Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Finally found something I'd been searching for from Jeff Cooper

This story had stuck in my mind, and I just located it among Cooper's Commentaries; the particular post is here, it's on the subject of 'safety' rules that don't make much sense:
"I met our main body yesterday. They all arrived from the aerial port of delivery (APOD) in (of course) Condition Three. The first thing our unit S-4 (a VMI graduate no less) asked me, `Sir, where is the armory? These Marines have loaded weapons, and we need to turn them in before they have a negligent discharge.'

"I looked at him indignantly and replied, `I'm sorry, Major. I've obviously been misinformed. I thought you were a man of honor, integrity, a fearless warrior, ready and eager to defend our country. I see instead that you are pitiable and afraid of our own guns! No. The Marines will keep their weapons in Condition Three.' Not a word was said in reply, but they all slept with their weapons last night, and there were no NDs. Imagine that!

"Anyway, I wish officers who were afraid of Marines carrying loaded weapons would find another line of work, preferably in the UK. I, for one, wear my (Condition One) pistol constantly. After only one day of being screwed with, my Captains all do likewise. We're slowly spreading the sunshine here!"

In case somebody misunderstands, firearms safety is a very important subject, but it's well-covered by the Four Rules; that there are brass hats out there who don't trust their own troops to keep their arms handy in a friggin' combat zone...


Anonymous said...

I was never in the service so service related jargon often goes right over my head. What are Conditions 1,2,&3? And any others>

Gerry N.

MauserMedic said...

Sadly, a large number of officers have no competence in dealing with firearms at a personal level, let alone leading and instructing others. Another side effect of making the military a career rather than a calling.

Firehand said...

Gerry, I know one means 'loaded mag, chamber loaded' but I'm not sure which; don't know if the military follows this particular list or not:
Condition Four: Chamber empty, no magazine, hammer down.
Condition Three: Chamber empty, full magazine in place, hammer down.
Condition Two: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer down.
Condition One: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer cocked, safety on.

Windy Wilson said...

My cousin's ex husband was Army, and he mentioned once that his unit had problems of the soldiers shooting one another. Perhaps the officers' fears would be allayed if they took the lessons of Captain Sobel of "Band of Brothers" more to heart. To a large extent if the officers are worried about "ND"'s, then the enlisted are worried about the problem that was described by WW1 German soldiers as "lions led by asses".