Marines; No bolts in weapons for Inauguration

| February 11, 2013 | 33 Comments

bolts missing

I’ve never been in an Inauguration, so I don’t know if it’s standard practice or not, but someone noticed that the Marines had the bolts removed from their M14s M1s during the Inauguration a few weeks ago – like in the picture above. See how the operating rod handle is forward? If there was a bolt in the rifle with that forward, you’d see the bolt in the ejection port.

Like TSO said, I think it’s more of an overreaction by the perpetual pants-wetters in the Secret Service than from the Administration. TSO emails that he had to remove his bolt from his weapon when the Clintons came to Tuzla while he was there. The one time I marched for a President was Gerald Ford on the Army’s 200th Birthday at Fort Benning and we had bolts in our M16s, so it’s been a long while for me to chime in with any experience on the subject.

I’m only mentioning this so you guys will stop emailing me about it. Others think there’s more to it, like our pals Gateway Pundit and Bob Owens, but I think I’ll wait to pass judgement until someone comes up pictures of the Marines with bolts in their M14s M1s at the Bush Inauguration.

Category: Barack Obama/Joe Biden, Marine Corps

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  1. Andy says:

    2001 I was on my brigades color guard when Pres Bush came to Ft Stewart. We also had to remove our bolts. Well before he came, we had a formation in the gym and the Secret Service walked down the line checking everyones rifle, and my CSMs M9 to see if our bolts were removed. They also ran a magic wand over us to make sure we didn’t have anything else. I was told by an agent that one of the females on the Div Color guard set the wand off when they ran it across her crotch. When it chirped she blurted out “Oh that’s just my ring….I mean, uh…” So much for the no piercings policy in 670-1.

  2. Cacti35 says:

    I have a friend that is a retired Washington State Patrol Trooper. He was in a detail of troopers that was sent to D.C. for the Inaugaration of Jimmy Carter. He said they had to turn in their ammo for their .357mag service revolvers for the parade and ceremonies. I was lucky enough not to have a president visit my jurisdiction when I was sheriff. Colleagues that did have one said that it was common for the people nearby to not be armed. The Secret Service is a pain in the ass for local LE. I am not in any way sticking up for the dipshit in chief, I think the Secret Service has had the policy for some time. IMHO.

  3. Twist says:

    This is nothing new. When we did a parade down Waikiki celebrating the anniversery of VJ day and President Clinton came, we had to remove the bolts from our M-16s. We even had bright orange stickers put on our collars to let the SS know that we had been cleared.

  4. PintoNag says:

    In my opinion, the bad thing about the Marines not being armed at an Inauguration, is that somebody might try to harm the Marines.

    /sarc off

  5. Isanova says:

    God forbid someone try to attack a marine… even armed with what is effectively a club I wouldn’t want to piss one of them off!

    Kinda worrysome that people would view this as some act of Obamauthoratianism, its pretty inconspicuous. For the SS to do a full, deep background check on every LEO and soldier the president goes near would be a drastic waste of money.

  6. PintoNag says:

    Isanova, that’s the point. That uniform is supposed to indicate that a full background check WAS done, and they are fit to serve.

  7. Frank says:

    They ARE fit to serve – that’s what the SS (how appropriate) is afraid of.

  8. docstew says:

    When Pres Bush came to Ft Bragg in 2008 for 82nd Div Review, we had to remove bolts from our M4s and springs and followers from the magazines. M9s had barrel removed and spring/followers removed from mags. They marched everyone through a checkpoint where we had to shotgun our weapons to show no bolt. Bottom Line, it’s a secret service req’t that’s been around for a while.

  9. Mr Wolf, non-Esq. says:

    Can the M1 remove the firing pin separate from the bolt? Like an M16 can?

    Seems that would be the simple, less-obtrusive (visually) solution.

    Or does that make too much sense?

  10. PintoNag says:

    It is a disgrace for our Armed Forces to be treated this way. Our leaders ought to hang their heads in shame. Look at the English, with two warrior-princes in their ranks. And what do we have? A CiC who’s afraid for his military to bear arms in his presence. What a disgusting commentary on our leaders of today.

  11. USMC Steve says:

    I believe those are M-1 rifles they have. If the Secret Service trolls are so worried about some military member capping the prez, they should tell them to march without weapons. But then it would not look as cool.

  12. CC Senor says:

    I missed JFK’s visit to the 3AD by about four months, but from what I was told, everyone in the company had his weapon inspected about three times by the company’s NCOs. Back in those days tanks always carried their basic loads of ammo, but I’m sure if that was the case at the review.

    http://www.3ad.com/history/cold.war/feature.pages/kennedy.index.htm

  13. Drew Payson says:

    The Marines assigned to Marine Barracks, 8th & I, carry a M-1. The Marines assigned to march in the Parade are from 8th & I. The weapons in the photo are M-1s.

  14. Ex-PH2 says:

    It goes back a long way.

    If you recall, Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981 by fundamentalist members of the Egyptian army after they jumped off their truck and ran up to his reviewing booth, firing at close range.

    This kind of thing is always a concern.

  15. H1 says:

    Because that whole “Semper Fidelis” this is so yesterday.
    Get with the program.
    Interesting that I was trusted to guard live nukes while armed.
    Different priorities I guess.

  16. Harrison says:

    #10
    One would think the weather this time of year would lead to beanies being favored over tinfoil hats, but conservatards never disappoint.

  17. PintoNag says:

    @16 I’m glad not to disappoint, Harrison.

  18. Twist says:

    I guess the fact that most posters here are pointing out that this is a common occurance doesn’t fit into you narrative, Harrison.

  19. Hondo says:

    Twist, that would require him to actually read and think about the matter. Doing that takes too much time. It’s easier to simply choose a reply from a list of talking point insults.

  20. LanceCooley says:

    If those are 8th and Eye Marines, they’re all PRP cleared; for them to have to take the bolts out of their weapons is asinine. They can guard nukes, Comrade Obama, and the Marine Barracks in the capital, but by God they won’t have functioning weapons when Glorious Leader is around. What a bunch of folderol.

  21. Just an Old Dog says:

    Sorry sacks of shit love to take advantage of that authority, knowing that there is no way that service members can protest the procedure. I’m betting the vast majority of Marines if asked would rather spend a day field daying the barracks then serving as a neutered puppy for the politicians show.

  22. FatCircles0311 says:

    Honestly at this rate I’m surprised the Marines still have a location within D.C. and have firearms at all.

    Marine Corps is now charging the company commander for failing to properly supervise junior Marines when they pissed on dead scumbag taliban. Apparently Marine Corps higher doesn’t realize the CO’s job isn’t to go out with SS platoon elements to micromanage their operations.

  23. Green Thumb says:

    When I was in TOG in my enlisted days, it was common to remove the bolts for various cerimonies and missions.

  24. H1 says:

    @20
    “LanceCooley”, boy does that bring back memories.
    Terminal Lance has done a great job continuing the tradition.

  25. Fm2176 says:

    The firing pins and extractors were removed from TOG M14s for presidential details when I was there. Of course, many of them got misplaced, so it took a couple years of annual gauging to have 90% of them operational again.

    I think I’ve got the best story about this type of thing. In 2005, as a member of Alpha Company, the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, we had to plug the flash hole of Brown Bess muskets. Bayonets were fixed, but we couldn’t be trusted with functional weapons that were obsolete 200 years ago.

  26. Eagle Keeper says:

    And then there was THIS guy: Phoenix AZ, Aug 2009.

    Wonder if he removed HIS bolt.

  27. Eric says:

    When President Hillary and the family came to Sarajevo the first time in 97, my unit was tasked to provide protection at Air Force 1 (a C-17 for that trip). (And no, we weren’t under sniper fire as she once claimed on that trip either.)

    We had coordination meetings with the SS, but we kept our weapons not only bolts in, but loaded for that detail. Granted as soon as we took up positions around the plane, someone ran out from the plane asking for our SSN’s and names “again.”

    But, I’m going to say that this is a Secret Service thing more so than anything else. They are always hyper-sensitive to that kind of stuff. They don’t even appreciate humor or sarcasm.

    @26: Ironic that the citizenry can carry their weapons around the President, but the military isn’t allowed to have functioning weapons around him.

  28. ConcernedCitizen says:

    When he visited Bliss, some of us were tasked out to help with the security detail as well as help the Q9s route traffic. Nothing was said about our M9s, though we were told to stay at least a certain distance away from him.

  29. PFM says:

    I wasn’t the biggest fan of former Secretary Rumsfeld, but at least he let us keep our weapons when he visited Iraq – unlike a later Defense Secretary in Afghanistan. I did have to laugh at the bad ass acting security detail wearing 511 gear and toting MP5s when everyone else in the room was in uniform and carrying everything from M9s to M240Bs :).

  30. Moose says:

    What do you suppose they do in places like Lebanon, Iran, and N.Korea where they have all those smart looking parades on an apparently bi-weekly basis?

  31. Country Singer says:

    @26 Why are you singling out the black man? Are you racist?

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/17/obama.protest.rifle/

  32. kgoldy says:

    When Cheney came to Ft Stewart in the summer of 2006 to use us as a photo backdrop for some political bullshit, they made us walk through metal detectors and confiscated anything that could be used as a weapon, up to and including people’s pin-on rank. I was surprised they let us keep our boot laces.

  33. MyOpinion says:

    Re. #31 – Obama is the only president at this particular time, he just happens to be half black. Obviously you are a racist or you wouldn’t come up with a dumb a** question like that.

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