel like he didn't deserve it. Made an impression on me. I think most 18 year olds had a little more respect for their elders in those days, unlike the youth of today. In those days of course the Instructors COULD and DID use physical force on recruits that required extra guidance. I don't think this is allowed in today's military. If it were up to me the recruits would be immediately disciplined and discharged if they exhibit any kind of carelessness or horseplay with weapons.
  5. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    SW Florida
    I believe what the term was Marksmanship Training. Doh! ^ Drail beat me to it.
  6. Ozarks

    Ozarks Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    According to my memory,

    It was back in 1970, so I just can't recall all of the details... Our Army training was quite structured. We carried our rifles, only when issued, and we were only issued ammunition under closely controlled situations, IOW, at the range and under strict supervision.

    All other times, we were not allowed any ammunition, or even empty magazines. We were supposed to guard something with a rifle with an empty magwell.

    In my opinion, the military would be better served running hot ranges after the first visit. After all, if all weapons are always considered loaded, why shouldn't they be? Break one of the basic rules, and recycle him (or her) immediately. A second mistake would lead to an immediate discharge.
  7. woodybrighton

    woodybrighton member

    Sep 15, 2007
    ND's happen cause people get slack are bone tired or there brain needs to reboot
    unfortunatly mistakes with weapons usually kill someone else
  8. SoldiersMother

    SoldiersMother Member

    May 19, 2008
    Proud Mother of SFC David A. Cooper, Jr.

    I am the Mother of SFC David A. Cooper, Jr. He was killed by Ayers in Iraq, Sept. 5, 2007. I still can't believe that he only received 28 months for killing my son. He said he didn't know the gun was loaded, but then he said that my son carried a loaded weapon on the FOB, so he thought it was OK for him to do that. So how could he have not known his weapon was loaded. My family flew out to Washington to Ft. Lewis to testify as to what kind of person my son was and how this has changed our lives. We spilled our guts out to the judge and I feel like he didn't even care how we felt. It was a fast way to get this court martial over with and forget about my son and the years that he spent in the Army. He joined the reserves when he was a junior in high school and went full time 3 years later spending most of his short life (36 years) in the Army. He knew how important gun safety was and I am sure he would not have allowed this soldier to point weapons at other soldiers, loaded or otherwise. I don't understand why he did it and I guess I will never know, but he does deserve to spend more time in prison than 28 months. Im my eyes he is a murderer. I will never forgive him for what he has done to my son.
  9. Treo

    Treo member

    Nov 30, 2007
    Co. Springs

    On behalf of THR please let me express my most heartfelt sympathies for the loss of your son.
  10. dogmush

    dogmush Member

    May 7, 2008
    Ma'am, my heart goes out to you, and I think Cpl. Ayers did get off a light here, but I have to add, that Cpl's entire chain of command failed. The Army does teach firearms safety in Basic, and it's reinforced before a range trip. But in a combat zone that kind of safety enforcement is the job of the leadership.
  11. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

    Jul 5, 2007
    South Western, OK
    Yes, the US Army still does teach gun safety. Soldiers as a group are very safe with guns. There idiots in civilian life, in the ranks of LEOs and in the US military.
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