Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Shawn

    I’ve been looking for a classic Army comic like this as well. I used it when I was learning map reading. It was comic of a cat teaching military map reading too. You wouldn’t happen to know where I could find one online, or at least the official document number?

  • shockfish08

    Thanks! I’ve been trying to find some pics of these on the internet for some time! Pretty cool stuff actually, the illustrations are especially cool!

  • CY

    Shawn, here’s a link to the 1969 version.

  • Trent

    Complaining that the M16A1 didn’t work is like claiming your truck didn’t run, even though you had no oil in the engine, never aired up the tires, and used the wrong octane fuel.

    The government failed the troops by providing sub-par ammo and no cleaning kits (a “self-cleaning rifle”? Really?), and got a lot of soldiers killed. Obviously, later enhancements further improved the rifles, but the gun itself was fine; maintenance was the problem.

  • Kurt

    I remember that comic book from the 70’s – my first impression was that I had never seen an NCO who looked that old, nor one who wore such goofy little glasses. Maybe they were intended for rifle inspections? The M16A1 worked OK, but with the tools and chemicals we had back then, it was a bear to keep clean.

  • Redchrome

    The manual says cleaning 3-5 times a day is not unreasonable in some conditions.

    My rifle may be more important than brushing my teeth in some conditions; but I have to think that if it needs to be cleaned more often than I brush my teeth, there’s something terribly misdesigned.

    Pretty girl tho!

  • Jim

    Christ almighty that is a complex manual. Something tells me a simpler, if heavier, design would have been preferable for Vietnam.

  • shdwfx

    Yo Sarge, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but the M14 is one of the best rifles of ALL TIME!

    (had to be said)

  • Hey, it’s easier to read than the armorer’s manual…

  • D

    lotta innuendos and racial epitaphs in that comic heh.

  • Lance

    Cool and nice retro comic.

  • Lance

    The woman in the comic looks like hot lips from M*A*S*H

  • Burst

    Considering how soldiers frequently have actual wars to fight, and how little of their time is not otherwise assigned, that much maintenance is simply
    unreasonable. A military weapon should assume the worst possible conditions, and be designed accordingly.

    But none of that reflects poorly on Eisner, whose work is awesome as always. Interesting to see that they’d already developed the carbine parts for ‘Shorty’.

  • “gunner”

    my daughter has that comic, along with a full set of accessories, including m-7 bayonet, blank adapter and field and tech manual set for her ar-15. i was going to get her an m-9 bayonet but she decided she didn’t like it.

  • Shawn

    I was issued a M16A1 (M203) the entire time I was in the U.S. Army during the 1980s and would like to address some of the comments above.

    1) If you have to clean your rifle more than you clean your teeth…

    Most troops found it easy to do a quick clean of their rifle everytime they had a minute to take a break, it only takes about the same amount of time that your C-RAT coffee is cooking over a heat tab your canteen cup. Once it became habit, you didn’t even think about it, you just did it.

    2) @ Trent

    Exactly, by the late 70s up until the M16A1 started to be replaced, the ammo problem had been taken care of and every trooper had at least one cleaning kit.

    I shot well with my rifle, scoring expert every qualification and most importantly I had confidence that if it was needed it would perform.


  • @Kurt

    That old NCO looks just like my late Dad except for the glasses – his glasses weren’t wire rims. He was an old Regular Army NCO. He was 48 and had white hair when he went to S. Vietnam in 1967. I even think he was a Master Sergeant at the time like the cartoon Sgt.

    He qualified Expert with the M-16.

  • John1711

    I have that comic right in front of me!! It’s Graphic Training Aid (GTA) 5-2-13, dated November 1981. It’s entitled “Don’t Get Lost! How to travel in the best circles in a square world”. You could also search for it by its’s Government Printing Office # 1981-358-707/7193.
    Here’s a link through Amazon:

  • Shawn

    That’s great! I knew it was that training aid! I found the newer version, but didn’t realize it had been superseded by the less fun version. At least I have the right GTA number for it!

  • Geoff Ross

    Ah yes! Ol’ Sgt Halfmast McCanick and his sidekick Connie Rodd. Such memories. Taught troops everything from maintaining the horrid Hydra Matic M16’s to repairing those death trap 1/4 ton “Mutts” and just about every other piece of equipment the Army had.

    I remember in the mid 70’s they added Bonnie and a couple of guys (Don’t remember their names). Bonnie was of Course Afro along with one of the guys. But Halfmast never changed.

  • tony

    i went through basic/ait at benning in 1981 and the m16a1 i was issued was so wore out that i had to twist the weapon just to maintain zero,even as bad as it was i still qualified. amazing that it even functioned with that gap between the upper and lower receiver.

  • CW

    I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Eisner and get my copy signed by him before he passed on. He said he got quite a few requests to sign that book.

  • Got mine in front of me on the book shelf, i can’t remember what year i got it but it was a while back.