About those Biblical ACOG Sights

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 2 months ago

“So I can hear it now – the First Sergeant says, ‘Okay.  Instead of practicing room clearing exercises, today and tomorrow we have a work party at the armory to remove certain inscriptions on your ACOGs.’  Rather than training to do your job and save your life, you spend your time making somebody happy who has nothing to do with any of this.  The dude who is worried about this needs to find something else to do with his life”  –  A certain Marine

“I foresee ACLU involvement.

I also can foresee the Troops being told to remove the offending ‘codes’ and several filing through the outer casing of their sights causing a subsequent blanket order to cease filing and directing Cdrs to turn all the sights in to DS Maintenance for removal of the offending characters IAW MWO 9-236-10 followed by a GAO audit to determine how much the whole drill cost.

Oh. And the media report of J Troop, 10-73d Cav taking excess casualties due to the lack of optical sights, all having been in Maintenance for over three months, in the big fire fight at Fetterman’s Sangar…

All for something that doesn’t approach, much less pass the ‘so what’ test” – Ken White, Small Wars Council


So by now you are all aware of the Biblical inscriptions on ACOGs sights sold by Trijicon to the U.S. Marines and Army.  Without rehearing the details, the owner of the company who makes the ACOGs sights for the U.S. Marines is a Christian, and he has found a unique way to take pride in his work.  He has tooled his factories to inscribe certain Biblical passages on the ACOGs sights.

General Petraeus is disturbed over the inscriptions.  The U.S. Marine Corps is concerned, and Trijicon has agreed to remove them.  Even the washed up, burned out, pacifist hippies at Creative Loafing have weighed in with indignation over the inscriptions (and Muslims with faux outrage after this was hyped in the American media).  The Huffington Post has their usual knee jerk reaction.  Kits have been distributed to remove the inscriptions from those sights which are currently in service (even though, rather surprisingly, the British Ministry of Defence has refused this remedy because it will remove weapons from the field where they are needed).  They’ve taken a pass.

Now, I would never have included the inscriptions on the sights, but not because I disagree with the inscriptions.  In general, I’m a boring kind of guy and just not creative enough to have come up with the idea.  With General Petraeus, I am “disturbed” about a great many things: that we initiated Operation Iraqi Freedom with fewer troops than necessary to maintain the peace once the regime fell – that we have too few troops now in Afghanistan – that we may be losing our conventional capabilities as we necessarily focus on irregular warfare – that our warriors need an entirely new generation of  weapons that won’t be funded – and so on the list could go.  But “disturbed” over these inscriptions?  Not even nearly.  Generals should worry over things that warrant worry, such as micromanaging the campaign.

As for Trijicon, they have behaved admirably throughout this silly ordeal.  If it had been me, I would have let the Marine Corps explain to parents and spouses of Marines why they rejected the best optical sights on the planet because someone who wasn’t involved in this objected to my world view.  I would have responded, ‘Oh, go blow it out your …..,”  well, never mind, that wouldn’t be very Christian.

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I don’t understand the insistence that the only people unhappy about this are those not involved:

“…spend your time making somebody happy who has nothing to do with any of this”
“…because someone who wasn’t involved in this objected to my world view.”

I’m unhappy about it. Muslims, Jews and non-believers serve in our military. We are training Muslims. Petraeus is involved. Offense is in they eye of the offended. Is the objection that someone noticed it and Weinstein took the lead in resolving the issue?

And Trijicon behaved admirably eventually, but not at first.


I agree that it’s not a big issue, but feel that things like this should be addressed. I also agree that the manufacturer could choose to keep the bible references and lose his contract. Absolutely.

But quotes from the bible are not what makes our country great. And there’s plenty of evidence that our country is not a Christian nation. Rather than spending a lot of time talking about Jefferson, the Red Scare, the Treaty of Tripoli and so on, here’s a convenient non-tract for you: http://www.ffrf.org/publications/nontracts/Is-America-A-Christian-Nation/ I don’t expect it to change your mind, but the facts are as contradictory to your view as they are supportive.

As an atheist, I don’t endorse the establishment of any government that closely links religion and rule. I hope you aren’t confusing non-belief with Islam.

I am concerned about the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are not fake issues to me as an active-duty member that has conducted an OEF tour and traveled all around RC-East.

I think it’s important both how the Muslims view us and how matters of religion are handled within our military. I realize that religion cannot be eliminated from everyday life. However, military service is not everyday life and neither is war. In one, we must endeavor to avoid offense and respect the opinions and rights of minority soldiers. In the other, we have to portray that our cause is just and reasoned. In an unfortunate coincidence, this ACOG issue touches upon both areas. The fact that it’s doubly wrong doesn’t mean that we can make excuses for it in one are or the other. Just because the outrage is splintered doesn’t mean that the offense, whether taken by a non-believing soldier or a Muslim supporting our coalition, isn’t real and justified. You seem to blame the press and “crusaders” like me for making an issue out of what you perceive to be a non-issue. That’s like saying it’s only offensive because “the wrong kind of people” found out about it. Getting caught doing something wrong isn’t what makes it wrong. Whether or not there were some counties that officially recognized denominations back then doesn’t matter. The point is that we… Read more »

I love reading your articles. Your skill as a wordsmith, comprehensive and logical analysis, and wide comprehension of life’s details is appreciated. This little spat highlights these things excellently.

(came here via link from your recent blog)

The Captain's Journal » About Those Jesus Rifles

[…] Prior: About Those Biblical ACOG Sights […]


I think it’s sad that American’s have to be tolerant of all other religions “except” Christianity. The truth is, Christian’s a being persecuted all over the world and many that stand up for their beliefs, like the owner of Trijicon, are excoriated by the media. I support Trijicon and freedom of speech. I think that they should be able to put whatever they want on their products. If people don’t like it then they don’t have to buy it. http://www.heroestactical.com/optics/sights/acog-sights.html


You are currently reading "About those Biblical ACOG Sights", entry #4444 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) ACOG,Religion and was published January 27th, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

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