This fake-looking Air Force photo is totally real and totally amazing

Military Tech

VIDEO: The M4 Carbine in slow motion

This picture looks fake but trust us, it's absolutely real and a totally amazing shot on the photographer's part.


Staff Sgt. Matthew Gluyas, 99th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, fires an M4 carbine at a target at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Sept. 19, 2018. The M4 is now the standard issue firearm for most units in the U.S. military.(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Sarver)

The photo was floating around among some doubters on Instagram, which is where we spotted it. Those with a keen eye and even a cursory knowledge of the M4 rifle will immediately wonder, why is that shell casing in front of the barrel?

Normally, when an M4 fires, the spent brass is ejected to the right and rear of the shooter, at anywhere between 3 and 4 o'clock. But in this case, the brass was ejecting forward. Which is weird as all hell.

We reached out to the photographer, Airman 1st Class Andrew Sarver, who assured us that yes, it's legit. The photo was shot last month during range training with a K-9 unit at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and part of a larger gallery he directed us to on DVIDS.

"The M4 we were using had been ejecting brass forward (at about a 2-3 o'clock position) throughout the entire exercise," Sarver told Task & Purpose. "From what I've been told, the M4 can sometimes do that when there is too much gas pressure. I just had great timing with capturing the shell at the exact rotation and elevation with the barrel!"

That's actually true.

A Google search for "can AR brass eject forward?" yields plenty of people asking why it's happening to them, with helpful gun aficionados offering myriad reasons. Among them is brass hitting the brass deflector, or more often than not, too much gas. It's not a huge problem for the shooter, but it can cause a weird ejection, while resulting in more wear and tear to the rifle.

"The photo is definitely real, the timing was just impeccable," Staff Sgt. Matthew Gluyas, the airman in the photograph, told Task & Purpose. "Some people were trying to say I shot the casing out of the barrel or we photoshopped it to make it look like that but that was definitely not the case."

Besides those explanations, we also looked at the metadata on his photo and it didn't offer any clear tells that it was Photoshopped. And among Sarver's gallery was another picture taken from a different angle, which showed brass going forward instead of where it belongs.

Staff. Sgt. Juan Hinojosa, 99th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, fires a rifle at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Sept. 19, 2018. Each member maneuvered to different stations where they fired their rifle and pistol while maintaining control over their military working dogs.(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Sarver)

And that concludes Task & Purpose myth busters for now.

(Associated Press/Gregory Bull)

The Navy has paused proceedings that could strip Eddie Gallagher and three other SEALs of their tridents while the service awaits a written order to formally stand down, a senior Navy official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.

Rear Adm. Collin Green, the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, was expected to decide on the matter after the SEALs appeared before a review board next month. But Trump tweeted on Thursday that Gallagher was in no danger of losing his trident, a sacred symbol of being part of the SEAL community.

"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," the president tweeted. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"

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(Task & Purpose photo illustration by Paul Szoldra)

Jordan Way was living a waking nightmare.

The 23-year-old sailor laid in bed trembling. At times, his body would shake violently as he sobbed. He had recently undergone a routine shoulder surgery on Dec. 12, 2017, and was hoping to recover.

Instead, Jordan couldn't do much of anything other than think about the pain. Simple tasks like showering, dressing himself, or going to the bathroom alone were out of the question, and the excruciating sensation in his shoulder made lying down to sleep feel like torture.

"Imagine being asleep," he called to tell his mother Suzi at one point, "but you can still feel the pain."

To help, military doctors gave Jordan oxycodone, a powerful semi-synthetic opiate they prescribed to dull the sensation in his shoulder. Navy medical records show that he went on to take more than 80 doses of the drug in the days following the surgery, dutifully following doctor's orders to the letter.

Instinctively, Jordan, a Navy corpsman who by day worked at the Twentynine Palms naval hospital where he was now a patient, knew something was wrong. The drugs seemed to have little effect. His parents advised him to seek outside medical advice, but base doctors insisted the drugs just needed more time to work.

"They've got my back," Jordan had told his parents before the surgery, which happened on a Tuesday. By Saturday, he was dead.

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T-38 Talon training aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.

The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.

The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.

An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.

Read the entire message below:

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.

Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.

Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.

A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.

Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.

The commander of the Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Regiment has been relieved over a loss of "trust and confidence in his ability to lead" amid an investigation into his conduct, a Corps official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.

Col. Lawrence F. Miller was removed from his post on Thursday morning and replaced with his executive officer, Lt. Col. Larry Coleman, who will serve as interim commander of the Quantico, Virginia based unit.

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President Donald Trump has nixed any effort by the Navy to excommunicate Eddie Gallagher from the SEAL community.

"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," the president tweeted on Thursday. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"

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