Because it is None of Your Business, General


“I am not allowed to ask a soldier who lives off-post whether that soldier has a privately owned weapon”

So complained General Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff, last January, as it related supposedly, to suicide prevention.

That is correct, General.  You cannot.  The NRA, of course, is to blame, says the Christian Science Monitor.    Why, when looking out for suicide prevention and the safety of our service members, it would only be common sense that commanders can and should be able to know whether their soldiers own a firearm or not.  Right?

Not so fast.  While the case to be made for such sweeping invasion of privacy is emotionally compelling, it is also anecdotal, and perhaps largely irrelevant.  The General’s next words shed light on the problem of allowing military commanders to require their troops to reveal what firearm may be legally in their homes off post/base on the grounds of using that information to “protect them”.

“I’m struck by the number of folks who come in for behavioral health counseling and are rated as ‘low to medium risk’ [of harming themselves or others] and two weeks later commit the irrevocable act of suicide,” Chiarelli says.

“Suicide in most cases is a spontaneous event” that is often fueled by drugs and alcohol. But “if you can separate the individual from the weapon,” he added, “you can lower the incidences of suicide.”

The problem, Chairelli says, is that “we have issues in even being able to do that.”

What?  So, even those not considered high risk for suicide should be “separated from” their legally purchased and owned weapon?   (And no, a senior officer does not “recommend” the weapon be turned in.  Seniors give orders.)  Where does that little bit of authority end?  Of course, General, you damned sure should have “issues” in being able to deny someone’s Constitutional rights without anything resembling due process, even if you think you are doing so in the interest of that person’s safety.    The stars on your collar do NOT give you that right or authority, nor should they.

That the VA is supporting the military in this matter does not help the General’s assertions.     Veterans who have sought counseling for post-traumatic stress have seen that fact used as a premise for denying purchase of a firearm.   Many fear that such a diagnosis can be used as a justification for confiscation by law enforcement.    In this climate of government overreach, that fear is not misplaced.

Nor does it help to hear the assertion of BGen Woodson, an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

“In many circumstances, awareness of risk means removing firearms from those who we believe are at risk of harming themselves or others.   I would ask all of you at this conference to commit to making reasonable recommendations that will guide uniform policy that will allow the separation of privately owned firearms from those believed to be at risk of suicide.”

When does “allow” become “require”?  When a base or unit CG decides that everybody is a slight suicide risk, and decides he will take no chances?   It isn’t like we don’t see extreme risk aversion now.   What does that translate into when HIS boss tells him that any suicides will reflect poorly on his command climate?   Do we really think the soldier’s Second Amendment rights are going to trump careerism?   (See: Doctrine Man/Reflective Belt Technique.)

Also, the idea of “reasonable recommendations” from the Medical establishment regarding gun control is not terribly credible.  As Dr. Miguel Faria Jr. pointed out in 2001,

Over the years, the entrenched medical/public-health establishment, acting as a willing accomplice of the gun-control lobby has conducted politicized, results-oriented gun (control) research based on what can only be characterized as junk science.

Don’t believe him?  How about this statement in the JAMA from February 1989 (cited by Dr. Faria)  from an official in the CDC?

“Bringing about gun control, which itself covers a variety of activities from registration to confiscation was not the specific reason for the [CDC] section’s creation. However, the facts themselves tend to make some form of regulation seem desirable. The way we’re going to do this is to systematically build a case that owning firearms causes death.”

The National Rifle Association has seen many, many attempts to categorize firearm ownership as a “health issue”, to include Pediatricians and Day Care Providers being encouraged to ask children about whether parents owned guns.  They have also seen the rampant anti-gun propaganda from many who currently hold office in this Administration.

Attorney General Eric Holder’s 1995 admonition to “brainwash” young people with an anti-gun agenda.

Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education:

“This is a public health epidemic. We are struggling to find the cure for AIDS, we are struggling to find the cure for cancer; we know the cure for this public health epidemic: getting rid of guns.”

VP (then-Senator) Joe Biden (AP interview, 1993):

“Banning guns is an idea whose time has come.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (then-First Lady) in 1993 NYT:

“I’m personally all for taxing guns to pay for health care coverage.”

The article, and General Chiarelli, go to great lengths to show how it is the NRA that is being unreasonable, perhaps even paranoid, in denying military commanders the authority to demand to know which of their soldiers owns a private firearm off of a military installation.   However, it isn’t such a far-fetched suspicion that such authority will not simply be used for only altruistic reasons, but instead will eventually be leveraged for more politically-motivated purposes.  And that such authority will not simply be limited to those whom commanders believe at risk for self-harm.

Some years ago, I had a Commanding General that was very open about his objection to private firearm ownership.   He required all his Marines to request his sign-off on any gun purchases, with a justification for the purchase, before the Marine could buy the weapon.  That was true even if that Marine never intended to bring it on base.   His Chief of Staff and I exchanged “pleasantries” on the matter when I was a Captain and purchasing one of my 1911s.    While the incident didn’t do my career any good, I noticed that the offer to take it to an Article 32 to determine the lawfulness of his order went unfilled.    That CG should have been counseled by his boss (perhaps he was, I don’t know) and told to desist immediately, or he should have been relieved.   What would such authority as discussed above in that commander’s hands have resulted in?

While General Chiarelli laments not being able to ask soldiers about off-installation private firearm ownership, the article in CSM rightfully mentions that there is no prohibition from advising that, should a soldier have a weapon at home, he/she take it elsewhere, even on base, if he/she has suicidal ideations.

General Chiarelli likely knows that.  And while he may have the purest of intentions, his idea of quizzing soldiers about privately-owned off-installation firearms is a very dangerous idea.   There is a hair’s breadth between voluntary surrendering of that firearm from a private residence, and forcible confiscation.     The first is merely a way-station to the second.    “Can” becomes “should”, and then “will”.   With such issues, when was the last time that didn’t happen?  It isn’t as if our senior commanders haven’t made a habit of giving into political pressure from the Left in the last several years, now is it?

*****************************************************

Right on cue, none other than Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), who once sponsored legislation to ban all firearms, and called the NRA an “extremist” organization, (violent extremist?), gives us this pearl of wisdom, in relation to trying to attach a gun control amendment to a cybersecurity bill:

“We can debate where to draw the line of reasonableness, but we might be able to come to an agreement in the middle.”

I have no reason whatever to suspect that uniformed senior leadership will not respond in true “three bags full” fashion when far-Left politicians like Schumer enforce their definition of “reasonable” on the power to confiscate firearms from service members.

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28 Comments

Filed under Air Force, army, guns, marines, navy, Politics

28 responses to “Because it is None of Your Business, General

  1. LT Rusty

    On target, fire for effect.

    Like

  2. Esli

    I am not grabbing guns but I have no problem with registering weapons on post and as a matter of fact am exploring a policy letter to that effect, though in consultation with JAG (take that, QM). Why? Guys get counseled differently when they own weapons off-post. When my NCOs remove a domestic-violence perpetrator to the barracks, and when he is returned home. When someone is suicidal I am fine with directing his weapons be moved to the arms room. I wan to tell people yes you can carry weapons to a party on Saturday but it is stupid. Etc. knowing that their soldiers have POWs at the house allows my guys to provide more effective and tailored leadership. Just a few weeks ago we had IIRC 5 instances across the BCT of gun culture in which off-post Soldiers are flashing weapons in other houses. Legal but stupid. Soldiers threatening their spouses with weapons, too. In this instance I will trade some nebulous instance of potential threat to 2nd amendment for increased ability to prevent trouble in my unit and I will sleep comfortably while doing so.

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    • Wadid I say?

      I have problems with allowing any senior officer access to info about any weapon I own on or off post. Period. As a practical matter, weapons are not supposed to be kept in barracks (and there is good reason for that), but if I’m married, no matter where I live, and store my weapons properly, Mr. CG needs to keep his nose out of my personal business. We allow the GOFOs far too much power outside military matters on post (and I’m deaf to the protest that anything that happens on post is a military matter) and that’s why you get idiots like Wesley Clark and the recent CoS who couldn’t call a spade a spade in the killing spree at Hood.

      A friend was stationed at Ft. Richardson (near Anchorage, AK for those who don’t know) in Company “O” Arctic Rangers and then with teh Airborne unit there after his Ranger company was disbanded. He had two rifles and a Browning Hipower he kept in the barracks. The Ossifers knew he had them there and kept trying to catch him, but they never did. After one health and welfare inspection the BCO asked him point blank where they were and he gave them some cock and bull story. 10 minutes later he walked out of the barracks with them. I met one of his mates from the airborne unit 3 years later and got him aside and asked about the story. He laughed and said “all true, all true.” He told me it got to be a game and they started laying bets on him getting caught. he said the ones betting against mike lost as they never caught him.

      Esli, when my father was in the Air Force required private weapons on base be stored with the Provost Marshall. We were told by Army types that was the case with them as well. I take it this is not the case any more.

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    • LT Rusty

      Esli, I’m not sure how the Army does it … did your oath say “support and defend the Constitution, or at least the parts of it that don’t keep me awake at night worrying?” My oath sure as hell wasn’t worded that way.

      As an aside, if you’ve got someone that’s having DV issues, then you’re an idiot for not referring it to the police. Someone with a DV issue is prohibited – on a Federal level – from possessing firearms.

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  3. ultimaratioregis

    ESLI,

    Can’t buy it. The ability of a commander to order me to remove a legal possession from my private residence is a violation of the 2nd, 4th, and 6th Amendments. That is hardly nebulous. It is direct and unlawful.

    And “this instance” (possibly suicidal) will not stay that for long.

    Command isn’t about you sleeping comfortably. If you think it is, you chose the wrong biz.

    Like

    • ultimaratioregis

      I should also add that, when that CG was thinking he had approval authority over my private purchase of a firearm was a period where there had been a number of murders in Jacksonville NC, including a B&E where the Lieutenant’s wife was slain not far from where we lived.

      My 1911 spent nights in the holster on the side of the mattress, with one “up the spout” and a magazine inserted, thumb safety on. That simply wasn’t something any Marine Officer was going to have any say-so over. Nobody.

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    • Esli

      I sleep comfortably, because I am comfortable with my leadership and my decisions. It’s not about me, it is about leadership to 830 Soldiers.

      Like

  4. Grumpy

    The problem with this is that we are blaming guns for everything. I am a 63-year-old disabled veteran from the Vietnam era. I have seen many suicides or the results after them. Most of them, guns were not even in the widest and most microscopic view. In the military, most times the cause is bad leadership. We need to get our expectations in line with the size of our force. I don’t care which party rules the White House, but they should not campaign with the goal of going to war! We may have the greatest military in the world, but remember this, there is a breaking point, for every man. The arrogance of some of our leaders is the biggest cause for military suicide. If we want to really deal with military suicide, then we must deal with our past and future leadership and stop blaming guns.

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  5. Esli

    LT Rusty, where did I say that I didn’t refer domestic violence to police? Who are you to call me an idiot? I don’t appreciate it in the slightest; it is uncalled for.

    I still maintain that I have no problem ensuring that my NCOs know who has weapons in the home. Since I was typing on a small phone in a moving vehicle earlier, it may not be clear, but I don’t care who buys, stores, uses or owns what, in their home, but my leaders knowing it allows them to provide better leadership, and I am bucking a trend in which gun ownership amongst 18-20 year old Soldiers equates to frequent acts of stupidity. I also can and will move Soldiers into the barracks to separate them from their weapons in the home if they have suicidal ideations. I value my soldiers’ lives that way and not one has ever called the ACLU. I even got thanks from a sergeant first class for personally intervening, taking all of his weapons, and posting his platoon leader with him for long enough to prevent that suicide.
    QM, I just threw that in because we have had a long-standing disagreement on the use of the JAG folks! And in answer to your last question; in theory, Soldiers in the barracks keep weapons in the unit arms room, Soldiers in on-post housing register with the PMO and store in their housing, and Soldiers off-post store in accordance with the law. In actuality, many of them hide them in the barracks or their cars, or store them in their friends’ off-post housing.

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    • LT Rusty

      You said: “When my NCOs remove a domestic-violence perpetrator to the barracks, and when he is returned home.”

      At no point there is there the hint that police get involved. Sounds like an attempt to handle things just within the unit, and keep “outside parties” from becoming involved. I’ve seen that happen before, for a variety of things that should have had law enforcement involved.

      Also, please note that the only case in which my statement should be construed as calling you an idiot is if you were to try and keep law enforcement out of things that they really should be involved in. Apologies for not making that clearer.

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    • In case Rusty hasn’t been clear enough, he said “if you’ve got someone….” Note the subjunctive.

      Like

    • Esli

      I didn’t lay out the entirety of what we do in the case of domestic violence because it is not relevant to the discussion of awareness of guns in the home. Of course civil authorities are always involved. My responsibility is to ensure that the guy is removed until conditions are such that he can return. I want my NCOs aware of weapons in the home when they show up to remove someone from that situation. Often, my guys respond before the police do. You passing judgement on me, from my reference to ten percent of my actions with regards to the drill, does not make me the idiot, and I would respectfully submit that you should be a bit more introspective before you leap to, and publish, bogus conclusions.
      Regards,
      Esli

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  6. ultimaratioregis

    ESLI,

    That Constitution we support and defend applies to those we lead, as well as those we serve. Neither your authority, nor that of your seniors, is all-encompassing. This trend of trying to make it so on the part of senior officers is corrosive in the extreme. Chiarelli’s insistence that commanders can demand to know which of their soldiers own guns legally in private residences with an eye toward confiscation on the word of a military doctor is another such instance, and like many others, will be pressed to political ends without restraint.

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    • Esli

      I am not confiscating anything on the words of a doctor and doubt I ever will. I have taken weapons exactly once, and returned them when the threat of suicide to the soldier and the threat of violence to the family member was past. I have removed soldiers from homes in which they had weapons stored and had exhibited threats of violence towards family members numerous times. I will do it again, if I deem it necessary and will sort out the legalities of it after the fact. I do not question anyone’s 2nd amendment rights. I don’t, and never said, i subscribe to Chiarelli’s point of view. I also will never look a mother or father in the eye and explain to them that I left their son in proximity to his weapons and ammunition out of respect for his second amendment rights, during the fatality review board.

      Like

  7. butch

    Further confirmation that FOGOs can’t be relied upon to honor their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution. Review the CONPLAN to shoot the O-6s & above?

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  8. ultimaratioregis

    ESLI,

    Ordering a soldier into the barracks is well within your rights. I am sure you have done it. I have done it, too. THAT, I would not question. You do have that authority.

    But you do NOT have the authority to order that soldier to remove a legally owned firearm from a private residence. Or even have a right to know that he owns one, if he chooses not to tell you.

    It is the GOFO attitude that will “sort out the legalities later” (as if they would ever be) in allowing legally owned firearms to be confiscated from private residences that will bend under pressure by anti-gun politicians who will happily use any pretext (including “health risks”) to push that agenda and destroy those liberties.

    Like

    • Esli

      So I had a guy pull his .45 on his mother in laws’s boyfriend this weekend in a bar (illegal carrying location, whether concealed or open carry). He lives off post. In early July, he was asked, as was every Soldier, if he owned weapons, and if so, were they registered on post. No requirements, to register was issued, and pointing out that if they intended to shoot on post, they would need to be registered. No insidious plotting to grab weapons now or in the future. He denied ownership of any weapons and then produces one in a heated moment. I don’t offer this as an example of why I want to know who owns weapons, but I am curious what your thoughts are on how you would handle the lying by the Soldier having lied in a matter that you don’t approve of from the outset.

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    • LT Rusty

      Hm. It’s an interesting question …

      If he’s on the ball, he’d decline article 15 on the lying charge and go for a court martial, because a smart lawyer would put YOU on the spot for having asked a question you weren’t legally allowed to ask. (Of course if he were on the ball in the first place, he probably wouldn’t have been carrying illegally.)

      Rest of it, let the cops and courts do their jobs, and then SOP after that. I’m suspecting at least an OTH discharge?

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  9. Like the new health care law, gun control is so bad the left has to disguise it. The same left that goes to see violent Hollywood movies (that glamorize drug use and unprotected sex), listen to violent hip-hop and supported the violent Occupy movement.

    Generals are political creatures and I suspect the good general is just making sure that no Congressman will block another star.

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  10. ultimaratioregis

    I would not have asked whether he owned a weapon. And if another did and the soldier answered “None of your business, because if I did, I wouldn’t intend to take it on post”, that should have been the end of discussion. Telling him that if he intended to take it onto the installation, it needs to be registered, would have been the proper thing.

    Which is absolutely immaterial to him carrying or brandishing illegally.

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  11. RoundHammer117

    I am of the opinion that NO officer above the rank of O-6 can be identified as a Soldier, Marine, Sailor, or Airman. They give up claim to these honored titles the INSTANT they get pinned.

    As they are now politicians masquerading in Real Men’s Working Clothes.

    Some are fairly benign, most are like this waste of flesh featured in the article, kissing up to capital hill brethren. Fortunately, only a tiny handful are like that Blue Falcon, Sierra Bravo scumbag george casey . . . who was MORE concerned about “diversity suffering” than the men and women Wounded in Action Killed in Action by a KNOWN Fifth Column jihadi traitor.

    Had it not been for bubba clinton’s executive order, perhaps Soldiers nearby the mission readiness center could have responded and saved the lives of their fellow Service Members. But despots – soft or hard – can never trust Fighting Men with their tools of trade if they are not directly sworn to their tyranny.

    Even when in PTs, I ALWAYS had a knife on me. As an NCO, I suggested that the men I was responsible for consider the same. We are the Infantry, yet how can we be trusted with small arms ONLY when it is convenient for the chain of command?

    How can they treat the number one job in the Army with such contempt and distain? Simple, compared to an Abrams, MLRS, Apache or Paladin Battery . . . we do not cost much, therefore we are not worth anything to the Army with regards to getting budget dollars. So the Army sees no compelling reason to value us.

    That is why we have been stuck with the same inherently flawed assault rifle and carbine for half a century now.

    Even though we do most of the fighting and the dying.

    Advances in body armor resulted in a boost to the budget, and predictably, went overboard with DAPS and saddlebags. Now a generation of men will have back problems the rest of their lives because of The Pentagon Lawyers trying to play CYA.

    THAT is the central contributing factor for low-morale and suicide among the ranks: we are treated like unwanted, bastard CHILDREN, not MEN who have VOLUNTEERED to venture forward of the line. And the frustration it generates results in abuse that rolls downhill.

    My response to such a directive would be: “Sir, I regret to inform the Commander that I cannot ask the men I am responsible for who live off-post that question, as it is unlawful under the UCMJ and United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights.”

    I loved the Army. I loved doing my part, however small.

    I just wished the Army had loved me back . . .

    Just once.

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    • ultimaratioregis

      RH,

      Allow me to disagree with your assessment of 0-6 and above. Mattis, Conway, Dunford, Kelly, Larry Nicholson, they are MARINES. I got to serve with and for each of them, some a couple times. They were in front, took the chances, and in some cases, paid a very heavy price. General Kelly’s son was killed in Iraq, and Nicholson was badly wounded in the same rocket attack that killed his COMMO. Mattis’ vehicle was the very first one into Fallujah in summer 2004. His convoy got hit all the frigging time. Believe me. Conway was a warrior, too. I would follow any of those guys into the shooting.

      Are there others who trade their loyalty and identity for rank? Yes. But it certainly isn’t all of them, In fact, it isn’t the good ones.

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    • Esli

      Well said, UMR.

      Like

    • RoundHammer117

      URR,

      Sir, the General Officers you served with, who still took risks and still put the mission first are the benign type of politician in uniform. They still acted as their personal honor and code of ethics demanded. They chose not to compromise principle in exchange for favors from higher.

      They are the EXCEPTION that PROVES the rule. However honorable they are, ultimately, they still become politicians once they pin a star.

      Another example besides that Blue Falcon casey:

      LTG william keys, a retired Marine officer who is now the ceo of colt, has SOLD OUT the American Fighting Man by insisting the M4 is the absolute best weapon system that Soldiers and Marines could possibly employ.

      The decision-makers at colt did not solicit his services because they wanted insight to the needs of the Armed Forces to build a better bullet-thrower. They ONLY wanted his contacts and influence at the puzzle factory to PREVENT their cash cow from being put to slaughter.

      If the M4 dies, colt DIES, as their civilian product lines have effectively dried up and LE contracts would not be enough to sustain them.

      I have seen interviews where the man cites all the tired talking points that colt produces “the best Infantry small arms in the world”. He gave excuses that “We only provide what the Army and Marines want” and “the troops love it”. Most troops have absolutely NOTHING to compare it to. I did because I served in SETAF and cross-trained with Allied forces regularly.

      The Army is really not interested in equipping men with the best small arms possible. They have held no emotional investment in the idea of the Rifleman for ages, paying it only lip service. Unlike the Marines, the Army does not know one damned thing about Infantry small arms. It was only John Garand’s genius that enabled the M1 rifle to work as well as it did, in SPITE of repeated Army interference.

      Of course, like any bought and paid for political whore, keyes vehemently dismisses any negative remarks towards the Direct Impingment action of the AR15 receiver as “anecdotal”. That is both colt’s and the pentagon’s “get out of courts-martial and senate hearings free card”. When lives are lost because of weapon failures, it is “anecdotal”. They can dismiss the word of Soldiers and Marines just by saying: “Stupid Joe just ain’t cleaning his gun”. Tell THAT to the Rangers in the Shah-i-kot Mountains in 2002.

      Yet now colt is producing piston-driven AR15s . . . but they have pubicaly insisted there is nothing wrong with a DI carbine. Repeatedly.

      If that is true . . . then why are they producing a piston gun for the new Army Infantry Carbine contract?

      How many Soldiers and Marines have been killed in action in the past fifty years because of the inherent flaws of a weapon system that was DESIGNED to take a dump where it eats? The very tool they should have been able to trust above all, killed them by failing. The system failed them, by not issuing cleaning kits, by lying that the weapon was “self-cleaning”, by changing propellants to dirtier burning blends, by ignoring reports from the field.

      It was good enough for government work, so who cares if a bunch of dumb Grunts get zapped? “Don’t mean nothin'” to the pogues who work in the air-conditioned offices all day long . . . they get to drive home at the close of the duty day.

      Both keyes and casey SOLD OUT the American Soldier and Marine. Their words and actions show they are the politicians of which I wrote.

      That is a betrayal of trust that can NEVER be forgiven.

      Yes, I take this personal, because I had an M4 that nearly got me killed in a firefight from repeated double feeds. It only needs to happen ONCE, and you do not go home for dinner. Supervisor did not want to hear it, insisting it was operator error and malfeasance. That held no weight, as I was known for having OCD with regards to PMCS on all my assigned weapon systems. Even the First Sergeant corrected him on that accusation.

      He just did not want to do the paperwork to get it sent up to Brigade Maintenance, thinking it would make him look bad because a weapon system in his section was down. Instead of showing him as proactive and professional in keeping the CO’s PSD at maximum combat effectiveness, he sniveled out and blamed subordinates for everything he was responsible for.

      But he was not a professional, too green and too stupid to be an E6. He treated anyone who knew what they were doing as a threat to his position, not an asset like a REAL NCO should have. I had more combat experience than he did, so he hated my guts. Promoted too damned fast because he knew how to “slobbin’ the knobbin'” real good.

      Everyone in the PSD section knew it . . . but I was the one that refused to cover for him. So he tried to fix it so that I would not make it home. That is why I hate mortar maggots. Why I hate rakkasans. Soup sandwich was their standard.

      After that, I spoke to The Sir, who was from Vicenza like me, and then carried my M14 exclusively.

      He did not like the gutless wonder either, but was stuck with him.

      In no way Sir, am I discounting your assertions, I am relieved there are still warrior generals. But you HAVE seen the politicians in uniform I have written of, too.

      Semper Fi and This we’ll Defend, Sir.

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  12. Well, this is unfortunate. I served under General Chiarelli when he commanded 1st CAV during OIF2 and he consistently backed his commanders on the ground when there were questions about ROE or anything else of a like manner.

    I believe he made these statements with the best of intentions but like some others fail to realize that “freedom isn’t free” in more ways than just one and if we are to maintain our liberties as outlined in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution you do have to give up some illusions of safety by regulation.

    Soldiers do give up some free speech rights by wearing the uniform but they don’t give up the right to legally own or carry off post. That has already been established in a court of law. When I served in 4ID the Division COS tried the same thing and the NRA helped put a stop to it. It is none of their business. If a Soldier participates in activities which are against the law then they should be arrested and placed in jail.

    Not to change the subject, but about M-4s I was under the impression that a lot of double feeds are caused by crappy magazines and not the rifle. Hence the hue and cry over the privately bought magazines, that the Army banned and then changed its mind about.

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    • My FN built M16A2 was a POS and repeatedly failed to fire.

      But over years and years, the various Colt built M16A1s and A2s I fired NEVER had a malfunction that wasn’t directly attributable to the magazine. And a doublefeed is almost by definition a magazine issue, not a flaw of the weapon itself.

      Like

    • RoundHammer117

      Answers to your questions about double-feeds, Gentlemen.

      While double-feeds are normally from weak magazine feed lips on a rifle, there is a form unique to the carbine.

      The double-feed issue with regards to the M4 is due to the fact of the carbine length gas tube. Being shorter, propellant gas is directed into the bolt carrier group key at much higher pressure and concentration. With specimens made on a monday, this over-gasses the carrier, causing it to fly out of battery much faster than with an M16.

      On vulnerable carbines, the result is the extractor claw loses grip of the expended casing, leaving it partially extracted. While the bolt carrier brings another cartridge up to the feed ramps, the previous casing has continued to expand from the heat flash. This requires remedial action and sometimes pliers to remedy the problem. Upon examining the brass afterwards, you will note the casing buldging uniformly where the chamber mouth was.

      Always carry a needle-nose multi-tool, that saved my life that day.

      If the M4 had what has come to be known as a mid-length gas tube, likely many issues would go away. There are commercial 14.5 SBRs that employ mid-lengths and reviews show they do not over gas. The longer gas tube does seem to enhance the reliability of the weapon.

      Oddly enough, my last M4 tried to convince me it was built by the Germans. New out of the box, it had laser accuracy and desperately wanted to fight. It became the only M4 I trusted, as it was the ONLY M4 I had that never experienced a stoppage.

      Still insist on a needle-nose multi, though.

      I acquired an FN16A2 my first go ’round, when they were still concerned about actually winning the war. Had a serious problem putting an insurgent out of action with an M4. What complicated matters was this being the first time I fired my weapon in anger. I did hit him, but after the raid I looked the remains over and noted there seemed to be a near equal number of exit wounds. That was at less than twenty meters.

      Had to tolerate “Musket” jokes until I threw a C-More Scout sight on the FN . . . then it became “Wicked cool!” . . . and that was from NCOs.

      Never thought I would want an M16 . . . but it dropped them. Seems those five and a half inches makes a difference on terminal performance. Or at least enough to give that impression.

      The issue of magazines being forbidden is the USGI manufacturer cannot compete with MagPul – which has an NSN and can be issued – or other high-end polymer magazines and wants to take the market by monopoly.

      I never had a single issue while using PMags in the M4 and today will not use anything else.

      Unless it is a newer generation PMag, they kept my weapon running and helped keep me alive.

      They need to dump the attitude of “built by the lowest bidder” when it comes to Infantry small arms and focus on quality. We have one of the best attack helicopters in the world and the very best tank. American Infantry need to have the very best rifle and cartridge.

      Have a better one, Gentlemen

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    • LT Rusty

      Over-gassed carbines absolutely are a problem, but they’re a problem with a solution: rifle spring and buffer. I’d be willing to bet you a bottle of your favorite medication that if you switched the carbine stock set and threw an A2 stock, receiver extension, spring and buffer in there, that your problems would have gone away entirely. Of course, the lack of adjustability might be an issue … and that’s why God told VLT0R to come up with the A5 stock set. It slows your carrier velocity WAY down, completely eliminates bolt bounce, and will make pretty much any carbine function the way that God intended.

      (Full disclosure: I’ve got the A5 on my AR, but it is a rifle-length weapon so I didn’t really have too many issues in the first place.)

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