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Did Your Issued Weapon Give You A TBI?

December 24, 2016

Did Your Issued Weapon Give You A TBI?

"Hey LT, we're only supposed to shoot 6 of these per day.  The overpressure messes with your intestines n' Stuff."  (After round 30 or so)

That's what I remember from my first day with the Carl Gustav Recoiless 84mm.  

Not going to lie, it's an impressive weapons system.  Compact, lightweight, variety of munitions, and absolutely devastating in the hands of a capable Ranger.  As the headquarters platoon leader, I had the honor of the Anti-Tank (AT) section of a Ranger Rifle company.  During missions, they'd roll with the platoons.  But on most days, they littered the Headquarters platoon area messing with the medics and fire supporters.  Amazing humans that would carry the big gun to the fight day after day.  

To become proficient at any weapon system, you have to shoot--a lot.  The Carl Gustav is no exception.  Shooting the weapon from a stable shooting position, on a range, at home is challenging.  Try it while getting shot at, in the dark, with everybody yelling at you for the "Goose."

To be that good, you have to shoot--a lot.

So, we shot--a lot.

Looking back on it, I was always curious how much it affected Rangers, myself, and the guys that continue to fight?  Well, now we know.  

Listen to the NPR Report with Kyle Sims below.  

Comment with your thoughts.

Here are my mine:

The Army has the ability to measure TBI resulting from overpressure.  They even have documented proof of the system working as verified by Kyle and his team.  When they found out the weapons systems issued to us were causing the TBI, they shelved the program.  

Our service members continue to use those weapons systems at home and abroad with the same result--overpressure resulting in concussions.  

My first response was, "Who's going to pay for all those medical bills?"  The Army?  The manufacturer?  No.  It's you.  You pay for it.

But do the dollars really matter?  That was a reactionary chain of thought and I'm ashamed that I even went there.  The real question is "Why are we knowingly damaging the minds of our warfighters?  And continue to do so even though we know better?"


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US Size Euro Size UK Size Overall Length (in) Width (in)
7 40 6.5 10 1/4" 4 1/4"
8 41 7.5 10 1/2" 4 1/4"
9 42 8.5 10 3/4" 4 1/2"
10 43 9.5 11 4 1/2"
11 44 10.5 11 1/2" 4 3/4"
12 45 11.5 11 3/4" 4 3/4"
13 46 12.5 12 5"
14 47 13.5 12 1/4" 5"
15 48 14.5 12 1/2" 5"

US Size Euro Size UK Size Overall Length (in) Width (in)
5 35 3 9 1/4" 3 1/2"
6 36 4 9 1/2" 3 3/4"
7 37 5 9 3/4" 3 3/4"
8 38 6 10 1/4" 4"
9 39 7 10 1/2" 4"
10 40 8 10 3/4" 4 1/4"
11 41 9 11 1/4" 4 1/4"