The Hunger Games: Air Force Style

May 09, 2015

Disclaimer: This list is NOT all inclusive. US Special Operations have dozens of firearms at their disposal. This list is just a sampling and is arranged in NO particular order.

     FN SCAR

The Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) is a modular rifle made by FN Herstal (FNH) for the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to satisfy the requirements of the SCAR competition. This family of rifles consist of two main types. The SCAR-L, for "light", is chambered in the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and the SCAR-H, for "heavy", fires 7.62×51mm NATO. Both are available in Long Barrel and Close Quarters Combat variants.

10 Guns of the Special Forces

10 Guns of the Special Forces

10 Guns of the Special Forces

Pictured Above: FN MK 20 MOD 0 Sniper Support Rifle (SSR)
  • 5.56×45mm NATO(SCAR-L)
  • 7.62×51mm NATO(SCAR-H)
Action Gas-operated (short-stroke gas piston), rotating bolt
Rate of fire 625 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity
  • SCAR-L: 2,870 ft/s (870 m/s) (M855)
  • SCAR-L: 2,630 ft/s (800 m/s) (Mk 262)
  • SCAR-H: 2,342 ft/s (714 m/s) (M80)
Effective firing range
  • SCAR-L: 300 m (330 yd) (Short), 500 m (550 yd) (Standard), 600 m (660 yd) (Long)
  • SCAR-H: 300 m (330 yd) (Short), 600 m (660 yd) (Standard), 800 m (870 yd) (Long)
Feed system
  • SCAR-L: STANAG box magazine
  • SCAR-H/SSR: 20-round box magazine
Sights Iron sights or various optics



  Words by Mike Weisbecker.

Well the time has finally come that the military has to really look at trimming the ranks.  From looking at what the Air Force is doing in FY 2014, they have no less than 18 programs to determine early separation/retirement for officers and enlisted.  Almost everyone seems to be in play on this one.  And with the processes moving fast and furious, you better start getting your ducks in a row ASAP if you have any inkling that this will affect you.

Does the Air Force need to downsize?  Yep.  Is this a well thought out way to do it? Nope.  It will be the equivalent of doing brain surgery with two crash axes from an aircraft.  So if you get the axe, good luck and don’t let the door smack you in the ass.  If you survive to keep serving, be prepared to do even more with even less. 

They are starting with Chief (E-9) retention boards.  To make E-8 and E-9, performance records are actually looked at along with taking an exam on supervisory knowledge.  Their records have been reviewed fairly well as they had the same process done to make E-8.  With this retention board, they will be looking at the reports from a different side than previously.  It pretty much applies to all the career fields in the service for Chiefs.  For those that do not want to meet the board they can apply for early retirement.


And the fun won’t stop there.  You in an over-manned career field?  Start looking at your performance reports.  Your choices will probably be to separate or retire. 

Have a referral report, PT failure or some other transgression that resulted in an Article 15?  Remember when your commander said when it happened 2, 3, 4 years ago that you could recover and still have a great career in the Air Force?  Well that may not be true anymore and the action that you admirably recovered from may be the thing the board says gets you the one way ticket out the gate.  And unit commanders will have a lot less leeway than when similar retention reviews happened.


Well let’s say you are in the 15-19 year window.  There is an early retirement option open now, but you have to decide quickly.  Do you want to take what’s behind door #1 with the early retirement (which is a lower percentage of your base pay than leaving at 20) or will you take the chance on surviving the board?

The other services have done boards like this in the past and Big Blue says they are consulting with them on how those went for their personnel.   Prepare now.  Get into a transition class ASAP.  Start writing a resume.  Sign up with one or more of the veteran groups as they are a great resource for help and visit for the most up to date information regarding veteran employment and entrepreneurship.

And to my currently serving Air Force brethren: Happy Hunger Games and May the odds be ever in your favor!