The US army’s long and often controversial effort to replace its longstanding sidearm, the M9 9mm pistol made by Beretta, took an interesting turn this week when Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley reportedly asked the Army Special Operations Command if it was possible to buy Glock pistols. According to, Milley also previously asked Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to grant service chiefs the authority to approve aquisition of new equipment, as long as they do not require new research or experimental technology.

“We are not talking about nuclear subs or going to the moon here. We are talking about a pistol,” Milley said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing earlier this month.

Milley has long criticized the expensive and time-consuming process to find a new combat pistol for the army and air force, also known as the Modular Handgun system. Last year the army launched its XM17 competition, allowing larger rounds than 9mm. Currently Glock, Walther, Smith & Wesson, FN Herstal, and Beretta are reported to have entered the competition with pistols that they claim meet the army requirements. Beretta previously submitted an improved M9A3 to the army, but later replaced that with the APX strike-fired pistol. Heckler & Koch has not confirmed if it will enter the competition.

Although many soldiers like the M9, some have called for more stopping power in the form of a larger round, and even some have asked for a return to the venerable M1911. Others have also noted the lack of features on the M9 and requested a more modular pistol. The XM17 contract could be worth up to $580 million, and testing itself may cost $17 million.

Milley balked at that price.

“The testing—I got a briefing the other day—the testing for this pistol is two years,” he told Fox News. “Two years to test technology that we know exists. You give me $17 million on the credit card, I’ll call Cabela’s tonight, and I’ll outfit every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine with a pistol and I’ll get a discount on it for bulk buys.”

However, the specific model of Glock that Milley requested may have some experts scratching their heads. According to anonymous source, Milley is reportedly considering the Glock 19, a compact 9mm pistol with a magazine capacity of 15 rounds and a four-inch barrel. That would not likely satisfy the critics of the current M9 and its 9mm cartridge.

The Glock 19 has seen military use by forces in Brazil, France, India, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Sweden, various police departments around the globe, and the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

Image from Defence Images on the flickr Creative Commons

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15 thoughts on “Army Chief of Staff: Just Give the Troops Glocks

  1. I dislike/hate the unsafe disassemble procedure for the Glock, unsafe as hell. Hate Glocks, but operate 2 of them, .40 and .357 Auto. Go fig….

      1. John, you just gave me a reason to take another look at a Gen4 . . . got a favorite or suggestion to start with?

      2. Not true. My Glock 26 Gen 4 will not allow the slide to be released forward unless the trigger is in the rearward position. We all know what that means… clear the chamber and dry fire once the slide is in the forward position.

  2. It seems to me that since World War II The mission of the American military has devolved from an overwhelming force keeping the forces of evil in check through the very real threat of total destruction to a police force . Now when a nation or other coalition acts with aggression against the U.S. or other civilized nation our Incompetent in Chief of our military goes , irritated at being disturbed at whatever he does , to the United Nations debating society to send American Military to act as police .And like American police they handle it ,stop the miscreants . Also like the police they are criticized by those who never at the scene but are omniscient and invariably undo the situation to a worse than original state .
    I am surprised that the Obama administration even allows handguns to the military since they apparently don’t even provide enough arms to the S.E.A.L s .

  3. Put springs and links and modern mags in the old 1911s and pass em back out to do what they were made for.
    Theres a $$$ saver.

    1. Especially since they have Thousands of them taking up space and storage funds in nearly forgotten federally owned warehouses that could be better suited for other storage or even demolition.

  4. Issue off the shelf Glock 21s. They’d have a 45 ACP with 13 round mags and they work every time, no matter what the ammo is or how dirty they are. And my G21 with a full 13 round mag doesn’t weigh any more than my Government Model with a loaded 8 round mag. Cue the Glock haters.

    1. Not a Glock Hater, butthe argument(s) that you can expect against the G21 would probably be recoil management and holdability (yeah, I think I just made that one up), The plastic receiver, while incredibly durable, doesn’t have the recoil absorbing mass that less experienced shooters rely on to manage recoil, and the double stack, plastic encased 13 round .45 ACP magazine and handle might be too much for shooters with smaller hands, less grip strength or less shooting experience. The M9, sadly enough, addressed all those complications, despite its many shortcomings.

  5. Exactly why Army should not be able to simply pick a gun. Ruger American Pistol meets the exact same need as the Glock at a 20% savings to taxpayers. That savings would buy A LOT more beans, bullets and band aids for his soldiers.

    1. I would hope that american manufacturers would be the first choice, the M&P line has more than proven itself and imho has taken what dear Gaston started and improved it. Not by any means insisting on S&W as a sole source, but dammit there are quality American platforms that meet or exceed the requirements.

  6. I carried a 1911 for 15 year as a Ranger and still carry one or two as my ccw you can’t beat the .45 for stopping power thats why the Army first adopted it. The only improvement you need is a rail underneath and maybe a double stack mag. I use ten rounders and thats always been enough for me.

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