Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
You can now score the golden M16 once owned by a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Nothing says "I'm the boss here" like a gold-plated firearm. Deposed Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein knew it; Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi knew it; even legendary fictional assassin and one-time ruler of Khao Phing Kan island Francisco Scaramanga knew it.
Apparently that tradition extends to the U.S. armed forces as well — sort of.
A golden AR-15/XM16E1 assault rifle that belonged to the late Army Gen. Earle "Bus" Wheeler, who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the height of the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1970, is currently up for grabs at Rock Island Auction Company through May 3rd.
(Rock Island Auction Company)
The was was presented in to Wheeler, who died in 1975, by Colt President Paul Benke when the former was serving Chief of Staff of the Army in 1964.
"Wheeler, who served as in infantry officer early in his career to include service in WWII, reportedly took a keen interest in the Colt, which was eventually selected to replace the Army's M14 — the latter a gun which had been developed by the Army's own Ordnance Department," Guns.com notes. "One sticking point for the service was the absence of a way to manually close the M16's bolt, a feature which became standard on the Colt 603 models after 1963."
(Rock Island Auction Company)
The rifle itself is actually the first prototype gun with a forward assist, dressed up with a gold finish and emblazoned with the unique serial number "COSUSA1." Unfortunately, it's nowhere near as flashy as other golden guns of foreign military leaders past, per Rock Island:
It exhibits all the very early Colt M16 characteristics along with a unique, high polish deep blue/black metal finish on all the metal components except for the complete bolt and bolt carrier assembly which are chrome plated and the upper and lower receiver and barrel that have been given a matte type Gold washed/plated finish. Even the plastic components exhibit a high luster, high polish type buffing/finish.
A similar golden presentation XM16E1 currently resides in the Springfield Armory Museum in Massachusetts. It bears the serial number 50,000 and is rumored to have been intended as a presentation to President Kennedy.
Even without the extra bling, the one-of-a-kind rifle is still extremely rare, rare enough to cost potential bidders somewhere between $150,000 and $275,000, according to the auction house. Better start saving now.
WATCH NEXT: The M4 Carbine In Slow Motion
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.