Sometimes one gun just aint enough

They say “beware of the man with one gun, he knows how to use it”. I say “beware of Sgt. Jonathan Sweetnan, he looks like he knows how to use both of them”.

The caption from

Sgt. Jonathan Sweetnan, Bulldog Troop, White Platoon, looks through his rifle scope to scan for insurgents during a reconnaissance patrol near Combat Outpost Delorean, Bala Murghab, Baghdis province, Afghanistan, Jan. 9, 2011. Sweetnan led one of the four fire teams on the patrol and all four teams came under accurate small-arms fire. Insurgents also launched a large-scale attack on COP Delorean Jan. 6, from this field and two other areas.

[ Many thanks to Lance for emailing me the photo. ]

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.


  • I’ll have to check the patch chart when I get to work, but based on their unit patch (4ID) and my recollection of who’s where in Afghanistan, those guys are probably from the pathfinder troop of the 4ID Combat Aviation Brigade.

    Pathfinders tend to be some pretty serious types.

  • Jason

    I always heard, “If you’re gonna carry 1 gun, might as well carry 2.” 🙂

    Cool pic! Thank you for your service!

  • Clodboy

    See, this brave operator proves what everyone on XBox Live has been saying all along: The first thing you do upon entering a combat zone is swap out your boring old assault rifle with a DMR, then look for a carbine so you can ditch that useless handgun. Only criticism here is that he should have tried to obtain one with a grenade launcher, but maybe it was one of those missions where you can use the laser to mark targets for a Stryker or a Predator.

  • Chris

    That reminds me, I recall reading about some GI’s in WWII who would carry both a Garand and a Carbine.

  • slntax

    the other rifle looks to be his EBR M14.

  • drewogatory

    Ah, the EBR. I’d love to get one for my old M1A with crappy furniture but alas, the evil pistol grip renders it non Ca compliant. Also, thanks to the asshole in Az for ensuring more stupid knee jerk arbitrary gun laws that we’ll all have to deal with soon.

  • Gir

    Just like call of duty!!

  • Lance

    I take the M-14 up front and sling the M-4 over my back!

  • jdun1911

    It looks like he got a Mk 14 Mod 0 EBR or M14 DMR variant on his back. It’s the same basic concept for snipers, one carbine for general purpose and one for sniping.

  • Nadnerbus

    Magnified optics on both rifles. Anti-coalition forces don’t like to get in range when it comes to gun fighting.

    drewogatory, you and me both. But then, my Springfield is jam-o-matic, so putting it into a six hundred dollar stock probably would be a waste of money.

    If I was going to do it all over again, I’d get a Fulton build. I still might send mine to them and have them rebuild it to GI spec if I ever get the money and motivation.

  • Mike

    Little wonder all four fire teams came under fire – observe from the photo how well the issue Army camouflage pattern uniforms blend in with the local background … not. The only way they could offer higher contrast targets for “accurate small-arms fire” is if the Army were to issue blaze orange vests (for traffic safety reasons).

    But as to weaponry of more immediate concern to the bad guys than either his M-4 or EBR M14, Sgt. Sweetnan also looks to know how to use his radio…

  • jdun1911

    At a distance the ACU is effective.

  • Crabula

    So none of you have ever heard the saying “If you know how many guns you have, you dont have enough.”

  • Squidpuppy

    I’m perplexed by the piece of gear on his left hip; is that a tactical fixed blade without para cord wrapping on the tang? Why is the sheath so beefy? Maybe that’s not a knife?

  • Rohan Wilson

    Just shows the need for a new caliber.

    I’m surprised that Tony Williams hasn’t jumped on this one!

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    Wonder what the silver-handle dagger is on his hip.

  • vereceleritas

    Why does he have a PEQ-2 on his M4? Figured with all his other high speed gear he would have a PEQ-15 or 16.

  • subase

    It’s a tacticool knife, it’s even camouflaged for petes sake.
    Can’t a guy just have a cool knife?

  • William C.

    Now he needs to tape them together.

  • charles222

    As for the PEQ-2 on his M4, he’s 4th ID. They’re at or near the bottom of the priority list for new equipment because they’re not SOCOM or 18th Airborne Corps.

    To the ACU complainers: Yes, it’s quite amazing that they were spotted moving across open ground while walking. Because human eyes aren’t motion-sensitive or anything, particularly in a flat-for-miles desert environment with no obscuring terrain features. And, seriously, the camera is like five feet away at best. The guy practically fills the screen. It’s like a Big Mac vanishing into the background on a BK commercial.

  • Jacob Jared Kenworthy

    I didn’t know they used lasers for anything but pistols anymore…

  • jdun1911

    Soldiers, Marines, and other people in combat operation does not get gears to look cool. They use certain gears to help them kill enemy combatants or help their tasks.


    Not all combat are long range in Afghanistan. Some engagement are very close and personal, as in knife range. Google Ross Kemp in Afghanistan and if you have netflix you can watch Restrepo online. Both documentaries are a political. Just from the heart of the soldiers fighting there.

  • Stefan F

    I would have the M-4 in a tough box! the M-14 in the EBR stock would suffice! Buck Sgt’s! (eyes rolling)

  • bernardg

    I read recently that the ARMY is looking to redesign their ACU as they realized that grey blotch is just not up for color scheme.
    Note: this guy is really is a multitasker.

  • Nadnerbus

    I saw Restrepo on nat geo. I’ve been slogging through the Wanat final report for the last few days before I go to sleep. I’ll go check out Ross Kemp right now. Yeah, the foe there knows to either keep out of range, or hug the belt real close to neutralize air and artillery support. But as far as rifle work goes, it seems like most of the fighting is at longer ranges. Most of the time you see the guys with either ACOGs on their M4s, or they have the 3 power magnifier for their Aimpoint.

    A lot of hard humping, crappy conditions, and a frustratingly gradual and non-gratifying job these guys have to do. They have 110% of my respect for what they have to do, and somehow keep managing to accomplish.

  • subase

    Just kidding about the tacticool. He has a full tang blade the strongest design, looks quite thick and cheap to make, easily replaceable. This gives you more familiarity with it as you use it more. The camo not only hides the knife but protects it from rust.

  • charles222

    Jacob: Nah, just about every small arm the Army issues has a laser on it nowadays. It’s that or firing blindly through NODs at night.

  • jdun1911


    IIRC The army will use the same pattern as the ACU but with a different colors for better effect in Afghanistan. Don’t quote me on it tho. I haven’t kept up with it.

    The problem with Afghanistan tho is that it has extreme environments. From jungle to desert to snow, etc. Afghanistan has it all.


    I’m not disagreeing with you. You’re right. I just wanted to point out that not all engagements are long range.

  • Jacob Jared Kenworthy

    oh thanks

  • AK®

    From the side view..I thought it was this guy:
    (Movie is Tears Of The Sun and it came out in 2003)

    and that they were making another action movie with him in it.

  • snoopycomputer

    Its not strapped to his back, its held by another solider behind him wearing 100% multicam.

  • Riceball


    What you’re thinking of is called UCP-Delta which was just UCP (Universal Camouflage Pattern which what’s used on ACUs) with a bit of coyote brown splashed on it. The Army rejected UCP-D in favor of a Multicam and called Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern or some nonsense like that but it’s still Multicam. Currently the Army is looking for 4 different patterns as a permanent replacement for both UCP and Multicam uniforms, the plan is for one pattern for woodlands, one for desert, another for transitional areas, and one pattern that would be used for all of their gear like vests, helmets, mag pouches, etc.

  • keith

    snoopycomputer wins.

  • ColonelColt

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned this but it looks like he has a prototype 40 round PMag. Last I checked, those were only production prototypes and I wasn’t aware that anyone was sending them overseas officially or that you could even buy them.

  • Rohan

    Sorry no.
    40 round PMAGs are about 3 times the length of the magazine well. His is only double (ie 30 round)

    UK however is buy EMAGs
    “More than 100,000 new state-of-the-art lightweight SA80 rifle magazines have arrived in Afghanistan to be used by troops fighting on the front line.”

  • Flounder

    I only have one problem with this. How much ammo can he carry for each rifle? Seems like he would run into problems reloading. Say he had only STANAG mags in his vest and he switched to the M14 where would he pull the mags out of? Just food for thought friends! As for that knife! WHY NOT!!! He is fighting a war! I would do exactly the same. 😀

  • Flounder

    Oh and Surefire is working on 60 and 100 round mags. Quadstacks. I heard something that suggested they were almost for sale.
    thats the link! Merry christmas! Hopefully they work!