All About Guns The Green Machine

How the Army got the M-14 instead of The FAL

By George Kontis P.E.

It was hot and unusually humid in Springfield, Massachusetts during the summer of 1953. Yet, it was not nearly as sweltering as most of the summers he had endured back in his home state of Alabama.

Weather aside, LTC Roy E. Rayle took an early liking to his new assignment. His wife and two young sons were in love with the beautiful on-post housing supplied by the Army, and his new job was challenging, exciting, and important.
He was to direct 350 people in the Research and Development of small arms at the Springfield Arsenal. He had leadership training from the Army and a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. He felt well prepared for any challenge. 
In his first job briefing, the Colonel in charge updated him on the status of the programs now under his control. It was a glowing report, with no major challenges on the horizon. Two Springfield Armory-designed guns in trials at Ft Benning were reportedly doing very well.

The T161 machine gun and the T44 rifle were both undergoing user tests there. These two would later be designated the M60 machine gun, and the M14 rifle, respectively. Assuming successful trials, these would become the first small arms in U.S. history chambered for the new 7.62mm NATO round. Rayle’s predecessor had decided not to send a representative to the test site for technical support and feedback.
As a result, not much had been heard from Ft. Benning since the testing began. Everyone assumed that the tests were going well. Going so well, in fact, that his new boss spent most of their meeting time reviewing the other developmental weapons now under Rayle’s direction.
LTC Rayle enjoyed a blissful honeymoon that lasted a full two days. Suddenly, the Armory received an urgent and most disturbing phone call from U.S. Army Ordnance’s Chief of Small Arms Research and Development, Colonel René Studler.

The T44 was performing poorly in testing. A Pentagon representative was already on his way to the test site and Springfield Armory was to immediately dispatch a representative to Ft. Benning. Who would they send? The new guy, of course, LTC Roy Rayle.
Once at Ft. Benning, it didn’t take Rayle long to figure out the major problem. The T44 was having cartridge feeding issues that stemmed from too much friction in the magazine. Rayle asked them, “How much time do we have to fix the problem.”

He didn’t like the answer. Only eleven days of testing remained. Results had to be tallied and submitted to Army Field Forces headquarters at Ft. Monroe, VA. Ft. Benning had been directed to follow a rigid timeline.
It wasn’t only the gun that was having a problem. Since his arrival there, Rayle sensed a certain animosity from the test crew. It wasn’t toward him necessarily, but rather it was directed toward Springfield Arsenal.

After he examined the T44 test weapons more closely, he understood why. The rifle was far from production ready. T44 receivers had been made from an earlier prototype, the T20E2 that used the longer M1 round (.30-06). To reduce the bolt travel in the rifle for the shorter 7.62mm NATO round (.308 Winchester,) filler blocks had been placed inside the receiver.
The fix worked well enough. That is, right up to the point where the blocks loosened and caused malfunctions. This was only the beginning. Designers at the Armory had taken other shortcuts that made it blatantly obvious the T44 was little more than a cobbled-up prototype.
In stark contrast was the rifle submitted by the competitor. The entry from Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Belgium was a well-made and well-thought out design. FN’s rifle was designed for in line firing that directed the recoil load straight into the shoulder.
This greatly aided the shooter in controlling the weapon’s hefty recoil. The rifle we know today as the FAL was then designated by the Army as the T48. It featured smooth feeding, and a simple operating mechanism that was easy to field strip and service.
The general consensus at Ft. Benning was that the Belgian design was far more mature than the T44 and better prepared for user tests at Ft. Benning. The test crew welcomed the amiable on-site FN representative and viewed his presence as part of FN’s commitment to winning the competition.
The Belgians had spent their own money on the development of the T48, making numerous design changes in answer to every whim of the American military.

They converted their original design from the .280 British round and developed a simple top loading magazine charging clip that the Americans demanded.
FN spared no expense in producing test prototypes for the Army and arranged for their top designer, Mr. Ernst Vervier, to be on standby at the test site to oversee weapon repair and to answer questions.
American regulations made the testing unfair to FN. As the Belgian company was foreign owned, the company was not allowed to obtain any of the information from the classified test results.

FN was allowed to know how their own T48 was doing, but no information was provided as to how the T44 was faring. In spite of this, FN’s Managing Director, Mr. René Laloux, somehow knew a great deal about how the testing was going, stating at the end of this sequence of testing, “….between the two rifles, T44 and T48 FN, the final conclusions were in favour of the F.N. rifle.”
Before Rayle left Ft. Benning, the Colonel in charge pulled him aside to receive one more embarrassing admonishment.

This time it was for the shabby performance by Springfield Armory on the T161 machine gun prototypes. Like the T44’s, these were failing miserably, too.
There were failures to feed, broken firing pins, and ruptured cartridges that spewed debris all over the test cell. The weapon was not only performing poorly, but engineering support was lacking.
What about that tripod Springfield sent for the machine gun tests, the Colonel demanded? His test crew was expecting a new design but received a cobbled up tripod instead. What was the Armory doing with all of its time and money? Rayle had no answers and none of it was his fault, of course, but now he was in charge of R&D and he now owned all the blame.
Rayle was not even three weeks on the job and his two major programs were already in big trouble. It was an embarrassment; for him, and for the Springfield Armory.
LTC Rayle returned to Springfield on 20 July, anxious to get his team working on solutions to the T44’s problems. He began with a briefing on the history of the weapon. It was not a happy tale.

The original design intent was to develop a .30 caliber rifle weighing no more than 7 pounds that offered semi and full automatic fire. Design goals included: reduce coil, accommodation of a new short round, and firing from a detachable box magazine.
The purpose of the new rifle was to replace the M1 Rifle, the BAR, the M2 Carbine, and the M3A1 .45 caliber submachine gun. Four weapons and three different calibers replaced by a single weapon. This would greatly improve logistic support in the field. Since the end of World War II, numerous rifle designs had been developed and trialed until only the T44 remained.
“Who is the engineer in charge of the T44?” Rayle demanded. There was no single answer. The project started and stopped so often and priorities shifted so much that there really wasn’t one individual who followed the program from the beginning to now.

John Garand had been responsible for some of the early designs, and Earl Harvey for some of the others. Garand had retired only a couple of weeks before Rayle came to Springfield, and was no longer available to the team.
The rifle’s status was a confusing mess that was compounded by the military’s “big picture.” How was the war with Japan brought to an end? It was with the atomic bomb, of course.

There was a new thinking and general consensus by the military’s top brass. Wars would now be fought and won with nuclear weapons. Small arms would only be needed for a short cleanup with rifle wielding soldiers. What rifle did they need? For a totally demoralized enemy, almost any firearm would do.
As Rayle planned the direction forward, more bad news arrived. Classified Ft. Benning test results had been leaked to Newsweek magazine.

The 20 July 1953 issue featured an article claiming that the Belgian T48 was far ahead of the American T44, and predicted it would soon be announced that FN was the winner.
Those at the Armory doubted the veracity of the report. Long afterwards, they learned that the Newsweek article was totally accurate. Ft. Monroe had secretly decided the FN T48 was the winner.
They also decided to allow the T44 to continue with the next scheduled round of testing in Arctic conditions, only to serve as a yardstick to gage how much better the T48 would perform in cold weather conditions.
At the end of August, Rayle gathered his group together and offered them three options: The first one was to build up some repair parts to refurbish the guns after testing and submit the guns for trial in the same configuration.

The second was to address the gun’s major problems so the rifle would not be a total embarrassment to Springfield Armory. The third option was to use the remaining three months to fix everything that was broken. This included testing in both ambient and Arctic conditions with the objective to beat out the FN candidate.
Much was at stake. First and foremost was the avoidance of a huge loss of face for the United States, should a foreign weapon win the competition. Chief of Ordnance, General Ford, was already taking hits from the recent episodes of poor performance of Springfield designs.

The decision of Rayle’s team was unanimous. They would pull out all the stops in order to win the Arctic competition. From what he knew of the two designs, Rayle recognized this would not be an easy task.
The T44 had to overcome major design problems while the major issues with the FN gun were mostly metallurgical problems. From his engineering background he knew these could easily be solved by material or process changes.
Rayle was no stranger to solving difficult technical problems on a tight schedule. He once undertook a wartime assignment where his job was to discover the cause of mid air bomb collisions.

The subsequent detonations, which occurred soon after release, were responsible for downing the very aircraft that dropped them.
Rayle worked around the clock, conducting analysis, as well as filming and retrieving dropped bombs. He expeditiously determined the cause and verified the solution. Many bomb crews owe their lives to his timely solution.
To solve T44’s problems he decided on a direct approach, so he listed all of the technical problems in accordance with their severity. Once identified, they would be addressed one by one. Right away it became evident that he would need personnel and manufacturing capacity.

Even though he had 300 people working for him, redirecting some of them to the T44 improvement would be detrimental to the schedule for the project they were working on. It wasn’t just warm bodies he needed either.
He required top notch design talent – someone with expertise at the level of John Garand. Garand had earlier been approached, but refused after he learned that returning to work at the Armory would require him to give up his retirement pay. Getting Garand back this way was out of the question.
Rayle found a solution that solved both problems at once. A nearby machine shop, Mathewson Tool Company, was well known to the firearms industry for its excellent manufacturing capability.

Their reputation was due, to a large extent, to the manufacturing prowess of its owner, Dave Mathewson. Rayle’s solution was simple.
Mathewson would get a contract to produce any new T44 components that were needed and John Garand would work for him as a consultant. Garand could still collect his Army retirement along with a paycheck from Mathewson.
The T44’s number one problem was feeding cartridges from the magazine. They all knew that proper feeding is the primary key to the development of a reliable semi or full automatic weapon.

Examining the test records, the Springfield team realized that rounds fed poorly from new magazines and much better from ones that were worn in. Their magazine improvement program included some spring and configuration design changes, but the major improvement was the application of what was then a relatively new development; a dry film lubricant called molybdenum disulphide.
The new coating provided lubrication while the magazine was new and wore off at the same rate as the magazine wore in. Problem solved!
The buttstock was reinforced to improve it for grenade launching. For the Arctic testing, an enlarged trigger guard was developed to accept a gloved trigger finger.

New designs were verified by testing in ambient, dusty, and cold conditions, until acceptable function was achieved. More than once, they found that parts that worked in ambient conditions were totally unreliable at low temperature.
Rayle was impressed by the technical expertise of his team. Engineering technicians carefully conducted each test, taking careful notes and changing one thing at a time, so they knew if each individual fix was effective or not.
By mid December the much-improved T44’s were sent to Alaska, meeting up with the T48’s that had been sent from the FN plant in Liege, Belgium.
This time, Rayle decided, the Springfield team would send technical representatives to support the testing, replacing them every two weeks so that a new pair of eyes were available for a fresh look to address every problem that occurred. Rayle had recalled previous mistakes, and was determined not to repeat them.
As testing got underway, the T44’s were not problem free, but worked much better in the cold conditions than the T48’s, which suffered from a loss of power.

These problems were reported to FN who once again dispatched their design expert, Ernst Vervier to witness the problem and hopefully provide a solution. Unfortunately, Mr. Vervier could only come up with one on-site solution to cure the sluggish operation.
His only option was to enlarge the gas port to give the weapon more power. Determining the proper gas port diameter on any weapon is a very tricky undertaking, usually requiring extensive testing.
Mr. Vervier was well aware of the risk associated with changing it, and knew it was a sword that cut both ways. It solved the immediate power problem but the higher bolt velocity worked all of the components harder causing an increased number of broken parts.
Vervier tried to explain them away as normal parts life issues, but the malfunctions stood, counting against the T48 on the competition scorecard.
In spite of the redesigns, there were still plenty of problems with the T44. Those miserable filler blocks that shortened the T20 receiver were continually working loose and grenade launching was still problematic.

At the end of February, it was clear that the T44 had come out ahead and was announced the winner of the cold weather testing. Cautious military commanders at the Pentagon recoiled a bit from this latest development. Had they been too hasty in discounting their own American entry?
To the joy of Rayle’s team, Ft. Monroe announced that the next round of testing would again include the T44. Possibly this time it might be considered as a serious contender.
Rayle’s visit to command headquarters at Ft. Monroe was a disappointment. Rather than showing any enthusiasm for the success of the American weapon, most of the discussion centered on the Americanization of the T48.

It was if the recent T44 success had never happened. The entire U.S. defense industry was based on English inch-system dimensions.
With no easy way to introduce a metric-designed weapon into U.S. production, it would be necessary to convert the entire T48 drawing package to the inch-system.
At the same time, it was also important to convert the European format drawing into one more recognizable in the U.S. The good news was that the Canadians were interested in helping with these tasks, since they had already decided to adopt the FN design as their service rifle.
To his dismay, he learned that Springfield Armory was to assist in the metric conversion. Now his R&D department faced a huge challenge. It would be necessary for them to do a near perfect job with the conversion.

Should even one component be manufactured incorrectly as a result of the conversion, the failure would likely be viewed as an effort to sabotage the competitor. And how would anyone know?
Easy. Competing right alongside the U.S. made T48 would be the same metric guns made at the FN factory in Belgium to assure the American conversion was flawless.
Rayle could not let anything jeopardize the non-metric T48 design and subsequent testing. The Armory was already in trouble with Congress and some branches of the military, accused of being wasteful, inefficient, and some even said incompetent.

Springfield Armory had no friends in the U.S. firearms industry either. Concerned firearms manufacturers had insisted on a meeting with him, displeased that Springfield Armory was taking work they believed could be more efficiently performed by private industry. A mediocre conversion job could sound the Armory’s death knell.
Rayle went back to Springfield prepared for the direction forward. He would farm out the metric conversion to U.S. industry.

The industry would be totally unbiased and if anything, supportive. This would be an opportunity for them to tool up for U.S. production of what might become the next U.S. service rifle. Harrington and Richardson won the contract for the conversion and the production of 500 inch-system T48 rifles.
Undaunted by these new developments, the luxury of additional time and the recent miracle they pulled off with the Arctic testing gave Rayle the time he needed to beat the T48 in the next round of testing.

In June of 1954, Dave Mathewson delivered the first T44E4, a rifle with a proper length receiver that had been designed with the aid of John Garand. The T44E4 looked good and was a full pound lighter than the T48.
Excited about the work done by Mathewson and Garand, Rayle took the rifle home that same night to examine it more closely. Sitting in the kitchen with the rifle in his lap, Rayle thought back on the ease at which the FN rifle could be field stripped.

“The T44E4 was easy to strip too,” he thought. Or was it? He disassembled the T44E4 a couple more times to convince himself.
Then a better idea came to him. Relying on her unfamiliarity with firearms, he asked his wife to leave the dishes for a moment in order to try her hand at it. She succeeded for the most part, but floundered, when trying to remove the bolt.
The next day Rayle called Dave Mathewson and recounted the previous night’s field stripping exercise. Dave agreed to look into it, and sure enough the next models delivered had extra cuts to facilitate disassembly.

After thirteen each of the T48’s and T44E4’s were delivered, the guns were sent in opposite directions. Arctic testing would continue in Alaska while Ft. Benning would be supplied five of each type for user testing.
By the spring of 1955, it was concluded that the weapons had an equal number of deficiencies, but the Board had a clear preference for the T44. At the conclusion of testing in November 1955 the malfunction rates were: T44–1.4%, inch-system T48–2.4%, and FN made T48-2.4 %.
Design refinements of both weapons and testing continued through most of 1956 with the final report indicating that either rifle was suitable for Army use.

The lighter weight, ease of manufacture, non-adjustable gas system, fewer components, and slight edge on reliability gave the Board reasons to make their choice the T44E4.
Official notification was not made until June 1957, but by then Rayle had been reassigned as the Ordnance Adviser to the First Field Army of the Republic of China, in Taiwan.
The teams led by LTC Roy E. Rayle had overcome great odds, beating out one of the finest service rifles ever developed. Without his engineering and leadership skills, the history of U.S. small arms would look quite different than it does today.

This article first appeared in Small 
The Green Machine War

The SF Folks used this a couple of time In Viet Nam & other places

Allies The Green Machine War

Now that is one hell of a Dog! From The Daily mail (UK)

Hero SAS dog saves the lives of six elite soldiers in Syria by ripping out jihadi’s throat while taking down three terrorists who ambushed British patrol

  • The dog had been out on patrol in northern Syria with a team of six crack troops 
  • As the soldiers left their armoured convoy they were hit with a frenzied ambush
  • A source said the unnamed Belgian Malinois took out three jihadis on its own 
  • The SAS commander in charge credited the dog with saving all his men’s lives


An SAS team was saved after a brave military dog fought off a jihadi who attacked a patrol in northern Syria.

The unnamed Belgian Malinois, a fierce breed of sheepdog known for its bravery, had been out on a routine patrol with a team of six crack soldiers from the SAS.

They had just entered a small village in a convoy of armoured vehicles when they got out to continue the recce on foot.

But soon after they left the safety of the convoy, they were attacked on all sides by waiting jihadis in what was described as a ‘360 degree ambush’.

Scroll down for video 

The team had been on patrol with a Belgian Malinois (pictured), a breed known for their bravery [file photo]

The team had been on patrol with a Belgian Malinois (pictured), a breed known for their bravery [file photo]

The SAS men returned fire but the jihadis began closing in and tried to outflank them.

The animal was said to have leapt to the defence of the struggling British soldiers, tearing the throat of on gunman who was firing at the patrol. 

It then turned on two other

A source told the Daily Star: ‘The SAS found themselves in a 360-degree ambush.

‘The initiative was with the terrorists and the only hope for the British was to try and make a run for it.

‘The handler removed the dog’s muzzle and directed him into a building from where they were coming under fire.

‘They could hear screaming and shouting before the firing from the house stopped.

The small SAS troupe had been out on a routine patrol in a small village in northern Syria [file photo]

The small SAS troupe had been out on a routine patrol in a small village in northern Syria

‘When the team entered the building they saw the dog standing over a dead gunman.

The incident was said to have taken place two months ago, but details of the dog’s bravery can only be made public now for security reasons.

‘His throat had been torn out and he had bled to death,’ the source continued, ‘There was also a lump of human flesh in one corner and a series of blood trails leading out of the back of the building.

‘The dog was virtually uninjured. The SAS were able to consolidate their defensive position and eventually break away from the battle without taking any casualties.’

The SAS commander in charge of the patrol credited the dog with directly saving the lives of all six of the men.

****One Dog that deserves a Huge Steak in my Humble opinion- Grumpy*****

The team had been on patrol with a Belgian Malinois (pictured), a breed known for their bravery [file photo]

 Read more:
All About Guns The Green Machine War

I would not mind owning one of these! Atomic Annie — The M65 Atomic Cannon

Designed in 1949 by the American Engineer Robert Schwarz, the M65 “Atomic Annie” was inspired by German railway guns used during World War II.  The M65 however, was designed to deliver a nuclear payload to its target.
The gun and carriage itself weighed around 85 tons, was manned by a crew of 5-7, and was transported by two specially designed towing tractors.
At 280mm in caliber and capable of firing a projectile over 20 miles, the gun was certainly powerful enough as a conventional weapon, but the Atomic Annie was certainly no conventional weapon.
In 1953 it was tested for the first time at the Nevada Test Site, where it fired a 15 kiloton nuclear warhead, creating a blast similar in size to the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After the successful test, 20 M65 cannons were produced for the US Army and deployed in Europe and Korea.  They were almost always in constant motion so the Soviets never knew where they were and could not target them.  Image result for M65 Atomic Cannon 
While an interesting weapon, the Atomic Annie suffered from limited range, especially after the development of ballistic missiles which could strike a target from thousands of miles away.
The last M65 Atomic Cannon was retired in 1963.  Today only 8 survive, and are displayed in museums across the country.
Image result for M65 Atomic Cannon
You have a fire Mission? Okay, one on the way!
I stole this from that Fine Blog – The Daily Time Waster
All About Guns The Green Machine

The History of the US Army's sidearms


The weapons that won a revolution and defended a republic.

In late January of this year, the U.S. Army selected a new pistol to replace the Beretta M9, a gun that’s served the Armed Forces for 30 years.

But like every weapon in the U.S.’s arsenal, the Army pistol has gone through a slow evolution, from slow-loading flintlocks that helped create a country to polymer-framed, semi-automatic pistols used in conflicts around the world today.

The U.S. Army has come along way in 242 years.

The Flintlocks That Made America

America’s very first sidearm was a copy of a British one. Based on the British Model 1760, the Model 1775 was a muzzle-loading, .62-caliber smoothbore flintlock.

The American pistols were made by the Rappahannock Forge in Virginia (pictured above), a key manufacturing base and arsenal for the Continental forces that produced 80,000 muskets during the American Revolution.

Copies of the Model 1775 pistol were later made at Harper’s Ferry. This gun was renamed the Model 1805 and was the weapon choice during the War of 1812.

North and Cheney based this pistol on the M1777 French pistol. This specific flintlock hung in President Kennedy’s oval office.


After the Revolution, Connecticut gunmaker Simeon North won a contract to manufacture a new pistol. Based on French pistols of the period, North’s new weapon was smaller than the earlier 1775 model with a side-mounted ramrod and a fired a larger .72-caliber ball.

In 1813, North received another contract for 20,000 pistols from the U.S. Military. These were to have a full stock, fire a .69-caliber ball and most importantly use interchangeable parts, one of the first contracts to request such a feature.

Colonel Richard Johnson firing his flintlock pistol and killing Shawnee warrior Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames.


Having these pistols could sometimes mean the difference between life and death. During the War of 1812 while fighting Tecumseh’s Shawnee warriors, Colonel Richard Johnson was wounded in the arm.

Although the veracity of this account is still debated, one story says that Johnson barely had time to cock his flintlock pistol and shoot Tecumseh, a native leader “of undoubted bravery.” Johnson would capitalize on the episode, launching his career as a politician and becoming the ninth U.S. vice president.

North continued to make pistols, manufacturing the Model 1826 for the Navy. The last U.S. flintlock pistol came in 1836, the same year Samuel Colt patented his revolutionary new revolving pistol. Gunsmith Asa Waters produced the Model 1836 until the early 1840s, a weapon used widely during the Mexican-American War.

For almost a century the flintlock had been the dominant ignition system for firearms, but being susceptible to the elements.

They were too unreliable and by the 1840s many of the major European powers, like Britain and France, began transitioning away from increasingly obsolete flintlock pistols to new percussion-lock pistols.

These new guns used fulminate of mercury percussion caps to ignite the gunpowder instead of a flint. The U.S. used the old flintlock system throughout the 1830s and 40s before slowly transitioning to the new percussion cap revolvers.

The Birth of the Revolver

Formally adopted in 1848, percussion revolvers represented a massive leap forward in firearms technology. It’s most basic improvement was simple math— a soldier now had six shots before reloading rather than only one.

But the firepower of these new pistols was also highly sought after, and revolvers became one of the most iconic weapons of America’s bloodiest conflict.

A Union soldier holds a Colt revolver to his chest, 1861-1865.


The U.S.’s first revolver was the Colt Dragoon, initially designed for the Army’s Regiment of Mounted Rifles. The Dragoon improved on the earlier Colt Walker, a gun used heavily during the Mexican-American War. The Dragoon would be the first of a series of Colt pistols used by the U.S. throughout the 19th century.

Then came the Civil War, and a plethora of percussion revolvers were soon found their way into the hands of Union and Confederate soldiers alike.

The Union predominantly issued Colt and Remington revolvers. Approximately 130,000 .44-caliber, Colt Army Model 1860s were purchased along with considerable numbers of Colt 1851 and 1861 Navy revolvers.

Union cavalrymen with sabers and a revolver, 1863.

Following a fire at Colt’s Connecticut factory in 1864, the Army placed significant orders for Remington Model 1858 pistols to fill the gap.

The solid-frame Remington was arguably a better, more robust pistol than the open-frame Colt revolvers. Remington continually improved the Model 1858 based on suggestions from the U.S. Army Ordnance Department.

For both sides pistols were often a soldier’s last line of defense. One Confederate newspaper reported that a badly wounded captain commanding a battery of artillery at the Battle of Valverde “with revolver in hand, refusing to fly or desert his post… fought to the last and gloriously died the death of a hero.”

On the other side of the frontline, one Union calvaryman recalled:

“I discharged my revolver at arm’s length at a figure in gray and he toppled onto the neck of his mount before being lost in a whirl of dust and fleeing horses… I found that both my pistols were emptied… there were five rebels who would not trouble us anymore and many others who must have taken wounds.”

It was not uncommon for cavalry to carry multiple revolvers, as another Union cavalryman wrote “we were all festooned with revolvers. I carried four Colts, two in my belt and two on my saddle holsters but this was by no means an excess. Some of my compatriots carried six because we were determined in a fight not to be found wanting!”


The industrial might of the North ensured that the Union had an advantage throughout the war, and the Confederacy were forced to use imported pistols from Europe and locally produced copies.

These included Adams, LeMat and Kerr pistols and copies of Colts and other revolvers made by Spiller & Burr and Griswold & Gunnison.

By the end of the Civil War, self-contained metallic cartridges were becoming more and more popular. The late 1860s and early 1870s saw another small arms revolution with percussion pistols giving way to cartridge revolvers like the Smith & Wesson Model 3 and the legendary Colt Single Action Army.

The Gun of the West

In 1870, the military purchased its first metallic cartridge revolvers from Smith & Wesson. The Model 3 was a top-break revolver, meaning the barrel and cylinder could be swung downwards to open the action and allow the user to quickly reload the weapon.

The new metallic cartridges removed the need for loose powder and percussion caps and greatly increased the revolver’s rate of fire with a skilled shooter firing all six-rounds in under five seconds. However, Colt, Smith & Wesson’s principal rival, were not far behind.

In 1871, Colt introduced their first cartridge revolver, the year after a patent held by Smith & Wesson expired. Colt turned to William Mason, the experienced engineer who had worked on Colt’s earlier pistols.

Mason designed a pistol which outwardly resembled many of Colt’s earlier revolvers, but the new design included a rear loading gate and Mason’s patented extractor rod offset to the side of the barrel, a feature later used in the Single Action Army.

The Colt 1871 “Open Top” was chambered in the popular .44 Henry rimfire cartridge. When the Army tested Colt’s new pistol, they complained that the .44 rimfire round was too weak and that the open-top design wasn’t as robust as rival pistols from Remington and Smith & Wesson. The Army demanded a more powerful cartridge and a stronger solid frame.

Colt quickly obliged producing a run of three sample pistols for testing and examination. This new revolver was the prototype for the now legendary Colt Single Action Army.

The new pistol, developed by William Mason and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards, had a solid frame and fired Colt’s new .45 caliber center-fire cartridge. This gun is still manufactured today.

After successful testing, the Army adopted Colt’s revolver as the Model 1873. The new Colt Single Action Army had a 7.5 inch barrel and weighed 2.5lbs, and an initial order for 8,000 M1873s replaced the Army’s obsolete Colt 1860 Army Percussion revolvers.

Patent for Colt Single Action Army revolver, submitted by William Mason. 1875.

The Army also ordered a several thousand Smith & Wesson Model 3s.

These revolvers had a more advanced top-break design and could be loaded much faster than the Colt. For a number of years, the two revolvers served side by side but used different ammunition.

Eventually, the army favored the more robust, accurate, and easier to maintain Colt, and over the next 20 years purchased more that 30,000 of them.

TheColt M1873 Single Action Army would go on to see action in every U.S. military campaign between 1873 and 1905. They were even clutched in the hands of General Custer and his men at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Despite its hallowed status, the Single Action Army still wasn’t the apex of handgun technology. While the Single Action Army had excellent stopping power, reliability, and a simple action, it was slow to reload and a slow rate of fire.

To address some of these issues, the Army requested a new double action revolver. The Colt Model 1892 became the first double-action revolver ever issued to the U.S. Army and Navy. Replacing the venerable .45-caliber Colt M1873, the M1892 had a six-chamber cylinder and fired a new .38 Long Colt round.

It had a double-action trigger which improved the pistol’s rate of fire, and unlike the earlier single action Colt, the new revolver chambered, cocked, and fired a round with each pull of the trigger.

Another improvement over the earlier Colt was the M1892’s swing out cylinder, this allowed troops to quickly extract spent cases and reload much faster than the M1873’s hinged loading gate.

While the pistol proved sturdy and reliable in the field, now with a faster rate of fire and easier reload, the Army found that the .38-caliber cartridge lacked the stopping power of the previous .45-caliber Colt.

In 1905, during the Philippine Insurrection a prisoner, Antonio Caspi, attempted to escape and was shot four times at close range with a .38 pistol—he later recovered from his wounds.

The Colt Model 1892. The gunmaker would go on to make 291,000 of these .38-caliber pistols before switching back to .45-caliber rounds.

Although Colt tried to increase the power of the .38-caliber round, the Army began looking for a new pistol that would chamber the .45 Colt round, and in 1904, the Board of Ordnance began a series of tests to discover what sort of ammunition its next service pistol should use.

The Colt Pistol and a World at War

It would fall to Colonel John T. Thompson (who later designed the iconic Thompson submachine gun) and Major Louis Anatole LaGarde of the Army Medical Corps to investigate the effectiveness of various calibers.

Thompson and LaGarde decided that testing on live cattle and on donated human cadavers would be a suitably scientific method of finding which bullet would put a man down.

The experiments were pseudo-scientific at best and horribly cruel to the animals, especially since they would time how long it would take for them to die.

But finally, the report concluded:

“After mature deliberation, the Board finds that a bullet which will have the shock effect and stopping power at short ranges necessary for a military pistol or revolver should have a caliber not less than .45.”

The Thompson-LaGarde tests were followed by Army trials between 1906 and 1911. The trials tested nine designs, but the competition quickly identified three main contenders. The Savage 1907, designed by Elbert Searle, faced Colt’s John Browning-designed entry and the iconic Luger designed by Georg Luger.

All three pistols were chambered in the new .45 ACP cartridge. In 1908, the Luger withdrew from the trials, leaving only the designs from Colt and Savage.

While both pistols had their problems during the trials, the Savage 1907 pistols were substantially more expensive.

The testing reported a catalogue of issues including a poorly designed ejector, a grip safety which pinched the operator’s hand, broken grip panels, slide stop and magazine catch difficulties, deformed magazines, and a needlessly heavy trigger pull.

Officers inspecting recruits’ M1911 Colt at a training camp in Pennsylvania during WW1, 1917.


During this time, the Colt 1905 Military Model went through a series of changes and design improvements, eventually giving it the edge over its rival. Following final testing on March 3, 1911, the trials board reported: “Of the two pistols, the Board is of the opinion that the Colt is superior, because it is the more reliable, the more enduring, the more easily disassembled, when there are broken parts to be replaced, and the more accurate.”

Colt’s pistol was quickly adopted as the ‘Pistol, Semi-automatic, .45 caliber, Model 1911’.

John Browning’s iconic M1911 used a locked breech, short-recoil action, feeding from a seven round magazine.

It weighed 2.4lbs (1.1kg) unloaded and was just over eight inches long. Ergonomically, its controls were easy to manipulate and included magazine and slide releases and both a manual and grip safety.

The M1911 remained in service for over 70 years and saw action during both World Wars, the Banana Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Invasion of Grenada.

Perhaps one of the most famous uses of the M1911 came when Alvin York was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

In October 1918, during the battle of Meuse-Argonne, York was charged by a squad of Germans. As they came into pistol range, York drew his M1911 and killed six attackers. That day he single handedly killed a total of 25 German soldiers and captured 132 more.

This painted scene depicts Alvin York at the Battle of Meuse-Argonne with an M1911 pistol in hand.


In 1926, after some lessons learned during World War One, Colt overhauled the M1911 by including a shorter trigger and frame cut-outs behind the trigger, a longer spur on the pistol grip safety, an arched mainspring housing, a wider front sight, and a shortened hammer spur.

Following these changes, the pistol was designated the M1911A1, a weapon that would also fight a world war—just like its predecessor.

A More Modern Weapon

The Colt soldiered on into the 1980s until the U.S. launched the Joint Service Small Arms Program, which aimed to select a new pistol that could be used by all of the armed services.

After a tough competition between designs from Colt, Walther, Smith & Wesson, Steyr, FN, and SIG, a winning design was selected, the Italian Beretta 92. The Beretta formally replaced the M1911A1 in 1986 as the M9.

Even though the military had found its new gun, the 1911 still remains in use by some units such as the U.S. Marine Force Recon Units and Special Operation Command as the refurbished M45, surpassing a century of service.

Marine Corps students using the M9 during rapid-fire drills, 2005.


But the M9 beat out the venerable Colt because it fired the smaller 9x19mm round, which made learning to shoot easier, and it had a much larger magazine holding 15 rounds while using a single-action/double-action trigger. While some complained it lacked the 1911’s .45 ACP stopping power, the M9 served the U.S. military well for over 30 years.

It has seen hard service during the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.

In March 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom Marine Corporal Armand E. McCormick was awarded the Silver Star when he drove his vehicle into an Iraqi position before dismounting and clearing enemy defenses with his M9.

But as technology advanced and new pistol designs emerged, the Army needed a new sidearm to match the times. In the early 2000s, a series of trials led eventually to the Modular Handgun System program.

The Army wanted a lighter, more adaptable pistol which could be fitted to individual soldiers. After several years of testing entries from Glock, Beretta, FN, and Smith & Wesson, the SIG P320 won out.

The U.S. Army’s newest pistol, the SIG P320.

The new pistol, designated the M17, is lighter, more compact, has a standard 17-round magazine capacity, and is fully ambidextrous. It has a fiberglass-reinforced polymer frame with an integrated Picatinny rail to allow lights and lasers to be mounted, much like the M9’s slide-mounted manual safety.

But the most innovative aspect of the M17 is its modular design. The pistol’s frame holds an easily removable trigger pack, which along with the barrel and slide, can be removed and simply dropped into another frame.

This gives troops in different roles with different requirements some much needed flexibility.

The SIG P320 is completely unrecognizable from M1775, held in the hands of American founding fathers. Much like America itself, the soldiers’ handgun has evolved massively over the last 240 years, but the principle of the sidearm remains the same—the absolute last line of defense.

Wars may not be won with pistols, but a soldier’s sidearm can still be the difference between life and death.

All About Guns The Green Machine War

Sending some of best Love! (The Archer Arty System)

The Green Machine War Well I thought it was funny!

The Time when you finally figured out that maybe you F**ked with the Troops once too often!

Image result for colonel anthony joseph drexel biddle

I still say that this picture should be posted at all the Service Academies, ROTC, OCS Units!

The Green Machine War

Still True today!

Related image

The Green Machine War

Somebody in the Army has gotten a good idea!

Army Will Add 2 Months to Infantry Course to Make Grunts More Lethal

A U.S. Army Infantry soldier-in-training assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade, engages the opposing force (OPFOR) May 2, 2017, with a M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) on a Stryker to provide support-by-fire during a squad training exercise. (U.S. Army photo/Patrick A. Albright)
A U.S. Army Infantry soldier-in-training assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade, engages the opposing force (OPFOR) May 2, 2017, with a M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) on a Stryker to provide support-by-fire during a squad training exercise. (U.S. Army photo/Patrick A. Albright)
The U.S. Army is refining a plan to extend by two months the service’s 14-week infantry one station unit training, or OSUT, so young grunts arrive at their first unit more combat-ready than ever before.
Trainers at Fort Benning, Georgia will run a pilot this summer that will extend infantry OSUT from 14 weeks to 22 weeks, giving soldiers more time to practice key infantry skills such as land navigation, marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat, fire and maneuver and first aid training.

Currently soldiers in infantry OSUT go through nine weeks of Basic Combat Training and about 4.5 weeks of infantry advanced individual training. This would add an additional 8 weeks of advanced individual training, tripling the length of the instruction soldiers receive in that phase.
“It’s more reps and sets; we are trying to make sure that infantry soldiers coming out of infantry OSUT are more than just familiar [with ground combat skills],” Col. Townley Hedrick, commandant of the Infantry School at Benning, told in a June 21 interview. “You are going to shoot more bullets; you are going to come out more proficient and more expert than just familiar.”


The former infantry commandant, Brig. Gen. Christopher Donahue, launched the effort to “improve the lethality of soldiers in the infantry rifle squad,” Hedrick said.
“In 14 weeks, what we really do is produce a baseline infantry soldier,” said Col. Kelly Kendrick, the outgoing commander of 198th Infantry Brigade at Benning, who was heavily involved in developing the pilot.
This works fine when new soldiers arrive at their first unit as it is starting its pre-deployment train-up, Kendrick said.
Unfortunately, many young infantry soldiers arrive at a unit only a few weeks before it deploys, leaving little time for preparation before real-world operations begin, he said.
“I was the G3 of the 101st Airborne and if a [new] soldier came up late in the train-up, we had a three-week train-up program and then after three weeks, we would send that soldier on a deployment,” he said.
With 22 weeks of infantry OSUT, “you can see right off that bat, we are going to have a hell of a lot better soldier,” Kendrick said. “I will tell you, we will produce infantry soldiers with unmatched lethality compared to what we have had in the past.”
The new pilot will start training two companies from July 13 to mid-December, Kendrick said. Once the new program of instruction is finalized, trainers will start implementing the 22-week cycle across infantry OSUT in October 2019.
The effort follows an Army-wide redesign of Basic Combat Training earlier this year, designed to instill more discipline and esprit de corps in young soldiers after leaders from around the Army complained that new soldiers were displaying a lack of obedience, poor work ethic and low discipline.
“If there are two things we do great right now, that’s physical fitness and marksmanship; I really think everything else has suffered a little bit,” said Kendrick. “If you went and looked at special operations forces … the SOF force has realized they have to invest in training and teaching. And they have done that, so we have been the last ones to get it.”
The Army has prioritized leader training for both commissioned officers and sergeants.
“[But] the initial entry, soldier side of the house, has not [changed] whole lot from the infantry perspective for a long, long time,” Kendrick said.


Currently, soldiers in infantry training receive one day of classroom instruction on land navigation and one day of hands-on application.
“We put them in groups of four and they go and find three of about four-five points — that’s their land navigation training,” Kendrick.
The new land-nav program will last a week.
“They are going to do buddy teams to start with, and at the end, they will have to pass day and night land navigation, individually,” he said.
One challenge of the pilot will be, “can I get to individual proficiency in land-nav or do I need more time?” Kendrick said.
“Part of this what we haven’t figured out is hey, how long do those lanes need to be — 300, 600, 800 meters?” said Kendrick, adding that it would be easy to design a course “and have every private here fail.”
“Then I can turn around and have every private pass no matter what with just a highway through the woods,” he continued. “We’ve got to figure out what that level is going to be — where they leave here accomplished in their skills and their ability and are prepared to go do that well wherever they get to. That is really the art of doing this pilot.”


Currently, infantry OSUT soldiers train on iron sights and the M68 close combat optic at ranges out to 300 meters.
The new program will feature training on the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, or AGOG, which offers 4X magnification.
“We don’t do much ACOG training; you go out to most rifle units, the ACOG is part of the unit’s issue,” Kendrick said. “It’s a shame that we don’t train them on the optic that half of them when they walk into their unit the first day and [receive it].”
Soldiers will also receive training on the AN/PAS-13 thermal weapon sightand the AN/PSQ-20 Enhanced Night Vision Goggle.
Soldiers will train with these system and their weapons “day and night with qualification associated,” Kendrick said.
The new program will also increase the amount of maneuver live-fire training soldiers receive.
“Everything from a buddy-team to a fire team to a squad, we are going to increase the time and sets and repetitions in getting them into live-firing, day and night,” Kendrick said. “Today when you do a fire-team, react to contact live fire, you do that twice — daytime only. At the end of this thing, when you are done, we will be doing live-fire [repetitions] on the magnitude of 20-plus.”
As with land navigation, Kendrick said, the time allotted for additional marksmanship training is not yet finalized.
“Like anything else, with being an infantryman, it’s sets and reps that make you proficient,” he said. “So now we are talking about the time to do that amount of sets and repetitions that will give them the foundation that can they can work in the rest of their career.”


Infantry OSUT trainees receive about 22 hours of combatives, or hand-to-hand combat training.
“We are going to take that to 40 hours,” Kendrick said. “At the end of 40 hours, we are going to take a level-one combatives test, so every soldier that leaves here will be level-one combatives certified.”
Level-one certification will ensure soldiers are practiced in basic holds instead of just being familiar with them, Kendrick said.
“We are talking about practicing and executing those moves.”
It will be the same with first aid training, he said.
Soldiers will spend eight days learning more combat lifesaver training, trauma first aid and “how to handle hot and cold-weather injuries … which cause more casualties than bullets do right now in some of these formations,” Kendrick said.
“You will have a soldier that understands combat lifesaver, first aid and trauma, all those things because right now you just get a little piece of that,” he said.
Infantry trainees will also receive more urban combat training and do a 16-mile road march instead of the standard 12-miler, Kendrick said.
The plan is to “assess this every week” during the pilot and make changes if needed, Kendrick said.
“Is it going to be enough? Do we need more? Those are all the things we are going to work out in this pilot,” he said. “In December, there will be a couple of 14-week companies that graduate at the same time, so part of this is to send both of those groups of soldiers out to units in the Army and get the units’ feedback on the product.”
The effort is designed to give soldiers more exposure to the infantry tasks that make a “solid infantryman here instead of making that happen at their first unit of assignment,” Kendrick said. “This is really going to produce that lethal soldier that can plug into his unit from day one.”
— Matthew Cox can be reached at

The Green Machine

The Medal of Honor

Image result for us moh
This medal is the top of the heap of gallantry awards. When it comes time for the US Military to award somebody for acts of courage that almost amount to acts of insane courage in the face of the enemy.
Now this medal is very seldom awarded unlike most medals that the Military gives for services rendered. I myself have only seen one awardee in my several years of service.
All I know is that these folks are something really special and are some serious Badasses.Image result for edward carter
Sgt. Edward A. Carter Jr
So if you get a chance, you might want to read some of the citations given. I guarantee that it will humble your ideas about how tough you think that you are.
Here is some more information about this Medal.Image result for us moh
This why a lot of folks call this a dead man’s award!

Medal of Honor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the US military award. For the video game franchise, see Medal of Honor (series). For other uses, see Medal of Honor (disambiguation).
Medal of Honor

Army, Navy, and Air Force versions of the Medal of Honor
Awarded by the President of the United Statesin the name of the U.S. Congress
Type U.S. military medal with neck ribbon
Eligibility Military personnel only
Awarded for Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty
Status Currently awarded
Established U.S. Navy: December 21, 1861
U.S. Army: July 12, 1862
U.S. Air Force: April 14, 1965
First awarded March 25, 1863: American Civil War, U.S. Army recipient
Last awarded July 31, 2017
Total awarded 3,516
Next (higher) None
Next (lower) Army: Distinguished Service Cross
Navy and Marine Corps: Navy Cross
Air Force: Air Force Cross
Coast Guard: Coast Guard Cross

The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest and most prestigious personal military decoration that may be awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who distinguished themselves by acts of valor.
The medal is normally awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress.
There are three versions of the medal, one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force.[6] Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version.
U.S. awards, including the Medal of Honor, do not have post-nominal titles, and while there is no official abbreviation, the most common abbreviations are “MOH” and “MH”. The Medal of Honor is the oldest continuously issued combat decoration of the United States armed forces.
The Medal of Honor was created as a Navy version in 1861 named the “Medal of Valor”, and an Army version of the medal named the “Medal of Honor” was established in 1862 to give recognition to men who distinguished themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity” in combat with an enemy of the United States.
Because the medal is presented “in the name of Congress”, it is often referred to as the “Congressional Medal of Honor”. However, the official name is “Medal of Honor”, which began with the U.S. Army’s version.
Within United States Code the medal is referred to as the “Medal of Honor”, and less frequently as “Congressional Medal of Honor”.
The President normally presents the Medal of Honor at a formal ceremony in Washington, D.C. which is intended to represent the gratitude of the American people, with posthumous presentations made to the primary next of kin.
According to the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States, there have been 3,516 Medals of Honor awarded to the nation’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration’s creation, with just less than half of them awarded for actions during the four years of the American Civil War.
In 1990, Congress designated March 25 annually as “National Medal of Honor Day”.[17] Due to its prestige and status, the Medal of Honor is afforded special protection under U.S. law against any unauthorized adornment, sale, or manufacture, which includes any associated ribbon or badge.


1780: The Fidelity Medallion was a small medal worn on a chain around the neck, similar to a religious medal, that was awarded only to three militiamen from New York state, for the capture of John André, a British officer and spy connected directly to General Benedict Arnold during the American Revolutionary War. The capture saved the fort of West Point from the British Army.[citation needed]
1782: Badge of Military Merit: The first formal system for rewarding acts of individual gallantry by American soldiers was established by George Washington when he issued a field order on August 7, 1782, for a Badge of Military Merit to recognize those members of the Continental Army who performed “any singular meritorious action”.
This decoration is America’s first combat decoration and was preceded only by the Fidelity Medallion, the Congressional medal for Henry Lee awarded in September 1779 in recognition of his attack on the British at Paulus Hook, the Congressional medal for General Horatio Gates awarded in November 1777 in recognition of his victory over the British at Saratoga, and the Congressional medal for George Washington awarded in March 1776.[1][19][20]
Although the Badge of Military Merit fell into disuse after the American Revolutionary War, the concept of a military award for individual gallantry by members of the U.S. Armed Forces had been established.
1847: Certificate of Merit: After the outbreak of the Mexican-American War (1846–1848) a Certificate of Merit (Meritorious Service Citation Certificate) was established by Act of Congress on March 3, 1847 “to any private soldier who had distinguished himself by gallantry performed in the presence of the enemy”.
539 Certificates were approved for this period. The certificate was discontinued and reintroduced in 1876 effective from June 22, 1874 to February 10, 1892 when it was awarded for extraordinary gallantry by private soldiers in the presence of the enemy.
From February 11, 1892 through July 9, 1918 (Certificate of Merit disestablished) it could be awarded to members of the Army for distinguished service in combat or noncombat; from January 11, 1905 through July 9, 1918 the certificate was granted medal status as the Certificate of Merit Medal[21] (first awarded to a soldier who was awarded the Certificate of Merit for combat action on August 13, 1898).
This medal was later replaced by the Army Distinguished Service Medal which was established on January 2, 1918 (the Navy Distinguished Service Medal was established in 1919). Those Army members who held the Distinguished Service Medal in place of the Certificate of Merit could apply for the Army Distinguished Service Cross(established 1918) effective March 5, 1934.

Medal of Valor

Medal of Honor (without the suspension ribbon) awarded to Seaman John Ortega in 1864 (back view of medal).

The only military award or medal at the beginning of the Civil War (1861–1865) was the Certificate of Merit, which was awarded for the Mexican-American War.
In the fall of 1861, a proposal for a battlefield decoration for valor was submitted to Winfield Scott, the general-in-chief of the army, by Lt. Colonel Edward D. Townsend, an assistant adjutant at the War Department and Scott’s chief of staff.
Scott, however, was strictly against medals being awarded, which was the European tradition. After Scott retired in October 1861, the Secretary of the NavyGideon Welles, adopted the idea of a decoration to recognize and honor distinguished naval service.
On 9 December 1861, U.S. Senator (IowaJames W. Grimes, Chairman on the Committee on Naval Affairs,[22] proposed Public Resolution Number 82[23] (Bill 82: 37th Congress, Second Session, 12 Stat. 329) “to promote the efficiency of the Navy” which included a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor.]
Which was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on December 21, 1861 (Medal of Valor had been established for the Navy), “to be bestowed upon such petty officersseamenlandsmen, and marines as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry and other seamen-like qualities during the present war.”[]
Secretary Wells directed the Philadelphia Mint to design the new military decoration.[26][27][28] On May 15, 1862, the United States Navy Department ordered 175 medals ($1.85 each) with the words “Personal Valor” on the back from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.

Medal of Honor

Senator Henry Wilson, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, introduced a resolution on February 15, 1862 for an Army Medal of Honor. The resolution (37th Congress, Second Session, 12 Stat. 623) was approved by Congress and signed into law on July 12, 1862 (“Medals of Honor” were established for enlisted men of the Army).
This measure provided for awarding a medal of honor “to such non-commissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection.”
During the war, Townsend would have some medals delivered to some recipients with a letter requesting acknowledgement of the “Medal of Honor”.
The letter written and signed by Townsend on behalf of the Secretary of War, stated that the resolution was “to provide for the presentation of medals of honor to the enlisted men of the army and volunteer forces who have distinguished or may distinguish themselves in battle during the present rebellion.”
 By mid-November the War Department contracted with Philadelphia silversmith William Wilson and Son, who had been responsible for the Navy design, to prepare 2,000 Army medals ($2.00 each) to be cast at the mint.
The Army version had “The Congress to” written on the back of the medal. Both versions were made of copper and coated with bronze, which “gave them a reddish tint”.[33][34]
1863: Congress made the Medal of Honor a permanent decoration. On March 3, Medals of Honor were authorized for officers of the Army[35][36] (37th Congress, Third Session, 12 Stat. 751). The Secretary of War first presented the Medal of Honor to six Union Army volunteers on March 25, 1863 in his office.[37]
1890: On April 23, the Medal of Honor Legion is established in Washington, D.C.[38][39][40]
1896: The ribbon of the Army version Medal of Honor was redesigned with all stripes being vertical.[41]
1904: The planchet of the Army version of the Medal of Honor was redesigned by General George Lewis Gillespie.[41] The purpose of the redesign was to help distinguish the Medal of Honor from other medals,[42] particularly the membership insignia issued by the Grand Army of the Republic.
1915: On March 3, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers became eligible for the Medal of Honor.
1963: A separate Coast Guard medal was authorized in 1963, but not yet designed or awarded.[46]
1965: A separate design for a version of the medal for the U.S. Air Force was created in 1956, authorized in 1960, and officially adopted on April 14, 1965. Previously, members of the U.S. Army Air CorpsU.S. Army Air Forces, and the U.S. Air Force received the Army version of the medal.


There are three versions of the Medal of Honor, one for each of the military departments of the Department of Defense: Army, Navy, and Air Force. Members of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard are eligible to receive the Navy version.
Each is constructed differently and the components are made from gilding metals and red brass alloys with some gold plating, enamel, and bronze pieces.
The United States Congress considered a bill in 2004 which would require the Medal of Honor to be made with 90% gold, the same composition as the lesser-known Congressional Gold Medal, but the measure was dropped.

Army Medal of Honor

Army version

The Army version is described by the Institute of Heraldry as “a gold five pointed star, each point tipped with trefoils, 1 12 inches [3.8 cm] wide, surrounded by a green laurel wreath and suspended from a gold bar inscribed VALOR, surmounted by an eagle.
In the center of the star, Minerva‘s head surrounded by the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. On each ray of the star is a green oak leaf. On the reverse is a bar engraved THE CONGRESS TO with a space for engraving the name of the recipient.”[49]
The pendant and suspension bar are made of gilding metal, with the eye, jump rings, and suspension ring made of red brass.[50] The finish on the pendant and suspension bar is hard enameled, gold plated, and rose gold plated, with polished highlights.

Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard Medal of Honor

Navy version

The Navy version is described as “a five-pointed bronze star, tipped with trefoils containing a crown of laurel and oak. In the center is Minerva, personifying the United States, standing with left hand resting on fasces and right hand holding a shield blazoned with the shield from the coat of arms of the United States. She repulses Discord, represented by snakes. The medal is suspended from the flukes of an anchor.” It is made of solid red brass, oxidized and buffed.

Air Force Medal of Honor

Air Force version

The Air Force version is described as “within a wreath of green laurel, a gold five-pointed star, one point down, tipped with trefoils and each point containing a crown of laurel and oak on a green background. Centered on the star, an annulet of 34 stars is a representation of the head of the Statue of Liberty.
The star is suspended from a bar inscribed with the word VALOR above an adaptation of the thunderbolt from the Air Force Coat of Arms.”[49] The pendant is made of gilding metal.[52] The connecting bar, hinge, and pin are made of bronze.[52] The finish on the pendant and suspension bar is hard enameled, gold plated, and rose gold plated, with buffed relief.[52]

Historical versions

The Medal of Honor has evolved in appearance over time. The upside-down star design of the Navy versions pendant adopted in early 1862 has not changed since its inception.
The Army 1862 version followed and was identical to the Navy version except an eagle perched atop cannons was used instead of an anchor to connect the pendant to the suspension ribbon.
In 1896, the Army version changed the ribbon’s design and colors due to misuse and imitation by nonmilitary organizations.[49]
In 1904, the Army “Gillespie” version introduced a smaller redesigned star and the ribbon was changed to the light blue pattern with white stars seen today.[49] In 1913, the Navy version adopted the same ribbon pattern.
After World War I, the Navy decided to separate the Medal of Honor into two versions, one for combat and one for non-combat. The original upside-down star was designated as the non-combat version and a new pattern of the medal pendant, in cross form, was designed by the Tiffany Company in 1919.
It was to be presented to a sailor or Marine who “in action involving actual conflict with the enemy, distinguish[es] himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty”[53] Despite the “actual conflict” guidelines—the Tiffany Cross was awarded to Navy CDR (later RADM) Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett for arctic exploration.
The Tiffany Cross itself was not popular. In 1942, the Navy returned to using only the original 1862 inverted 5-point star design, and ceased issuing the award for non-combat action.[54]
In 1944, the suspension ribbons for both the Army and Navy version were replaced with the now familiar neck ribbon.[49]
When the Air Force version was designed in 1956, it incorporated similar elements and design from the Army version.
It used a larger star with the Statue of Liberty image in place of Minerva on the medal and changed the connecting device from an eagle to an heraldic thunderbolt flanked with wings as found on the service seal.[55][56]

Attachments area
Preview YouTube video The making of the military highest award, the Medal of Honor

Preview YouTube video 6 Surprising Medal Of Honor Perks