U.S. Army, Pfc. Chelsea Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick. Defense Department officials say hormone treatment for gender reassignment has been approved for Chelsea Manning, the former intelligence analyst convicted of espionage for sending classified documents to the WikiLeaks website. (AP Photo/U.S. Army, File)
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno announced April 1, 2015 that, effective immediately, the U.S. Army is changing its tattoo policy after feedback from soldiers. (Image: U.S. Army, Staff Sgt. Stephanie van Geete)
FILE - This undated file image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. A U.S. official says Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held by the Taliban for five years, will be court martialed on charges of desertion and avoiding military service. (AP Photo/U.S. Army, file)
FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2015, file photo, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, left, walks with U.S. Army Gen. John Campbell upon arrival at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. The pace of U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan will headline Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Washington(AP Photo/Jonathan Ernst, Pool)
1st Lt. Lyndon Hill, assigned to 30th Medical Command, fires the M9 pistol during United States Army Europe's Best Junior Officer Competition (BJOC) in Grafenwoehr, Germany, July 24, 2012. The BJOC, unique to the U.S. Army in Europe, is a training event for company-grade officers ranking from 2nd Lt. to Capt. meant to challenge and refine competitors' leadership and cognitive decision-making skills in a high-intensity environment. (U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Gertrud Zach/Released)
M21 (U.S.A.) - The M21 Sniper Weapon System (SWS) is the semi-automatic sniper rifle adaptation of the M14 rifle. It is chambered for the 7.62Ã—51mm NATO cartridge.
The United States Army wanted an accurate sniper rifle during the Vietnam War. The M14 was selected because of its accuracy, reliability, and the ability for a quick follow up shot. As a result, in 1969, the Rock Island Arsenal converted 1,435 National Match (target grade) M14s by adding a Leatherwood 3-9Ã— Adjustable Ranging Telescope and providing National Match grade ammunition.
This version, called the XM21, had a specially selected walnut stock and was first fielded in the second half of 1969. An improved version with a fiberglass stock was designated the M21 in 1975. The M21 remained the Army's primary sniper rifle until 1988, when it was replaced by the M24 Sniper Weapon System; some M21s were later re-issued and used in the Iraq War.
Vietnam War era sniper rifles, US Army XM21 (top) and USMC M40 (bottom)
In standard military use, the M21 uses a 20 round box magazine as the other members of the M14 family and weighs 11 pounds (5.27Â kg) without the scope. The U.S. military never officially authorized or purchased magazines in any other capacity, although 5- and 10-round magazines are available.
The M21A5 version is built by Smith Enterprise Inc. and is known commercially as the Crazy Horse rifle. The M21A5's metal components are cryogenically treated prior to assembly, which eliminates the need for bedding the stock with fiberglass. Additional upgrades include a completely adjustable trigger system (from 2.5 to 5 lbs) and an extended bolt handle for use in extreme cold environment. Vietnam War era sniper rifles, US Army XM21 (top) and USMC M40 (bottom)
Elvis Presley was inducted into the U.S. Army as a private at Fort Chaffee, near Fort Smith, Arkansas. His arrival was a major media event. Hundreds of people descended on Presley as he stepped from the bus; photographers then accompanied him into the fort. Presley announced that he was looking forward to his military stint, saying he did not want to be treated any differently from anyone else: "The Army can do anything it wants with me." Soon after Presley commenced basic training at Fort Hood, Texas, he received a visit from Eddie Fadal, a businessman he had met on tour. According to Fadal, Presley had become convinced his career was finished-"He firmly believed that." But then, during a two-week leave in early June, Presley recorded five songs in Nashville. In early August, his mother was diagnosed with hepatitis and her condition rapidly worsened. Presley, granted emergency leave to visit her, arrived in Memphis on August 12. Two days later, she died of heart failure, aged 46. Presley was devastated; their relationship had remained extremely close--even into his adulthood, they would use baby talk with each other and Presley would address her with pet names. After training, Presley joined the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany, on October 1. Introduced to amphetamines by a sergeant while on maneuvers, he became "practically evangelical about their benefits" - not only for energy, but for "strength" and weight loss, as well - and many of his friends in the outfit joined him in indulging. The Army also introduced Presley to karate, which he studied seriously, later including it in his live performances. Fellow soldiers have attested to Presley's wish to be seen as an able, ordinary soldier, despite his fame, and to his generosity. He donated his Army pay to charity, purchased TV sets for the base, and bought an extra set of fatigues for everyone in his outfit. Elvis Presley is shown in uniform at company D 1st Battalion 32nd U.S. Army Armour at the barr
Actor, director and comedian Mel Brooks attended the Army Specialized Training Program conducted at the Virginia Military Institute, and served in the United States Army as a corporal in the 1104 Engineer Combat Battalion, 78th Infantry Division defusing land mines during World War II. Golden Globes nominee Mel Brooks arrives for the NBC Universal/Focus Features after-party following the 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards on Monday, Jan. 16, 2006, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
M16 - is the United States military select-fire adaptation of the AR-15 rifle. The rifle was adapted for semi-automatic and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56;45mm NATO cartridge. The rifle entered United States Army service and was deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam in 1963, becoming the U.S. military's standard service rifle of the Vietnam War by 1969, replacing the M14 rifle in that role. The U.S. Army retained the M14 in CONUS, Europe, and South Korea until 1970. In 1983 with the USMC's adoption of the M16A2 (1986 for the US Army), the M16 rifle was modified for three-round bursts, with some later variants having all modes of fire and has been the primary service rifle of the U.S. armed forces. The M16 has also been widely adopted by other militaries around the world. Total worldwide production of M16s has been approximately 8 million, making it the most-produced firearm of its caliber. As of 2010, the U.S. Army is supplementing the M16 in combat units with the M4 carbine, which is a smaller version of the M16.
A U.S. 9th. Infantry division soldier makes sure that his M16 rifle remains dry as he wades through monsoon-swollen stream in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, August 2, 1967. The week of July 23-30, during a search and destroy operation about 20 miles southeast of Saigon. (AP Photo)