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The ACOG leash…

Army’s PS Magazine put out the correct way to retain a CCO.

“No more disappearing sights,” the Army on CCO leashes via infotoon from last year:

“Too many times we are seeing Soldiers use lacing wire or 550 cord incorrectly causing damage to the weapon and optic. Note, if you are still using 550 cord make sure that it is not wrapped around the gas tube under the handrail, the cord can melt due to high heat,” says PSM.

Is that a Thompson M4?

This great picture popped up on MilMag, a Polish firearm magazine, showing a group of U.S. Army Soldiers milling about, digging the heat somewhere sand-colored.

On a closer look, one, a Spc. Lord, has what looks like a dead ringer for a Thompson M1921/28 submachine gun foregrip affixed to his M4 handguard, like a baller.

Now, THIS is a field mod I can get behind.

Some reverse image searching (thanks for not listing anything about the photo, Mil Mag!) found that the group was from the Tomahawks of the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 4th SBCT, 2ID as they were operating in in Takhteh Pol district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. The photo was taken 05.02.2013 by Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann with the 102nd Public Affairs Det.

In search of more images of Spc. Lord’s epic Tommy gun M4, it was no joy. A follow-up image by Hamann took three weeks later showing the specialist involved in personnel searches at a traffic control point in Panjwai district, shows him with a more traditional forward grip.

Sigh. I bet it was magnificent while it lasted.

Army adds an armored brigade

Looks like Big Green wants more M1s on active duty. Hmm, armored warfare. So 1980s Fulda Gap…

DoD’s presser:

Today the U.S. Army announced that the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division (1/1 AD) stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, will convert from a Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) to an armored brigade combat team (ABCT); and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division (2/4 ID) stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, will convert from an infantry brigade combat team (IBCT) to an SBCT.

“Converting a brigade combat team from infantry to armor ensures the Army remains the world’s most lethal ground combat force, able to deploy, fight, and win against any adversary, anytime and anywhere,” Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper said.

This conversion contributes to Army efforts to build a more lethal force and is an investment to increase overmatch against our potential adversaries — one more critical step to achieving the Army Vision. This effort also postures the Army to better meet combatant commander requirements under the 2018 National Defense Strategy.

“The Army leadership determined that we needed to covert two brigade combat teams to armor and Stryker in order to deter our near-peer adversaries or defeat them if required,” said Maj. Gen. Brian J. Mennes, director of force management.

Conversion of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, will begin in the spring of 2019 and spring of 2020 respectively.

This will provide the nation a 16th ABCT bringing the total number BCTs in the Regular Army (RA) and Army National Guard (ARNG) to 58. There will be a total of 31 BCTs in the RA, to include 11 ABCTs, 13 IBCTs and seven SBCTs. The ARNG will have a total of 27 BCTs, to include five ABCTs, 20 IBCTs and two SBCTs, ensuring a more balanced distribution between its light and heavy fighting forces.

That scattergun love

“PFC. Art Burgess, a candidate in the Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP), 2nd Battalion, 75th Infantry (Ranger), fires a Winchester-built Model 12 combat shotgun during special weapons training at Range 31, 13 January 1982.” The gun has been modified with a heat shield over the barrel, a bayonet lug/sling swivel, an over-folding buttstock, and pistol grip.

Dig the early PASGT kevlar vest with the old-school M1 pot. Soooo early 1980s. (DA-SN-83-09168 Via NARA)

The U.S. military fell in love with the Winchester 97 as a trench shotgun in WWI but soon augmented those with the much more widely-sold Model 12. The Army and Marines brought these guns to the Great War (700) World War II (over 68,000) and Vietnam.

They served as riot guns with military police, trench guns in the front lines, and in support duties. While officially replaced by newer Remington 870s and Mossberg 500s since then, these old vets still continued to get spotted in pictures of US soldiers in harm’s way as late as the recent conflicts in Iraq. Odds are, there are some still in armories somewhere, especially in reserve and National Guard units.

Yankees medics show ‘Primum non nocere’ 100 years ago today

A group of wounded German Army prisoners receiving medical attention at first aid station of U.S. 103rd and 104th Ambulance Companies (Field Hospital), attached to the 26th “Yankee” Division’s 101st Sanitary Train. These prisoners were taken from second line trenches during the opening attack of the Battle of Saint Mihiel on the 12th of September 1918, while the Yanks were “over there” as part of the American Expeditionary Force.

Formed largely from six New England National Guard units– half from Massachusetts– as noted by the Army’s CMOH, “During World War I, a press conference of Boston newspapermen was called by the Commanding General [ Maj. Gen. (Nat. Army) Clarence Ransom Edwards, USMA 1883] to determine a nickname for this division, which had just been inducted from New England National Guard units. The adopted suggestion was, ‘Call it the ‘Yankee Division’ as all New Englanders are Yankees’, and a dark blue monogrammed ‘YD’ on an olive drab background was officially designated as the division insignia.

The 26th still exists today, as the 26th Maneuver Enhancement “Yankee” Brigade, in Natick, Mass, primarily a unit of the Massachusetts Army National Guard. In addition to a host of streamers earned on its second trip to Europe in 1944-45, the Yankees earned streamers in 1917-18 for Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Ile de France and the Lorraine, suffering an amazing 100% casualty rate, some 18,000 soldiers.

The Mass Guard celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the division recently.

A ceremony for the 26th’s 100 birthday, with Doughboys standing with the colors in front of a mural showing the Decoration of regimental colors, U.S. 104th Regiment, U.S. 26th Division, at Boucq, France, April 28, 1918, by General Passaga, 32nd French Army Corps, the first American regiment cited for bravery under fire.

One enduring legacy of the 26th is Sgt. Stubby, an orphan pup the big-hearted Yankees adopted in 1917 and later became the mascot of the divisions’ 102nd Infantry Rgt. Postwar, he lived at Georgetown University and has been in the Smithsonian since then, still wearing his medals and 26th YD patch.

Never underestimate household materials

From the collection of the U.S. Army Ordnance Training and Heritage Center, Ft. Lee:

This is a Vietnamese, homemade, floating water mine that was made circa 1970. It is constructed of a cardboard box wrapped in black plastic. There are nine aqua and white colored plastic flotation devices with wrapped charge simulated in between. It is held together with four wooden sticks that are tied together with rubber strips and cordage. Also, there is approximately 100 ft. of cord for directing purposes. During the Vietnam conflict, there were many of these types of devices employed in the rivers and canals of South Vietnam.

If it seems silly, keep in mind that a team of VC waterborne sappers were able to mine the WWII-era MSTS-manned jeep carrier USNS Card and put her on the bottom of Saigon harbor, although she was soon refloated and repaired.

Get your CMP 1911 order forms in the mail TODAY

The government-chartered non-profit will begin accepting orders in a one-month window spanning between Sept. 4 and Oct. 4 only for the 8,000 vintage handguns they have in stock. Packets postmarked outside those dates will not be accepted.

The day after the window closes, all of the qualifying names will be fed into a Random Number Generator and CMP staffers will start making calls. A similar random draw was used in part to sell a small quantity of M1 Carbines the group put up for grabs in 2016.

The seven-page packet, split between forms and instructions, requires a signed copy of an FFL for where the gun will be shipped. Other requirements include showing proof that the individual is an adult U.S. citizen legally able to possess firearms. There is also a mandate to prove membership in a CMP-affiliated organization and, for those under 60, proof of marksmanship-related activity. The latter can be satisfied with items such as a copy of a concealed carry permit, military service records or proof of participation in a shooting competition.

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