Before the Navy - History

Before the Navy - History

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Marshall Ralph Doak Chief Pharmacist's Mate United States Navy

Probably two or three weeks later, someone told me there was a possibility of going into the Naval Academy Prep School through the regular Navy. I went to St. Joe and applied there with the enlistment officer. I passed the exam, which was very limited. This was the depression period and it was very difficult to get in the Navy, even for that $21 per month. He said, "You're only 17, but with your scholastic and athletic backgrounds there is a good possibility that you'd go in as a Naval Academy candidate." This meant that once I was in the Navy they would give me tutors and eventually I would take the exam for the prep school at Norfolk. About 100 men from the fleet would go to the prep school every year, and this was basically where they got all their athletes. At that time the Navy was more athletically inclined. They had baseball and football teams, whale boat crews, boxing and wrestling. It was quite an athletic endeavor all the way through the fleet. So I agreed to this and it wasn't until November that I was called up. On November 9, 1938 I aised my right hand and I joined the Navy in Detroit, MI. I was taken to Newport, RI, and I went through my four months of basic training. I got my 10 days leave which meant riding the bus all the way back to Michigan which was quite a long haul on a bus. I spent time at home and returned to Rhode Island, where I was assigned to the USS Cimmaron, a fleet tanker. They then changed this because at that time they had the New York World's Fair and they were looking for someone around six feet tall to do the marching. I was then assigned to the world's fair. That was also changed, and eventually I was sent to the USS Houston. At the end of four months of service I was promoted (automatically) to Seaman 2nd Class, marking a $36 per month pay. I immediately made out an allotment of $25 per month to my parents to help them at home, and I lived on $10 a month. The USS Houston I took a trip to Charleston, SC, and I picked it up there. From Charleston we went to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Houston, by the way, was President Roosevelt's private Navy ship. He had his own elevator on board where he could take his wheelchair and go from the ward room up to the bridge, and to his quarters and so forth. I never saw him on board the ship, but after being on board the Houston for about a month, I was transferred to the USS Salt Lake City, another Heavy Cruiser, at Gitmo.

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

The first ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) was introduced in 1968 as part of the Student Testing Program. In 1973, the Air Force began using the ASVAB, followed by the Marine Corps in 1974. From 1973-1975, the Navy and Army used their own test batteries for selection and classification.

In 1974, the Department of Defense decided that all Services should use the ASVAB for both screening enlistees and assigning them to military occupations. Combining selection and classification testing made the testing process more efficient. It also enabled the Services to improve the matching of applicants with available job positions and allowed job guarantees for those qualified.

In 1976, the ASVAB was first used by all of the Services for selection and classification. Since 1976, a variety of content changes have been introduced to the test.

History of ASVAB content since it’s introduction in 1968

Subtest 1968 – 1975 1976 – 1980 1980-2002 2002 – Current (P&P) 1990 – Current (CAT)
Word Knowledge
Arithmetic Reasoning
Tool Knowledge
Space Perception
Mechanical Comprehension
Shop Information
Automotive Information
Electronics Information
Coding Speed
Mathematics Knowledge
Numerical Operations
Attention to Detail
General Science
General Information
Paragraph Comprehension
Assembling Objects

*This table identifies the subtests that have been included on the ASVAB since its introduction in 1968. Each column represents a different version of the ASVAB. Each subtest contained in that version of the ASVAB is indicated by a checkmark in the column.

In 1979, the Department of Defense initiated a joint-Service project to develop and evaluate the feasibility of implementing a computer-adaptive version of the ASVAB. After 20 years of extensive research and evaluation, the CAT-ASVAB was implemented operationally in 1996-1997 at all Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS). It was the first large-scale adaptive test battery to be administered in a high-stakes setting.

Caplock Rifles

An 1858 Enfield, Double Band. photo from

Flintlocks were eventually succeeded by muzzleloading caplock rifles. To ignite the main charge, a percussion cap, which is basically just a big primer, was struck by the hammer and, in turn, ignited the main charge in the barrel. It replaced the entire flint assembly, frizzen, and flash pan with a simple hammer and the step of placing a cap on the nipple cone, creating a significant advantage for battlefield troops.

The system was actually patented way back in 1807 by Rev. Alexander John Forsyth, because he got sick of birds getting spooked by the smoke from the flash pan before his shot was fired, though he never got beyond that point. It wasn’t until Forsyth’s patents expired that the system was actually developed. Many older flintlock weapons were converted to caplocks once their use became common.

A Springfield Model 1861 caplock rifled musket. photo from wikipedia

An example from this era is the Enfield Pattern 1853 rifle-musket, which was a .577 caliber Minié-type muzzleloader and was used by the British Empire from 1853 to 1867. On the American side of the pond, the Springfield Rifle Musket or the Springfield Model 1861, a .58-caliber Minié ball rifled muzzleloader, became a common arm during the Civil War. It was capable of hitting a man-sized target at distances as great as 500 yards. Along with the revised 1863 model, it was the last muzzleloader adopted by the U.S. Army.

By the end of the Civil War, about 1.5 million Springfield rifle muskets had been produced.

Morgan Freeman unboxes an Enfield Pattern 1853 Three Band rifle as Rawlins in “Glory” (1989). photo from


The Department of the Navy (DoN) consists of two Uniformed Services: the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps. [3] The secretary of the Navy is responsible for, and has statutory authority (10 U.S.C. § 5013) to "conduct all the affairs of the Department of the Navy", i.e. as its chief executive officer, subject to the limits of the law, and the directions of the president and the secretary of defense. In effect, all authority within the Navy and Marine Corps, unless specifically exempted by law, is derivative of the authority vested in the secretary of the Navy.

Specifically enumerated responsibilities of the SECNAV in the before-mentioned section are: recruiting, organizing, supplying, equipping, training, mobilizing, and demobilizing. The Secretary also oversees the construction, outfitting, and repair of naval ships, equipment, and facilities. SECNAV is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies and programs that are consistent with the national security policies and objectives established by the President or the Secretary of Defense. [4] [5]

The secretary of the Navy is a member of the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB), chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Furthermore, the Secretary has several statutory responsibilities under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) with respect to the administration of the military justice system for the Navy & the Marine Corps, including the authority to convene general courts-martial and to commute sentences.

The principal military advisers to the SECNAV are the two service chiefs of the naval services: for matters regarding the Navy the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), and for matters regarding the Marine Corps the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC). The CNO and the Commandant act as the principal executive agents of the SECNAV within their respective services to implement the orders of the Secretary.

Navy Regulations Edit

The United States Navy Regulations is the principal regulatory document of the Department of the Navy, and all changes to it must be approved by the secretary of the Navy.

U.S. Coast Guard Edit

Whenever the United States Coast Guard operates as a service within the Department of the Navy, the secretary of the Navy has the same powers and duties with respect to the Coast Guard as the Secretary of Homeland Security when the Coast Guard is not operating as a service in the Department of the Navy. [6]

The Office of the Secretary of the Navy, also known within DoD as the Navy Secretariat or simply just as the Secretariat in a DoN setting, is the immediate headquarters staff that supports the Secretary in discharging his duties. The principal officials of the Secretariat include the under secretary of the Navy (the Secretary's principal civilian deputy), the assistant secretaries of the Navy (ASN), the general counsel of the Department of the Navy, the judge advocate general of the Navy (JAG), the Naval inspector general (NIG), the chief of Legislative Affairs, and the chief of naval research. The Office of the Secretary of the Navy has sole responsibility within the Department of the Navy for acquisition, auditing, financial and information management, legislative affairs, public affairs, research and development. [7]

Pursuant to SecNavInst 5090.5F, the Department of the Navy Environmental Programs Manual, the secretary of the Navy and chief of naval operations recognize a number of commands annually for achievements in such areas as environmental quality, environmental cleanup, natural resources conservation, cultural resources management, pollution prevention, and recycling. [8]

The History of U.S. Military Sidearms

The U.S. military has a long and storied history. Our brave soldiers have traveled across the globe in defense of freedom and democracy, and in every one of those conflicts, they have carried a sidearm.

From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror, there has been a pistol in the hands of our military men and women. Let’s take a look at the pistols that have helped them win wars, both at home in America and abroad.

The Flintlock

The first sidearm used in the defense of the U.S.A. was the Flintlock Model 1775. This was almost a direct copy of the British model 1760, but it was made in the U.S. for the continental army.

You may recognize this pistol as the symbol of the U.S. Army Military Police Corps or as the pistol on the U.S. Navy SEAL trident.

The Model 1775 was a .62 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol that became a favorite among officers due to its ease of use and its accuracy — despite being a smoothbore pistol.

A flintlock pistol circa 1700–1730.

The first Continental Congress purchased 2,000 of these pistols to be manufactured and produced in the U.S. by the Rappahannock Forge in Virginia. This pistol served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Spanish American War — right up until the introduction of the revolver in the mid-1800s.

The Revolver

Samuel Colt, the founder of Colt Firearms, revolutionized warfare with his revolving pistol that could shoot multiple bullets without the need to reload. This was a major accomplishment in increasing the lethality of warfare in the modern era.

His initial design ushered in a number of revolvers that would service the U.S. military, including the Colt 1847, the Colt M1848 Dragoon, the Colt Army Model 1860, and the Colt Single Action Army.

1847 Colt Walker. Photo: Older Firearms / CC BY-SA 2.0

The two most prominent revolvers from this list are the Colt Army Model 1860 (which saw extensive use during the American Civil War) and the Colt Single Action Army.

The U.S. government ordered over 220,000 of the Model 1860 for the War Between the States, and the cap and ball revolvers that shot a .44 caliber bullet were mass produced for all the Union forces.

The Colt Single Action Army — or, as it is more famously known, “the gun that won the west” — is one of the most iconic American guns. Both outlaws and heroes carried it in their gun holsters. Virtually unchanged in design and still in wide use today, it is a .45 caliber pistol that carries six metallic cartridges.

Colt Army 1860, early Model with fluted Cylinder and 7 1/2″ Barrel cal .44. Photo: Hmaag – CC BY-SA 3.0

The Colt Model 1911

Probably the most recognizable pistol in U.S. military history, the Colt Model 1911 served American troops in both World War I and World War II as well as Korea, Vietnam, and many other 20th-century conflicts. In fact, this pistol served as the sidearm for the U.S. military for 74 years.

A government-issue ‘Model of 1911’ pistol (serial number: 94854) manufactured in 1914

The Colt Model 1911 was the first semi-automatic pistol to be adopted by the U.S. military. Over 2 million pistols were created, and it became a favorite weapon because of the powerful .45 ACP rounds that stopped enemies in their tracks.

This pistol’s lethality made it virtually irreplaceable until the U.S. military decided to adopt the smaller-caliber M9 Beretta in the mid-1980s.

Despite the military’s official adoption of this newer pistol, many Special Forces units opted to carry the 1911 over the Berretta, and it remains a favorite of the United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Forces.

Naval Aviation Cadets from the Naval Air Station at the pistol range with Colt M1911-A1 .45 pistols, Corpus Christi, Texas, United States, circa 1941.

The M9 Beretta

The M9 Beretta beat out a military favorite when it was chosen to replace the Colt 1911 for a number of reasons. Not only was it lighter and carried more rounds, but it was chambered in the NATO 9mm, making it a top pick among Defense Department officials.

Beretta M9 pistol.

The M9 Beretta was adopted in 1985 and has served in the military ever since, including Iraq and Afghanistan. As a single or double action pistol, it is capable of carrying 15+1, which more than doubles the capacity of the 1911.

Another respected feature of this pistol is it can be adapted for different missions.

When the U.S. was caught up in deadly urban warfare conflicts in Iraq, Beretta developed the M9A1 that featured a Picatinny rail, so the military could affix a light or laser, making the M9 better for the house-to-house and street-to-street fighting that was common in Iraq.

This pistol would go on to serve until 2015 when the U.S. Army announced that it was looking for a replacement to the M9.

Beretta M9A1. Photo: Tomandandy – CC BY-SA 3.0

The M17

The Sig Sauer P320 is the newest addition to this long lineage of pistols carried by the U.S. military. On January 19, 2017, the U.S. Army formally announced that the P320 — the pistol now known as the M17 — beat over 20 other pistols to be crowned the new standard-issue military sidearm.

SIG Sauer P320 compact pistol. Photo: Rouven74 / CC BY-SA 4.0

The U.S. Army ordered almost 300,000 full-size pistols and another 7,000 compact models. Some other branches may have ordered another 200,000, which would account for over half a million pistols commissioned by the U.S. government.

This pistol emerged as a favorite because the Army was looking for something that was easily adaptable to their missions.

They wanted a firearm to have parts that could be swapped out to meet the increasingly changing environments in which the Army conducts operations. The M17 offers all this flexibility and more. It discharges a 9mm bullet, and you can change the grips and slide to meet the needs of almost any mission.

It is easily broken down into a concealable handgun as well. This is the new service weapon of the U.S. military, and it will serve alongside the members of the Armed Services for years to come.

Author bio: Benji is an avid outdoorsman and former Marine who enjoys hunting and long distance shooting. Currently, he works for Concealment Express as the Director of Marketing.

British navy sinks the German battleship Bismarck

On May 27, 1941, the British navy sinks the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic near France. The German death toll was more than 2,000.

On February 14, 1939, the 823-foot Bismarck was launched at Hamburg. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler hoped that the state-of-the-art battleship would herald the rebirth of the German surface battle fleet. However, after the outbreak of war, Britain closely guarded ocean routes from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean, and only U-boats moved freely through the war zone.

In May 1941, the order was given for the Bismarck to break out into the Atlantic. Once in the safety of the open ocean, the battleship would be almost impossible to track down, all the while wreaking havoc on Allied convoys to Britain. Learning of its movement, Britain sent almost the entire British Home Fleet in pursuit. On May 24, the British battle cruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales intercepted it near Iceland. In a ferocious battle, the Hood exploded and sank, and all but three of the 1,421 crewmen were killed. The Bismarck escaped, but because it was leaking fuel it fled for occupied France. 

On May 26, the ship was sighted and crippled by British aircraft, and on May 27 three British warships descended on the Bismarck, inflicting heavy damage. By mid-morning, the pride of the German navy had become a floating wreck with numerous fires aboard, unable to steer and with her guns almost useless because she was listing badly to port. Soon, the command went out to scuttle the ship, and the Bismarck quickly sank. Of a 2,221-man crew, only 115 survived.

5 times Americans left to fight in foreign wars

Posted On February 19, 2021 06:46:00

In the past few years, dozens of veteran and civilian Americans left the comfort and safety of their homes to tackle what they saw as an unspeakable evil growing from the Middle East — the Islamic State. A new television documentary series from History followed those Americans as they fought with Kurdish fighters in Syria. The show pulls no punches in showing what combat looks like on the front lines of the fight against the world’s most ruthless terrorists.

You can catch Hunting ISIS every Tuesday at 11pm on History but read on and learn about how and why Americans fought the good fight long before their country was ready.”I heard the stories, I knew that ISIS was evil,” says PJ, a Marine Corps vet who served in Iraq. “But you can never understand the brutality that they’re capable of until you see it with your own eyes… Most people in America aren’t able or willing to come over here,” he says. “And for them, I will carry what weight I can.”

The group that came to be dubbed ISIS by Americans came to global recognition in 2014 while capitalizing on power vacuums in Iraq and Syria. The group managed to capture large swaths of both countries. In Iraq, ISIS captured most of Fallujah, took the provincial capital of Mosul, and even approached the outskirts of Baghdad.

The ISIS terror state at the height of power in 2014.

In Syria, ISIS occupied most of the country’s eastern half, basing out of the group’s de facto capital, Raqqa. At the height of its power in 2014, the would-be terrorist state controlled the lives of some 10 million people. What was most horrifying about life under ISIS control was not only the restrictions on personal freedoms for those 10 million people, but the punishments for breaking ISIS law, executions of political prisoners and POWs, and the genocides committed against “apostate” ethnic groups, especially Yazidis.

Horrified by the ongoing violence, many American veterans of the war in Iraq were inspired by the dogged resistance of the Kurdish Peshmerga as they fought to push back the dark tide of ISIS’ brand of Islamic extremism. The Peshmerga has long been the most effective fighting force in the region and a natural U.S. ally against ISIS.

Long before that alliance was solidified, and long before other regional powers, like Iran and Russia, decided to intervene in the two countries, some American veterans decided to travel to Iraq and join that fight alongside the region’s only remaining stand against terrorist domination. For them, they would be fighting the good fight and doing the right thing against the wishes of the U.S. government and military. They fight unpaid and unsanctioned. Worst of all, they face jail time if they’re caught by Americans — execution if they’re caught by the enemy.

“This battlefield called out to me personally, being that I have blood, sweat, and tears on that sand,” says PJ. “How many of my brothers lost their lives fighting those scumbags in Iraq? And now here they are from Raqqa to Mosul… we can stop this if we stand together.”

But the Islamic State isn’t the only evil Americans fought before their country was ready.

Members of the Lafayette Escadrille pose in front of their Nieuport fighters at the airfield in Verdun, France circa 1917.

1. World War I – Lafayette Escadrille

Named for the Marquis de Lafayette, a French general who was instrumental in the success of the American Revolution, the Lafayette Escadrille was a squadron of American airmen who volunteered to fight for the French against Germany in the first world war in 1916 – almost a full year before the United States entered the war on the side of the Entente.

American volunteers Merian C. Cooper and Cedric Fauntleroy, fighting in the Polish Air Force. The Soviets placed a large bounty on Cooper’s head.

2. Kosciuszko Squadron – Polish-Soviet War

For three years, Poland fought Soviet Russia for control of parts of Eastern Poland and Ukraine. American volunteers, wary of the spread of Communism to the West, volunteered for the Polish Air Forces against the Soviets with notable successes — the Soviets put half-million ruble bounty on one aviator’s head. One Polish general said of the Americans,

“The American pilots, though exhausted, fight tenaciously. During the last offensive, their commander attacked enemy formations from the rear, raining machine-gun bullets down on their heads. Without the American pilots’ help, we would long ago have been done for.”

Tom Mooney Company from the Lincoln Battalion. Jarama, Spain circa 1937.

3. Lincoln Battalion – Spanish Civil War

Fascism was the true enemy in Spain, where those loyal to the democratic Second Spanish Republic fought Francisco Franco’s nationalism for three years before their defeat in 1939. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy were among the countries who officially supported the Nationalists, while the Soviet Union supported the left-leaning Republicans. Meanwhile, Britain and the U.S. officially stayed out of the fighting.

Many, many volunteers poured in from all over the world to fight for the Republican army in the International Brigades. For the Americans, they joined what was known as the Abraham Lincoln brigades, an amalgamation of English-speaking British and American volunteers.

American pilots of No 71 ‘Eagle’ Squadron rush to their Hawker Hurricanes at Kirton-in-Lindsey, March 1941.

4. Eagle Squadrons – The Battle of Britain

The early days of World War II were dark days for the British. The threat of Nazi invasion loomed large over the whole of the island. We know today that they were relatively safe across the English Channel, but they hardly thought so back then. But after the seeds of our “special relationship” with the United Kingdom were sown in World War I, many Americans eschewed American neutrality to join the RAF in giving Jerry a black eye.

Those men would join the RAF’s three Eagle Squadrons. The first was formed in September 1940 and fought with the British until their units were transferred to the U.S. 8th Air Force in 1942.

5. The Flying Tigers – WWII China

A truly joint operation, the Flying Tigers were formed from a bold group of Army, Navy, and Marine Corps airmen and placed under the command of a retired American general attached to the Chinese Air Force. Three squadrons of 90 aircraft trained in Burma well before the U.S. entry to World War II. So, when their first combat mission came calling just 12 days after the attack at Pearl Harbor, they were more than ready.

When the U.S. came to take them back, they were made part of the U.S. Army’s 14th Air Force – the 23rd Fighter Group. The 23rd still flies planes with shark teeth nose art on their A-10 fleet, an homage to the P-40 Warhawks flown by the Flying Tigers.

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The Real-Life Story Behind “American Sniper”

Unlike any American before him, Chris Kyle performed his job with pinpoint accuracy. As a sharpshooter serving in Iraq, that job had deadly results. The Pentagon has credited Kyle with over 160 kills. The actual number could be almost double.

The most lethal sniper in American history was the son of a church deacon and a Sunday-school teacher. Growing up in Texas, Kyle hunted with his father and brother. After two years of college and working as a ranch hand, the 24-year-old Kyle quit school and joined the elite Navy SEALs𠅊lthough he hated water. “If I see a puddle,” he told Time magazine, “I will walk around it.”

After serving in a number of classified missions, Kyle was deployed with members of platoon 𠇌harlie” of SEAL Team 3 to fight in the Iraq War. After landing on the al-Faw Peninsula at the war’s outset in March 2003, the SEALs joined the Marines on their march north toward the capital city of Baghdad. Stationed on rooftops, Kyle and his fellow SEALs protected Marines squads going door to door from insurgent ambushes.

After entering the city of Nasiriya in the war’s early days, Kyle stationed himself atop a building seized by the SEALs. Through the scope of a bolt-action .300 Winchester Magnum, Kyle watched as a Marine convoy approached. Fifty yards away, he suddenly saw the door of a small house open and a woman step outside with her child. As she neared the Marines, Kyle watched through the crosshairs as the woman reached beneath her robe and pulled out a yellow grenade.

Kyle’s autobiography, 𠇊merican Sniper,” was published in 2012. (Credit: Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

“Take a shot,” ordered Kyle’s platoon chief.

Kyle hesitated as the Marines continued to march closer.

Kyle squeezed the trigger twice. The woman fell dead to the ground along with the exploding grenade, which did no harm to the Marines. It was Kyle’s first kill with a sniper rifle. Many more deadly shots would be fired, but the hesitation would never return.

“It was my duty to shoot, and I don’t regret it. The woman was already dead. I was just making sure she didn’t take any Marines with her,” Kyle wrote in his 2012 combat memoir, 𠇊merican Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.”

Kyle’s sole mission in Iraq was to save his fellow servicemen, and he proved to be such a deadly sniper that Iraqi insurgents placed a $20,000 bounty on the head of the man they called 𠇊l-Shaitan Ramad,” or “the Devil of Ramadi.” To Kyle’s fellow soldiers, however, he was known as “The Legend.”

The 160 kills credited to Kyle are more than for any sniper in American history, but the Navy SEAL told D Magazine that he wished instead that he could have calculated the number of people he saved. “That’s the number I𠆝 care about,” he said. “I𠆝 put that everywhere.”

After Kyle’s initial deployment to Iraq in 2003, he returned to fight in Fallujah in 2004, Ramadi in 2006 and Baghdad in 2008. On each tour of duty, the fighting grew fiercer and Kyle’s job grew harder. Insurgents who once carried guns now toted rocket-propelled grenades. Kyle still proved a skilled marksman even killing an enemy fighter 1.2 miles—or 21 football fields𠅊way on a single shot.

Taya Kyle and her two children follow the casket of her husband Chris Kyle after the funeral at Cowboys Stadium, February 11, 2013 (Credit: Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

When Kyle’s wife, Taya, told him their marriage could be over if he re-enlisted, the sniper reluctantly left the Navy with an honorable discharge in 2009 after a decade of service. He had earned a pair of Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars after surviving two gunshot wounds and six IED attacks.

“I loved what I did. If circumstances were different—if my family didn’t need me—I𠆝 be back in a heartbeat,” Kyle wrote in his autobiography. “I had the time of my life being a SEAL.” Kyle struggled with the transition to civilian life in his roles as husband and father to his two young children. He found that although he left the war, the war didn’t leave him. He drank heavily, suffered bouts of depression and stopped working out.

Kyle felt anchorless without a mission and the camaraderie of his fellow SEALs. But he discovered a new call to duty by helping ailing veterans suffering from the physical and psychological scars of war.ꂯter seeing the therapeutic benefits of exercise in his own life, he helped to create the FITCO Cares Foundation in 2011 to provide exercise equipment and counseling to veterans. The following year he published 𠇊merican Sniper,” which became a New York Times bestseller and the basis for the blockbuster film. Kyle donated his share of the book profits to families of colleagues who had died in battle and to a charity to help wounded veterans.

Kyle’s final mission to help his fellow veterans would tragically be his last. The former Navy SEAL often brought troubled veterans along with him to shoot at targets as a way for them to better connect. On February 2, 2013, he invited Eddie Ray Routh, a 25-year-old Marine veteran who had served in Iraq and Haiti, to a shooting range in Glen Rose, Texas. Routh, who reportedly suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, allegedly shot and killed the 38-year-old Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at point-blank range.

To accommodate the mourners, Kyle’s funeral was held inside the Dallas Cowboys football stadium, where the veteran’s flag-draped coffin rested on the 50-yard line. For miles on end, crowds lined the route of the funeral procession to say goodbye to an American soldier who had survived years of combat only to be gunned down in the country he served to protect.

How effective a chainsaw bayonet would actually be

Posted On January 28, 2019 18:41:11

Bayonets epitomize the warrior mentality. Although it’s been a good while since the last official call was made to “fix bayonets” in an actual combat mission, the ancillary CQC weapon retains a special place in many warfighters’ hearts. Of course, if troops like to attach a sharp, pointy knife to their rifle’s end, then they’d surely love to affix a chainsaw. What could be better?

Chainsaw bayonets have become a trope in popular sci-fi, but there is none more iconic, overly-gratuitous, and awesome than those attached to the Mark 2 Lancer Assault Rifle in the Gears of War series. This futuristic weapon is a massive, fully-automatic rifle outfitted with a roaring chainsaw bayonet. It works well in the game, but it wouldn’t stand a chance in the real world.

The key difference between the protagonists in ‘Gears of War’ and real life troops sums up why they wouldn’t work. Not all of us are nearlyu00a0as massive as they are. (Microsoft Studios)

There aren’t any official technical specs available for the Lancer, so it’s impossible for us to accurately judge its effectiveness, but we’ve seen a few people try to recreate the chainsaw bayonet themselves. Still, this technique is nowhere near as common as pop sci-fi would have you believe — for good reason.

In real life, the chainsaw bayonet is extremely flawed for a number of reasons. Firstly, there isn’t really any way to store the gasoline needed to power the chainsaw, so it won’t run for long. The workaround here would be to add a larger fuel source, but by doing so, you’d add to the already-bulky weight of the saw.

As is, they’re barely able to be used as a chainsaw, let alone a chainsaw bayonet. (Aaron Thiel)

Then there’s the weight-distribution problem. It’s never an issue for the hulking heroes of Gears of War, but real-world troops aren’t so massive. Adding weight to a rifle will likely throw off its center of balance. When the front of a gun is far heavier than the back, it simply won’t fire accurately.

The center of balance is almost always closer to the butt-stock so the user has more control over control the weapon. Firearms without butt-stocks are also balanced in a way so that the recoil doesn’t shift the sight picture. Attachments to the front of a weapon, like suppressors, can help regulate weight distribution, but these are very specialized tools. The bulk of a functioning chainsaw would be incredibly difficult to offset.

Finally, we have a hard time seeing a situation in which a chainsaw bayonet would be more effective — not just more enjoyable — than a standard bayonet.

For a quick rundown on why this weapon would also be a complete safety hazard, check out this video.

Watch the video: The United States Navy: 1775 - 1914 - A History of Heroes (May 2022).