General Austin Scott Miller is a warfighter who knows a thing or two about firearms, and has previously been noted for preferring a 1911 over the Army’s recently-retired standard-issue sidearm, the M9. Now the former Delta operator has been seen carrying a modified Glock in Afghanistan, rather than the current M17/M18 handguns that have been chosen to replace the aging Beretta service pistol. Of particular interest is that this is no stock Glock, as some Special Operations personnel have been authorized to use in the past. The General’s gun features some auspicious modernizations commonly associated with high-end handguns, often meant for competition. In these photos, you can see Miller is employing a red-dot optic, a mag extension, and a compensator added to the gun’s muzzle. It’s not clear whether his holster is concealing the weaponlight that would be needed to qualify the pistol as a full-blown Roland Special-style sidearm, but given the General‘s other accessory choices, it would not be surprising if this was the case.
General Miller’s shooting experience and training/qualifications are almost certainly extensive, given his service record. Before pinning on his fourth star and assuming command over all of NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan in 2018, General Miller built quite a resume in the US Army’s Special Operations community. He’d already become a highly trained soldier from his time at West Point, the 82nd Airborne Division, the 2nd Infantry Division, and the 75th Ranger Regiment before he made the jump to the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment, better known as Delta, in 1992. The year after joining this elite unit, Miller served as the Delta ground force commander during Operation Gothic Serpent’s Battle of Mogadishu, of Black Hawk Down fame. He later saw further combat action during the Global War on Terror.
Of particular note, just one and a half short months after his promotion from Lieutenant General to General (3-star to 4-star), Miller was in the room when a Taliban mole managed to infiltrate an Afghan security element. This insider attack saw the ambusher shoot several high-ranking officials, including wounding a US Army Brigadier General, Jeffrey Smiley. Miller reportedly did not fire during the brief gunfight, but did draw his sidearm. That pistol was likely either his previous 1911, or it may have also been a Glock, as shown above, rather than a standard-issue M9 or M17/M18.
What do you think, readers? Do you like the fact that the General is stepping outside of the typical military box a bit? Do you think “Gucci” Glocks or other, similarly modified handguns have a place in duty use? What’s your view of accessories like pistol optics and comps in a theater of war? Let us know in the comments below! See you at the range.
Photos courtesy of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, public domain.
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