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Here's What Soldiers Think Of The Army's Brand New Handgun
After months of waiting, the Army’s brand new pistols are finally where they belong: in the hands of American soldiers.
On Nov. 28, the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, began fielding the M17 and M18 pistols picked up as the Army’s new Modular Handgun System at the beginning of 2017. And for the first time, the new handgun is being issued to team leaders first, according to Military.com, a policy that will extend to all Army units who will receive the new sidearm over the next 10 months.
"This weapon is going to go down to the team leader, which is not what we typically have in the 101st or across most light divisions,” 10st master gunner Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Flynn told Military.com. "We are putting this weapon into the hands of a lot of younger soldiers who have never fired it.”
The Screaming Eagles are the first unit to get a hold new pistol during the branch’s equipping timeline — and so far, 25 soldiers with the 101st’s 1st Brigade Combat Team who had first crack at the new sidearm all shared the same reaction — at least, according to the Army.
The Army's new Modular Handgun System, fresh out of the box at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, on November 28, 2017Photo via DoD
"It handled really well, very reliable," C Company team leader Cpl. Jory Herrmann told Military.com. "We slung a lot of rounds down range today had little to no problems out of them.”
“The pistol felt very natural in my hand.” Col. Derek K. Thomson, the 1st Brigade Combat Team commander who oversaw the initial fielding, said in a statement. “The [101st] has always been at the cutting edge of battle, so it's fitting they are the first to fire alongside these leaders today."
"The weapon itself is a very simple handgun; it's a very easy handgun to shoot," 1st Lt. Andrew Borer told Military.com, describing the first day of fielding as “a pretty awesome day.”
"There is little to no resistance on the trigger,” he added. “It's a very easy weapon to regain our sight picture with and to aim and fire the weapon once we have put a round down range."
Sgt. Matthew J. Marsh put it simpler in a statement: “It is easier to fire and simpler to operate.”
The Army's new Modular Handgun System at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, on November 28, 2017Photo via DoD
We can’t blame the 101st for being so damn excited over shiny new pistols. It’s been a long time coming, with seemingly endless drama from the start of the Modular Handgun System competition that continued even after the contract was awarded in January to Sig Sauer.
Shortly after the Army announced the award, Sig’s primary MHS rival Glock Inc. lodged a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, alleging that truncated testing favored the P320 over the company’s 9mm Glock 19 and .40 caliber Glock 23. While the complaint was thrown out in May, another manufacturer, Steyr Arms, immediately launched legal proceedings against Sig over alleged patent infringement.
Reports of safety defects among the P320s sold to civilian law enforcement agencies may not sink the initial fielding in the relative order of Fort Campbell, but we’ll see how well the new pistols hold up when put to the real test: in a firefight.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.