Archive for the 'Marine Corps' Category

Marine Corps Rifles, M1A Torture Test, And AR-15s

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

The U.S. Marine Corps is sticking with its Vietnam-era, M40 sniper rifle series, despite complaints from scout snipers who say they need the modern, longer-range weapons used by special-ops snipers.

Marine scout snipers are considered to be among the best snipers in the world, but many are frustrated at the limitations of the current M40A5 sniper rifle. The A5 is based on the Remington M700 short-action design that’s chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO, like the original M40 Marines used in Vietnam.

Seasoned scout snipers are deadly accurate with the A5 out to 1,000 meters.

Elite special operations units use sniper rifles chambered in more potent calibers such as .338 Lapua Magnum, a round that allows snipers to reach out to 1,600 meters.

U.S. Special Operations Command is currently in the final stage of selecting its new Precision Sniper Rifle for all of its sniper teams. USSOCOM awarded contracts to Remington Defense and another company in 2013 to make two different versions of the PSR – a multi-caliber sniper rifle that allows operators to choose .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum and 7.62mm NATO by simply changing barrels assemblies.

The U.S. Army has watched the PSR program, but for now, it is sticking with its Remington M2010 sniper rifle chambered for .300 Win. Mag., a round that allows snipers to engage enemy targets out to 1,200 meters.

Currently, only the most elite Army and Navy special operations units use the MK21 Precision Sniper Rifle chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum.

Bob Owens is all over this issue, especially in his latest article on it.

The Corps will be upgrading the fifty-year-old M40 to the A6 version, which appears to be little more than a stock upgrade. Don’t get me wrong; the M40A6 will be a fine platform for inside 1,000 meters, against unarmored targets.

But we simply don’t live in a world where that is is “enough gun” for either anti-material or  anti-personnel use, now that so many of our opponents are issuing body armor that can stop the 7.62 NATO round at point-blank range, much less at preferred sniping distances.

Why are the Marines being stuck with using the same short-action cartridge in a military sniping landscape now dominated by magnum-class cartridges?


Factory match-grade ammunition for the 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester family is cheap to manufacture, and the military already has tons of it contracted. Upgrading the M40A6 to even another short-action cartridge with better range and down performance such as the 6.5 Creedmoor would cost more than the meager Corps budget allows. Upgrading to a .338 Lapua Magnum, where both the gun and the ammunition cost more?

[ … ]

But snipers only destroy enemy soldiers and equipment, wreck their morale, cripple their battlefield leadership, and take out key infrastructure while providing a protective overwatch for our Marines on the ground and vital real-time intelligence for our commanders. They don’t create post-retirement jobs for generals, nor line the pocket of defense contractors, or contribute to the reelections of politicians.

The Marines on the ground will be forced make do, as they always have, with outdated equipment.

Thanks, Congress.

And of course, that’s just how the Marine Corps wants you to think about the issue.  Thanks Congress!  The problem is that this isn’t the whole story.  When the U.S. Marine Corps deployed the 25th MEU to the Persian Gulf in 2008, they deployed several Scout Snipers, one of whom I know.  He deployed with a .50 “Sasser.”  The Marine Corps armory is full of a broad array of weapons, including not only the .308 rifle for DMs, but the .50 Barrett as well.  If a Scout Sniper is qualified to the .50 and chooses to, he can carry it on deployments.  Be warned.  It has to be taken apart and carried on your back, but you can carry it.

As for the venerable .308, Carlos Hathcock made many of his kills with a .30-06 Winchester Model 70 (albeit not a .308). and only used a .50 (modified M2 for his longest kills).  Considering the traditional tactics of stalking, shooting and egress, Hathcock is still the most prolific sniper in U.S. history.  The ballistics data shows that there isn’t much difference between the .308 and .30-06, and if I was going to chose a new round to shoot as a Scout Sniper (and it wasn’t going to be the .50), I would probably choose the .300 Win Mag.  Of course, none of these compare to the effect of the .50 in range, power or capability against armor.  Suffice it to say that if the Marine Scout snipers cannot accomplish kills with their .308 rifles, they can with the .50, and they certainly have access to the large caliber rifle if they want it and are qualified to it.  They aren’t left wanting when it comes to firepower.

As for the Marine Corps’s decision to train exclusively with the M4 rather than the M16A2 or M16A4 (via Mike Vanderboegh), it must be remembered that the difference between them in muzzle velocity is negligible.  In fact, I cannot imagine having deployed my son to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2007, with anything but his SAW or M4 (he was a SAW gunner who sometimes used an M4 if the specific mission called for it).  Again, I cannot imagine him having to swing an M1A or M14 through a doorway clearing rooms.  It would have been a reprehensible thing to issue something like M1As or AR-10s for CQB (the .308 being much slower to recover sight picture).

The Marine Corps always makes the decisions they need to make to support the mission.  When I deployed my son in 2007, his entire Battalion went with M4s, SAWs, M4s with M203 mounted, or Scout Sniper rifles of some sort.  The M16s were nowhere to be found.  So what’s all this stuff about the Marine Corps leaving the M16 for M4s?

It’s propaganda.  The Marine Corps want everyone to think that they are the poorest of the poor, when in reality they threw billions away on the ridiculous EFV (Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle), pretending that we are actually going to perform a land invasion from the sea with full armor capabilities like we did in the South Pacific.  They Marine Corps has wasted enough money (every MEU is a waste of money) that you shouldn’t feel too sorry for them when it comes to sniper rifles, Owens and his views notwithstanding.

When it comes to the M1A, you should spend some time watching these M1A torture tests.

Recall that we have showed you a sand torture test of an AR-15, we’ve made it clear that you can’t blame the gun for the battle loses at Wanat, and explained the simple things you must do to ensure reliable operation of your AR-15.

Finally, you’ve seen about AR-15s in sand, mud and operating bone dry.  For the final twist, see them operate with Twinkies installed inside the moving parts.  Yes, Twinkies.

Navy To Charge Officer Who Fired On Attacker In Chattanooga

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Recall I said that the DoD should have a policy of allowing Marines to arm themselves?  Recall I described the current MARADMIN concerning the ownership and use of personal weapons, onerous in all of its requirements?  Well, one Navy officer did arm himself, shot at the attacker, and now will be charged with discharging a firearm on federal property.

Because they would rather he have perished in the attack.  Because they are control freaks and pussies in the superlative degree.

DoD To Allow Weapons In Recruitment Centers

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Military Times:

Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.

In a memo released Thursday, Carter urged top military officials to “develop action plans to improve the security and force protection of DoD personnel.”

His memo noted that current Defense Department policy authorizes the arming of additional “qualified DoD personnel (not regularly engaged in law enforcement activities) based on the threat and the immediate need to protect DoD assets and lives.”

Carter also urged military officials to “consider any additional protection measures including changes to policy and procedures that protect our force against the evolving threat,” according to the memo.

Another key aspect of the “action plans” should be identifying ways to “improve off-installation site security, including practical physical security upgrades and procedural improvements.”

Carter’s memo also calls for a new assessment of “mass warning notification systems and regional alert systems” to identify any problems or gaps.

Well, perhaps.  It isn’t clear that the DoD will authorize weapons in recruitment centers.  They still work for the current administration, after all, and the administration is as anti-gun and anti-personal defense as any we’ve had in our history.

This whole debate reminds me of the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.  It split the conservative community.  Fight terrorists wherever they are, said some.  Others, like me, said don’t ever allow the President or anyone else the authority to kill citizens.  This power can be turned on gun owners and patriots of all stripes (or anyone else who happens to be out of vogue).  The debate would be muted if we actually trusted the government.

For the record, I advocated allowing Marines to arm themselves with personal weapons, although not issuing arming orders for them on U.S. soil.  This simple solution would, if adopted, solve all of the issues.  But I also pointed out the current Marine Corps Commandant orders via a MARADMIN that prohibits even personal weapons in personal homes of Marines except under very strict conditions (which would prevent their actual use in an emergency).

This question of arming Marines is a fake problem created by the gun controllers (some of who live in the military), which has real world consequences.  Solution: let the Marines arm themselves.  They’ll do a fine job.  They don’t need your help.

Should The Marines In Chattanooga Have Been Armed?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

There is in the news today a call for the Marines at the recruiting station in Chattanooga to have been armed, since “we are at war” with radical Islam.  A different take on the subject can be found (via WRSA) from Mason Dixon Tactical.  Here are some excerpts.

The question is somewhat easy to answer. “Should they have been armed?” The short answer is “No.”, at least not from an “On Duty” perspective. I find it interesting that some who have been crying to high Heaven about the “Jade Helm” exercise being a lead in to martial law, are some of the same ones saying the Marines should have been armed, and that we should arm all Service Members in CONUS. Those Marines were not acting in their combatant military capacity in those centers, they were there performing other duties. There was no reason for them to be armed anymore than the average citizen on the street, whom I might point out is just as much a soft target for terrorists, if not more so, from a “lack of training and awareness” standpoint. You want to arm the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen within the U.S., fine, but not before every citizen who is not legally restricted from firearms ownership, get’s to be similarly armed for self defense as well.

[ … ]

Being armed while on duty (especially visibly), unless you are operating in a Military Police, or base Security Forces specialty, is not something that should be, or technically can be authorized. Most don’t even realize that the majority of service members never even fire a handgun while in the service, let alone qualify with and carry one on a regular basis. That’s not even mentioning the logistics nightmare of having to train and qualify every Service Member, and then issue  them a handgun for self defense, which they would have to turn in at the end of the duty day (No, you can’t take it home), and only then (off duty) would they be able to carry a personally owned weapon.

More on that in a moment.  The most idiotic thing I have ever read from a General comes from Odierno, via Mike Vanderboegh.

“I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I’m not talking about where you end up attacking each other,” Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told reporters. Instead, he said, it’s more about “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries.”

Analysis & Commentary

Special Operations routinely carries handguns even when armed with rifles, and at the time “green on green” attacks began I advocated that all Marines be qualified to and armed with a handgun when deployed and under arming orders, and this having been the case could possibly have stopped a great many of the attacks perpetrated on the USMC in the Helmand Province.

As to whether this is feasible or a logistics nightmare, there is no question that it could be done if the decision is made to do it.  I’ve seen what Marines do to waste time.  “Lance Corporal, have your fire team move this pile of dirt from here to the building roof, and when it’s done, call me.”  Lance Corporal – “Aye Sergeant.”  Call made, Lance Corporal – “Sir pile of dirt moved as ordered.”  Sergeant – “Ahh … made a mistake because I was distracted ordering the Corporal to take out the trash, move the pile of dirt back, and then police the grounds for cigarette butts and gum wrappers.  And then head over to watch the PowerPoint presentation on base safety protocols.”  And on it goes.

I call bullshit on the notion that a Marine cannot qualify on a pistol just like he qualifies on his rifle.  The Marines make big stuff out of 500 yard rifle qualifications, and the DMs and Scout Snipers go much farther than that.  Muzzle discipline, weapons clearing and malfunctions, weapons maintenance, rules of gun safety, etc., etc., are all taught as if straight from the Bible, and if you fail at any of it, you visit the “room of pain” for a while, and never fail again.  There isn’t any reason this cannot be laterally transferred to handguns as well.  There simply isn’t any reason.

Odierno’s objection isn’t stupid because he really believes what he said, it’s stupid because he is toeing the party line and cannot come up with something better.  But it must be observed that all of this has to do with Marines who are deployed and under arming orders.

As for when the Marines are stateside, we have dealt with this before too.

If I am not mistaken NCOs could never have personal weapons on reservation property, and officers could only with base commander approval.  But what this MARADMIN appears to do is expand the stipulations even farther.  Take note of the requirement for “government family housing … privately-owned firearms will be stored in a fully-encased container that is capable of completely enclosing the firearm and must be locked with a key or combination lock.  All firearms will be fitted with a trigger lock.”

This expands the rules to property off of the federal reservation, and if you live in housing that is in any way subsidized by the government for families, your personal weapons must not only be in a container large enough to contain the whole of the weapon, and locked, but it (or they) must also have a trigger lock(s) on it (them), even while inside the container.

Damn.  Heads of households had better hope they aren’t the victims of crime.  Their families are completely unprotected and unsecured.  This, from a Marine Corps Commandant who is alleged to be trying to secure his Marines from harm.  Oh well.  This is also from a Commandant who was allegedly involved in illegal command influence in investigations under his charge.  Readers already know what I think of airman Amos.  When Daniel graduated from Boot Camp I presented him with a present.  It included several things signed by Marine Corps Commandant Alfred Gray, with personalized notes to him.  I’ll never request anything like that from Amos.

Airman Amos was a worthless, spineless sniveling lackey crap-weasel and a traitor to the USMC.  Notice that the MARADMIN that is the subject of the post had to do with personal weapons off federal reservation property.  Marines couldn’t even have those unlocked, within arms reach and ready to be deployed without risking NJP or dishonorable discharge.  As best as I know, this MARADMIN is still in effect.

As for whether the Marines in the recruiting office in Chattanooga should have been armed, the answer is a resounding yes and no.  Mason Dixon Tactical raises a very important point.  It wasn’t too many hundreds of years ago in our history where men were required to carry long guns to worship, practice with the other men after worship, and use the day for fellowship and training.  This could one day become more regular in America as the security situation degrades.

But at the moment, LEOs are the only ones who regularly openly carry pistols (and sometimes patrol rifles).  This has been the source of much mistrust, and may yet prove to be the catalyst for worse things than mere mistrust.  The history of the use of the military for battling insurrection is complex and varied.  But the armed forces carrying weapons in the states just doing battle with anyone or everyone is a dark road to start.  We don’t want to travel that road.  I have been critical of Operation Jade Helm, and for what I consider to be good reasons (I will hold in abatement the question of what I think of Robin Sage, since it isn’t an analogue to Jade Helm given than Jade Helm involves not just the armed forces but coupling with law enforcement – which I think is the most dangerous part of it – and scenarios that paint locals as the enemy).

The effectiveness of pistols in a situation where the shooter is in a stand-off position putting rounds through glass is dubious anyway.  The best defense against a rifle is another rifle and better training, but remember, whatever Soldiers and Marines get to carry, we should too.

There was no reason whatsoever that the Marines should have been carrying armory-issued weapons in a recruiting center, as no training was occurring and no one was at the range.  That “we are at war” isn’t a salient objection, as Congress must declare war in order for it to be legal.  Arming orders were not issued, and moreover, they shouldn’t be in the states (the exception I have often advocated is arming orders for troops at the Southern border) excepting an invasion.

But also remember that self defense is a God-given right, and those Marines in Chattanooga, if they had chosen, should have been able to carry personal weapons for self defense.  Odierno’s objection is ridiculous.  Negligent discharges can be trained out of people, and as for consequences of NDs harming others, we who carry on a daily basis learn to cope with and minimize that risk every day.  We are just as liable to do time in the penitentiary for reckless endangerment or negligent homicide as a Soldier or Marine, perhaps more so, and certainly more so than LEOs.

Should those Marines have been armed?  No, not in an official capacity.  Let’s don’t go down that dark road.  But yes, in a personal capacity if they understood and took seriously their God-given duty of self defense and the Marine Corps allowed it (which they don’t).  It’s important to understand and properly categorize the reasons for arming Soldiers and Marines.

UPDATE #1: Washington Post – “The FBI has recovered a pistol that might have been privately owned and used by one of the Marines killed here Thursday during the shooting at the Navy Operational Support Center, according to law enforcement officials.

Investigators are trying to determine based on forensics whether the pistol, a 9mm Glock, was used in an exchange with the shooter, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, and possibly wounded him, officials said.

The standard-issue pistol for military personnel authorized to carry a sidearm is a variant of the 9mm Beretta 92. According to the Marine unit’s commanding officer, Maj. Mike Abrams, Marines are not authorized to carry personally owned firearms while at the support center.”

Rifle Qualifications In Comfort

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 4 weeks ago

Marine Corps Times:

Marines in Hawaii are using rubberized shooting mats on the rifle range, a comfort upgrade officials credit with dramatically reducing failures during annual marksmanship qualifications.

The Puuloa Range at Marine Corps Base Hawaii was notorious for its unpleasant, uneven surface, lack of grass and blood-red dirt that threw shots and stained Marines’ uniforms. Marines who trained there were at a “clear disadvantage,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jordan Kramp, the range officer in charge.

“The condition of firing lines prohibited their ability to acquire foundational shooting positions,” Kramp said. “Hardened, overly matted-down surfaces prevented Marines from acquiring proper positions for firing, [resulting in] both firing and support elbows sliding out during specific stages of fire.”

The new mats were installed in January at the Puuloa Range’s 200-, 300- and 500-yard firing lines. Early results suggest there could be about a 90 percent reduction in the number of Marines who fail their first qualification.

“They were so comfortable especially in the prone,” said Cpl. Brittney Vella, a combat correspondent assigned to the base’s Headquarters Battalion. “If you had rocks on your elbows it was difficult to have a stable base, so the mats helped us be stable and you felt like you connected with the ground a lot better.”

Uh huh.  “Connected with the ground a lot better.”  Right.  I’m sure the enemy will pause and let you put soft mats under your body so that you won’t have appendages and body parts slipping out from under you when you try to kill them.  And don’t worry about all that mud in the jungles or dirt in the “sand box.”  I’m sure all that is just exaggerated bravado.

Women In Combat: Misunderstandings

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 3 weeks ago

It isn’t necessary to recapitulate what we’ve discussed concerning women in combat since it is so well rehearsed here on these pages.  But occasionally something comes out that needs correction.

David Martin: Now you’ve been through this training, what’s your own opinion about whether women can serve in the infantry?

Nisa Jovell: My opinion would be that it would be pretty difficult for them. We’re just, unfortunately physically, we are not built for it. And I’m not saying that we can’t do it, what they do. But our body structure is different.

David Martin: So what is it really, physically that you think?

Nisa Jovell: Honestly, it was really just carrying a lot of weight. And learning how to move as fast as you can with it.

David Martin: It’s what? Bone density that wears you down over time?

Nisa Jovell: It’s mainly hips that affect us.

David Martin: Hips?

Nisa Jovell: For females, yes.

David Martin: How does that play out on a 15K or a 20K?

Nisa Jovell: We had to learn how to put on the pack a certain way to like — relieve the stress off of our hip, so the hip problem is definitely a big deal.

No, no, no, no, and a thousand times no!  Any backpack that places the weight primarily on the shoulders will cause spine damage and ultimately cripple a man over the long haul.  Proper designs can be seen in the civilian market, and they place the weight primarily on the hips, not the shoulders.

While trying to emphasize that there is a “workaround” of sorts for the fact that females are designed differently than men and suffer from mechanical disadvantages unique to their structure, Ms. Jovell has in fact highlighted and emphasized those differences rather than the workaround.  And women still aren’t designed for combat, no matter what the progressives want to believe and no matter how much they would like the military to be the grand experiment in gender-neutral homogeneity.

Marines Hand Over Weapons Before Leaving Yemen

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 3 weeks ago

U.S. Embassy Marines in Yemen handed over their M-9 pistols and M-4 carbines before evacuating the chaotic country with diplomatic personnel, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

The Marines also left behind several vehicles at the airport in the capital city of Sanaa before departing on a civilian flight, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.

Warren said the Marines destroyed their machine guns and other crew-served weapons before leaving the Embassy for the airport. He also said that it was unclear who now had custody of the weapons and vehicles that were surrendered.

A Marine spokesman could not immediately say whether the surrender of weapons by Embassy Marines in an evacuation was unprecedented.

[ … ]

Warren also could not say why a civilian charter flight was used rather than military aircraft for the evacuation. He suggested that the handover of weapons may have resulted from international rules barring weapons on a civilian flight.

And another report from Marine Corps Times:

“No Marines handed over a functional weapon to anybody,” the official said.

Each weapon was made inoperable before the Marines’ departure, the official said. It was not clear, he said, whether the Marines damaged the weapons’ barrels, removed rifle bolts, or taken other steps to render them unusable.

The Marine Corps Times is just painting a happy face on the sorry event.  The Pentagon “official” is incorrect to suggest that because it was a commercial charter flight firearms weren’t allowed.  My own son departed from Cherry Point bound for Iraq with his firearms in hand aboard a commercial chartered flight, as did the rest of the 2/6 Marine Corps.

This is a sad, sorry, horrible, embarrassing, shameful episode in Marine Corps History.  I ashamed for them.  What on earth has happened to America’s 911 fighting force?

Marine Corps Updates Firearms Policy After Fort Hood Shooting

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

The Marine Corps issued a new MARADMIN concerning firearms after the recent Fort Hood shooting.  The summary is taken from

Local directives will contain provisions that:

    • Prohibit privately-owned firearms in all federal facilities, to include government-leased spaces and government vehicles.
    • Prohibit carrying privately-owned firearms as concealed weapons aboard Marine Corps installations.
    • Ensure all privately-owned firearms stored aboard Marine Corps installations are registered and on file with the provost marshal’s office and the Marine Corps police department.
    • Prohibit storage of privately-owned firearms and ammunition in bachelor enlisted quarters for noncommissioned officers and below. Storage within bachelor officer or staff noncommissioned officer quarters is at the discretion of the installation commander.
    • Reemphasize compliance regarding storage of privately-owned firearms and ammunition in government family housing.
    • In all cases, privately-owned firearms will be stored in a fully-encased container that is capable of completely enclosing the firearm and must be locked with a key or combination lock. All firearms will be fitted with a trigger lock.
    • Ammunition must be stored separately from firearms and in a container capable of being locked with a key or combination lock.
    • Privately-owned firearms will not be stored in privately-owned vehicles.
    • All personnel will continue to comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws for the purchase, registration, transportation and storage of privately-owned firearms and ammunition.
    • Transporting privately-owned firearms is authorized in POVs to and from an authorized storage area or to an off-base location consistent with federal, state and local laws.

If I am not mistaken NCOs could never have personal weapons on reservation property, and officers could only with base commander approval.  But what this MARADMIN appears to do is expand the stipulations even farther.  Take note of the requirement for “government family housing … privately-owned firearms will be stored in a fully-encased container that is capable of completely enclosing the firearm and must be locked with a key or combination lock.  All firearms will be fitted with a trigger lock.”

This expands the rules to property off of the federal reservation, and if you live in housing that is in any way subsidized by the government for families, your personal weapons must not only be in a container large enough to contain the whole of the weapon, and locked, but it (or they) must also have a trigger lock(s) on it (them), even while inside the container.

Damn.  Heads of households had better hope they aren’t the victims of crime.  Their families are completely unprotected and unsecured.  This, from a Marine Corps Commandant who is alleged to be trying to secure his Marines from harm.  Oh well.  This is also from a Commandant who was allegedly involved in illegal command influence in investigations under his charge.  Readers already know what I think of airman Amos.  When Daniel graduated from Boot Camp I presented him with a present.  It included several things signed by Marine Corps Commandant Alfred Gray, with personalized notes to him.  I’ll never request anything like that from Amos.

The Navy And Marines Need Adult Supervision

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 10 months ago

Jean sends this along to show why the Navy needs Marine supervision.

Meanwhile, the officials also said that a Russian electronic intelligence-gathering vessel was granted safe harbor in the commercial port of Jacksonville, Fla., within listening range of Kings Bay.

But the Marines have their own problems.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SABIT QADAM, Afghanistan – As full integration of the Infantry Automatic Rifle into the Marine Corps’ arsenal becomes complete, the M249 Light Machine Gun, formerly the Squad Automatic Weapon, slowly fades into the history of the Corps.

The SAW has seen action since 1984 and has protected Marines since. Replaced by an automatic rifle of similar size and weight of the M16A4 service rifle already issued to rank and file Marines, the familiarity with the new weapon is almost instant.

“The IAR has fewer moving parts than the SAW does making it a lot more ‘grunt friendly,’” said Lance Cpl. Tyler Shaulis, an IAR gunner with 4th Platoon, Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 7. “It has a direct piston system, so there are fewer jams. It stays cleaner, longer with less carbon build up after it’s been fired. The muscle memory stays the same with it as it would an M16. If an IAR gunner goes down, any Marine could grab the weapon and lay down accurate suppressive fire without thinking twice.”

[ … ]

“We’re going back to what we had in WWII with the Browning Automatic Rifle,” Henderson said. “Since the 1980s, we gave the infantry squad the light machine gun, and now we’re having another shift in the Marine Corps to get back to what we were doing right the first time.”

I asked Daniel, my former Marine, what he thought about this.

This is sad. The reason we went with the SAW was because the BAR and its associated concept were inadequate.  At times in combat in Iraq, we had all nine SAW gunners firing during engagements, and I’m glad that we did.  We needed the fire power.  In the thousands of rounds I put down range stateside and Iraq, I never had a single problem … never … had … a … single … problem, with my SAW.  I kept it clean.  This change to the IAR is a testimony to laziness.  What do Marines want to do – take someone out on a date?  What else do they have to do when they’re deployed?  What’s the problem with cleaning weapons?  Mine worked because I maintained it right.  All this has done is make the Marines weaker.  It may be that this IAR could be used for select circumstances like room clearing, but the death of the SAW will bring nothing good.

Additionally, in spite of this, the Marines are still hell bent on bringing women into the infantry officer training at Quantico.

The Marine Corps’ effort to evaluate whether more combat jobs should open to women marked another milestone last week when the second of two female volunteers washed out of infantry officer training.

A second lieutenant, she was dropped from the program Friday after failing to complete required training due to unspecified medical reasons, a Marine official told Marine Corps Times. It’s unclear whether she was injured or if she became ill.

[ … ]

At Quantico, those overseeing the IOC experiment have said that it will involve up to 100 female officers and take at least a year to complete. The Marine official, speaking on condition of anonymity, reaffirmed the Corps’ intent to recruit female volunteers for subsequent iterations of the course.

“This was just the first shot,” the official said.

The Navy is out to lunch, but the Marines have joined them at that lunch.  If they aren’t attempting to force women through training at Quantico, they are worrying over large scale, heavily armored amphibious assault landings on near peer states, something that will never occur again.  Meanwhile, SOCOM continues to use up the money and be the nation’s first responders.  There are no adults left in the room, and the Marines are left without mission, leadership or vision.

Marine Double Amputee Taunted In Charlotte Grill

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

From The Charlotte Observer (via WCNC):

The owner of a south Charlotte restaurant says he is “heartbroken” over an incident Sunday in which bantering between football fans got out of control, resulting in a U.S. Marine who lost both legs in Afghanistan being forced to leave the eatery with his wife, parents and friends.

Chris Neilsen, owner of the Moosehead Grill on Montford Drive, has been in contact with family members of Marine Garrett Carnes, of Mooresville, following the incident that Neilsen says “was awful.”

“I want to somehow make it right by them,” Neilsen says.

During a verbal altercation that some witnesses said almost came to blows, one patron allegedly told Carnes he was using his wheelchair “as an excuse.”

In an interview with The Observer, however, the fan said Carnes and members of his party were equally abusive. And he denied making a remark about the Marine’s wheelchair.

The incident happened after Carnes, his wife Courtney, their parents, and friends Brett and Nicole Coburn stopped at the restaurant for dinner after attending the Carolina Panthers’ game against Dallas. Several members of the party, including Garrett Carnes, were wearing Dallas Cowboys jerseys.

“Courtney was the first one out of the vehicle, and while she was getting Garrett’s wheelchair, one guy immediately started yelling at her,” said Brett Coburn, who described the man’s comments as “taunts.”

Coburn said that when the group reached the front door, the fan was waiting for them.

“He was standing at the door, and he started harassing us because of the Cowboys jerseys,” Coburn said.

He said the fan told Garrett Carnes, “Don’t use your wheelchair as a crutch.”

The fan, who did not want to give his name, gave a different account.

“Moosehead is a Panthers’ bar,” he said. “When they came, wearing the Cowboys’ jerseys, I started up on them. I asked them if they were Cowboys fans who lived in North Carolina.”

“I’m not going to fight someone in a wheelchair,” the fan said. “I said to him, ‘I’m not fighting you. Get four of your boys, and I’ll fight them.’ “

According to multiple accounts of the incident, Carnes told the patron – and others who were ridiculing the group for being Cowboys’ fans – that he was a veteran and had lost his legs in Afghanistan.

Members of the Carnes-Coburn party tried to “defend ourselves verbally,” Brett Coburn said.

“We were going back and forth,” the fan said. “Yes, it got out of control.”

The fan said one woman in the Carnes-Coburn party swore at him.

He said the fan walked toward Carnes in a threatening way, and some other patrons stepped in to break it up.

Neilsen said his employees are trained to separate possible combatants, in an effort to defuse such situations. On Sunday, staff members asked Garrett Carnes and his party to leave, while they took the fan to another area of the restaurant.

“It spiraled out of control,” Coburn says.

Courtney Carnes called police, but no charges were filed.

Neilsen said he arrived at the restaurant after the group had left and was in the parking lot, talking to police.

“I didn’t want them to leave,” he said of the Carnes-Coburn party, “but I understand why they left. I’m miserable. My heart hurts for them.”

He said the trouble was caused by people who “are not regulars” at the restaurant and added that the fan was not welcome to return.

Carnes, who is still undergoing treatment for his wounds at a Washington-area hospital, is trying to stay out of the dispute, Coburn said. Carnes’ mother, Rhonda, addressed a note to restaurant patrons on Facebook, saying, “Why didn’t any of you stand up for my son and daughter? And to think my son almost died for every single person in that bar, by defending all your freedom.”

The fan told the Observer, “He (Carnes) is a veteran, and I appreciate what he did for this country. But I don’t appreciate how abusive they were.”

Cedar Posts Blog has identified the culprit by name.  I won’t follow suit, but I will note that the original issue of the Charlotte Observer story identified the individual responsible as “Tank.”  They have since removed this from the report.

To learn more about Marine Corporal Garrett Carnes, read this earlier Charlotte Observer report.  My initial inclination was to inform “Tank” that I would like to meet him at a place and time of his choosing, and I would be happy to wear a Dallas Cowboys shirt (not that I am particularly a fan of the Cowboys) to see just what he thinks about it. You see, Tank doesn’t intimidate me.

But it appears from Facebook posts that there are enough people who want to meet Tank, so I thought I would focus on more important things.  Take careful note, Tank, of your reaction when you saw a double-amputee, and heard that he was a Marine.  You waxed idiotic concerning a shirt he was wearing.  You poked your belly out to defend a sports team that, frankly, doesn’t know you and doesn’t care anything about you.

Let’s be more specific.  I cannot stand quarterback Cam Newton.  I think that ridiculous head scarf he wears on the sidelines looks childish.  It sets him apart rather than marks him as a leader.  He will never be in the same class as say, Joe Montana, not if he lives 200 years.  And his silly superman act in the endzone makes him out to be a superstar wannabe.  I hate superstars, and I love team players.  The Marines are team players.  The Panthers are horrible in just about every other way, at least right now.

So, you spent your moral capital defending guys who do poorly at what they do, don’t know you, wouldn’t care anything about you if they did, and wouldn’t give you the time of day if they passed you on the street.  Losers, you and the Panthers.

Contrast that with the fellow you verbally abused.  He deployed to one of the worst places on earth to take down al Qaeda, al Qaeda sympathizers and their enablers.  He trained in deadly conditions (e.g., squad rushes with live fire) in order to do this, and will forever live with the consequences of his sacrifice for you.

If I had met him, I would have asked him permission to discuss his experiences in warfare.  You see, I owe him that respect, and some men don’t like to talk about it.  If he agreed, I have a whole host of questions for him.  What happened?  How did it happen?  When did it happen?  Where were you – Now Zad, Garmsir, Sangin?  What is your unit?  What about IEDs and have dogs been beneficial to you?  Are you set for at least a while, and is there anything I can do for you?

You see, Tank, some of us have respect for our warriors.  We worry over things like Hezbollah crossing the Southern border, how quickly al Qaeda will re-group when we leave N2K, what the Pech River Valley and the Hindu Kush will look like with the ANA and ANP in charge, how quickly the Taliban will move from Helmand to Kandahar and then on to Kabul, why we didn’t send forces to repel the Islamist attack at Benghazi, Libya, and so on and so forth.

I understand that you apparently can’t handle that sort of stuff.  So you just wear your shirt, cheer for your sports teams, and look stupid in those photographs.  You laugh, and laugh, and bow your belly out as if you’re really something.  But measure the cost.  Somewhere there is a terrorist planning to take down our electrical grid.  When that happens, your sports team will be the last thing on your mind, and you might just remember that Marine you abused.

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