POTD: Mattis & the Afghan M14s

    Mattis M14

    U.S. Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis arrives at the Afghan Presidential Office building, Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 7, 2018. Mattis met with Afghan and coalition members during the previously unannounced visit to the country. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

    Last week US Secretary of Defense James Mattis paid an unannounced visit to Afghanstan. While there he met with the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Afghan Presidential Office building in Kabul. During his visit he was met with a full honour guard presented by the Afghan National Army.

    The honour guard are armed with chromed ceremonial M14 rifles. The M14 is one of three rifles used by US military honour guards, the others being the M1 Garand and M1903 Springfield. It seems fitting that with Afghanistan’s military reportedly receiving over $70 billion worth in military assistance aid since 2002, that along with thousands of M16A2 and M4s, that some ceremonial M14s were thrown into the bargain.

    Afghani M14

    Another Afghani honour guard with M14’s during the 2011 Independence Day Parade (source)

    Afghanistan’s neighbours Iran and Pakistan both use licensed H&K G3 clones for ceremonial purposes. While Pakistan tends to use G3s with older wooden furniture, Iranian honour guards are often seen with chromed G3s.