Ann E. Dunwoody – As the first woman to serve as a four-star general in both the U.S. Armed forces and the U.S. Army, Ann E. Dunwoody has been blazing trails for female service members since 1974. After 38 years of service, Ann retired from her final role as commander of the AMC in 2012.
Cathay Williams – Not only was this soldier one of the first females to enlist in the United States Army, Cathay Williams was the very first African American woman to enlist in armed service. She served as one of the Buffalo Soldiers for three years in the 1800s.
President Obama, accompanied by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, left, commander of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, with the aid of Sgt. 1st Class John C. Wirth, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2015, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
U.S. Army Soldiers conduct combatives training during the Ranger Course on Ft. Benning, GA., April 20, 2015. Soldiers attend Ranger school to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat simulated environment. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Antonio Lewis/Released) ** FILE **
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)