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There has been much discussion in the Army about the quality of our weapons and uniform patterns. The answers are within our grasp, but the Army acquisition systems are failing us.

What is the point of fielding MultiCam to a single battalion in Afghanistan to get feedback? MultiCam is already used by Special Forces elements and by the 75th Ranger Regiment. The feedback we get from those high-end units could happen immediately instead of waiting for this new test fielding. It is a veiled attempt to force us to continue to use a pattern that is mostly ineffective.

As for the weapons, look at the main criticism of the current-issue weapons. People say the 5.56 mm round is underpowered for close-quarter battle use. So why is the new SCAR-L [rifle] still using 5.56 mm? It’s because the units that have those weapons do not shoot [the standard issue] M855 ball [ammo]; they shoot Mk 262 ammo [which provides better performance than the M855 ball]. The answer to that problem is already in our supply system, so why isn’t the Mk 262 ammo issued to front-line regular troops?

Most soldiers hate the M9 pistol, but have you heard anything bad about the M11 pistol? It’s a proven design and already in the inventory, so why not issue them?

The Army said it was looking at a more compact weapon than the carbine for vehicle crews. Why didn’t anyone mention that the MP5 [rifle] is a proven design and already in the system?

Special Operations Command is trying to lead us in the right direction, but the Army won’t listen. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him wear MultiCam, apparently.

Staff Sgt. Brian DeschenesJoint Security Station Istiqlal, Iraq

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