A Gucci Glock Goes to War with Top US General in Afghanistan

Will P
by Will P
General Miller, America’s highest-ranking officer in Afghanistan, is clearly not simply signing out any old sidearm from the armory.

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.

An older photo of the General shows him carrying a 1911, which he would've come up using in Delta.

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.

In another photo from the SECDEF's recent visit to Afghanistan, you can also see the comp and red dot affixed to Miller's Glock.

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.
Will P
Will P

Lifelong hobby/sport shooter and hunter, former US Army infantryman, perpetual firearms student. Always seeking to become better and learn more. Interested in a wide variety of shooting disciplines, and passionate about all kinds of guns. Contact on Instagram: @WillTFB

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  • Redneck Zen Redneck Zen on Apr 08, 2021

    This uber Glock is his signature, something that distinguishes him from other commanders regardless of the number of stars. The fact that he has a track record with such a weapon is a reminder of what he stands for. I get it and think it's pretty cool.

    Funny, how there's some consternation about what he should or shouldn't carry and how that affects his soldiers' morale. I say "Pffffft!" That ain't nuthin'. Lemme tell you a story:

    I was deployed to Desert Shield and saw Desert Storm to its conclusion, a photographer/videographer/journalist caught somewhere between the front lines, the tanks and the MLRS battalions raining steel on the Iraqis. For whatever that's worth. Oddly enough, the biggest stress some of our troops endured was from the sergeant major, who was always bitchin' about those "Schwarzkopft hats" everybody was wearing.

    Y'see, General "Stormin' Norman" wore a signature patrol cap in the old chocolate chip fabric instead of the issue boonie style everyone other swinging troops under his command were issued. Totally unauthorized, re: 670-1, etc. Locals had gotten hold of chocolate chip material and selling replica "Schwazkopf hats" everywhere a camel shit. We were told we could wear our BDU (green) patrol cap or boonie hat with our chocolate chips or the matching boonie hat, "but no friggin' Schwazkopf hats!" Hard to believe, but this got to be a thing, JAGs got involved, then disentangled themselves, officers spilt their coffee over it -- most of them were the offenders, JAGs included.

    All this over an effin' patrol cap. Weird. "Stormin' Norman" probably had no idea the grief he stirred up with his stylings. He might have even been amused by it.

    Me? I'd much rather been issued a Glock.

    P.S. During this time I served under Fred Franks, one of the finest general officers I ever met. Had to interview him a couple of times for a documentary. He was a "soldier's soldier," akin to Omar Bradley vs. Patton. You always saw him wearing whatever the troops wore. Substance over style. FWIW.

  • Nomad Nomad on Apr 29, 2021

    Found a closer pic of Miller's Glock during a search, for anyone interested.


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