The Worst Detail of the Navy’s Embarrassing Photo Is Not the Backward Scope or Horrible Shooting Stance – This Is Bad

The Worst Detail of the Navy’s Embarrassing Photo Is Not the Backward Scope or Horrible Shooting Stance – This Is Bad

One would think that members of the American military would know better than anyone how to handle a firearm, but, as a now-infamous viral photo shared by the U.S. Navy has demonstrated, perhaps that was hoping too much.

The photo, originally shared to Instagram by the Navy’s official account, showed Commander Cameron Yaste, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy warship the USS John S. McCain, shooting a rifle on the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

The caption on the photo read, “From engaging in practice gun shoots, conducting maintenance, testing fuel purity, and participating in sea and anchor details, the U.S. Navy is always ready to serve and protect.” The post ended with the hashtag “readiness.”

However, as the New York Post noted in a story on the subject, users on social media quickly noticed several issues with the photo.

First, and most egregious, the scope of the rifle was on backward.

Not only that, but Yaste’s form was incorrect and, as military news site Stars and Stripes pointed out, the foregrip was also set up incorrectly.


And, considering this was the Navy, they were rightfully roasted all over social media, with even the U.S. Marines hopping on the dog pile by sharing a picture on the social media platform X where their servicemen were firing the same rifle, but in the correct configuration.

As one X user pointed out when retweeting the Marines’ post, they were “definitely NOT trolling the @USNavy over that ‘other’ post where they had the optic mounted backwards.”

However, though the Navy’s mistake was undoubtedly egregious (they haven’t been called the “armed forces” for nothing), it was by no means the worst part of their embarrassing picture.

As many users on X pointed out, even Hollywood action movies get these details right, an observation which implied that the person who set up the rifle and took the picture was less informed than the average Hollywood prop department.

Clearly, then, the rifle was set up by an amateur.

But why, then, did no one on the ship seem to recognize these egregious errors before the rifle was fired or the picture taken?

No one who vetted the picture before posting it noticed the error, either.

The American military was, and is, the most well-funded military in the entire world.

If mistakes like this, which the officer firing the rifle should have caught the moment he saw the rifle, could make it through the numerous steps it took to get to publication, then what did it say about our readiness, especially with regard to the Navy?

Now, none of this means that the whole American military is in the same sorry state as the Navy seems to be, but it does raise some significant questions.

Namely, it highlighted a set of concerning and obvious errors that made it through an entire laundry list of people who should have caught the error immediately.

What went wrong, then, that none of those people, including a commanding officer who should have known better, had any notion there was an error until people on social media pointed it out?

If the Navy could so easily overlook something that was relatively trivial, how many more serious errors might have slipped through the cracks?

That might be a thought too chilling to contemplate.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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