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See The Image That Has The Internet Outraged

On the 23rd of December, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer was photographed while speaking with Marines and Sailors assigned to Task Force Southwest at Camp Shorab, Afghanistan. Sec Spencer, Commandant of the Marine Corps Robert B. Neller and Sgt Maj of the Marine Corps Ronald L. Green met with the unit to show their appreciation of the unit’s efforts and wish them a happy holiday season. Hayatullah Hayat, the governor of Helmand province, and other key leaders from Helmand-based Afghan National Defense and Security Forces held a shura with Spencer, Neller, and Green, allowing for the two sides to reaffirm their combined commitment to crushing insurgency in the region.

Sounds pretty standard, right? Make the jump to see the photo which has the internet is so upset about this visit.

(US Marine Corps photo by Sgt Lucas Hopkins)
The problem for some is that the Honorable Richard V. Spencer is armed. Apparently, all of the members of the contingent were offered sidearms. As a former Marine, he accepted the offer. Still sounds pretty straight forward. But not for those with an agenda.

It started with CNN’s Barbara Starr and then the peanut gallery piled on.

Some of the more ridiculous things that have been written about this, include questioning whether the Sec Nav obtained proper authorization to carry a sidearm, while others claim that Sec Spencer disrespected his protective detail.

Literally, anything to create discord where there is none.

51 Responses to “See The Image That Has The Internet Outraged”

  1. Stone11C says:

    It’s not like the Secretary used to be a Marine or anything…(#guns are scary to CNN reporters) ?

    • CWG says:


      Military service is the most awful consistently useless qualifier for anything to do with firearms.

      The Armed services should be armed in a warzone.

      • Stone11C says:

        Hmmm…sounds like someone’s got a teeny tiny chip on the old shoulder. Let’s see, I’m thinking I’d prefer a SecNav with experience as a Marine Officer over some jack wagon politician with absolutely NO EXPERIENCE and quite possibly an irrational fear of firearms. I’ll go out on a limb here and say there might just be a few “gun guys” in the Combat MOS units of the military who might just know a thing or two. Again out on a limb…

        If, as you say, only the Armed Services should be armed in a warzone but, as you say, being in the military “is the most awful consistently useless qualifier for anything to do with firearms” then YOU HAVE NO POINT! Here’s reality: the Secretary can carry if he damned well pleases! Have a nice day.

        • A 1980's 11B says:


          I think, and hope, that CWG was saying that just having been in the military does not mean you have the training and are ready to carry a firearm in a combat zone. If that is what he meant, then I have to agree with him. I know friends who are in or were in the military who have their own firearms and I wouldn’t turn my back on them at the range. Not everyone was in a combat arms MOS, or even a combat support MOS.

          The SECNAV was a Marine aviator in the late 70s/early 80’s and we don’t know if he was a good shot then (not to mention now). They may have even carried the .38 revolver back then instead of a semi-auto pistol.

          • CWG says:

            Yes. Someone’s impossible to evaluate experience with whatever era service weapon they may have used once at some point is a ridiculous qualifier for carrying a weapon, that comes from the talking points of the very anti-gun public personalities that sparked this post!

            It is plain silly to be unarmed in a war zone, especially considering the losses of FGO’s to our Allies.

            The self defense needs of a GO/SES aren’t really that much different than a regular guy walking around Detroit. Can he keep his rounds on a 7 yard target? He has a PSD to handle the different things that a war zone could throw at him.

            Americans have the right to own the responsibility of their individual safety, at home or at war.

  2. Stone11C says:

    Damn it, the turd emoji shows up as a ?

  3. Jason Mitchell says:

    I am more concerned with the Moto haircut of the Devil in the front row. High and Yut.

  4. NC85 says:

    Only issue I see is the Serpa. Come on NCIS, you’re better than that. Give the boss good gear.

  5. RFfrom NOVA says:

    I was gonna be upset until I saw a couple of Marines in the audience were armed. I’m suprised at this, having been involved in numerous protective details, but call me pleasantly suprised. Can’t imagine a civilian being armed, OMG! Rumor has it that at one point Reagan was armed when meeting privately with Gorbachev. Just a rumor. But it would be totally awesome if it was true. Glad to see our civilian leadership taking at least moderate responsibility for their own safety and setting the example.

  6. Cy says:

    Serpa Durka!

  7. d says:

    He appears to be using a drop-leg SERPA holster. I find this offensive.

  8. John says:

    The same reasons millions of American civilians carry firearms in dangerous areas. They can.

  9. Aaron says:

    Our country is so soft.

  10. orly? says:

    I understand the Secretary doesn’t really have to be in uniform, but what’s with the black pants guy?

  11. Maroon Beret says:

    its about damn time we showed some leadership with the ability, and the balls to be in a war zone and armed accordingly. The same pencil point heads would equally complain if something happened to him and he wasn’t armed. Everything’s an issue, and everything’s a cause. Respect, Mr. Secretary!

    • Buckaroomedic says:

      My thoughts exactly! It’s about time leadership is armed, especially in a war zone.

  12. DAN III says:

    Who cares about SecNav carrying a weapon ? I want to know why every one of those Jarheads are out of uniform not wearing their cover.

  13. Bravo SECNAV Spencer!

  14. Junk says:

    Better take them eye pro off as well. It’s an insult to the security detail……………………….

  15. Linz says:

    Let’s hope it becomes a trend!

  16. Pete says:

    LOL… wait, really?

    To find outrage in the Secretary of one of our Armed Services going armed into a combat zone is stupid beyond words.

  17. bloke_from_ohio says:

    Someone get the secretary of killing people with boats a 240 and let the outrage go cyclical!

  18. 10thMountainMan says:

    And here I was hoping one of the Marines in the picture had an “OK” sign below the waist.

  19. Che Guevara's Open Chest Wound says:

    You’re right Barbara, there’s no reason for a senior US civilian politicians/bureaucrat to be carrying a firearm, especially in unstable countries mired in war. Look at Ambassador Stevens; he was in a war zone and didn’t have a gun, and everything turned out fine. Oh, wait, never mind…

  20. Attack7 says:

    I love it, wish everyone in theater could be trained and armed for the fight.

    Barbara, oh Barbara….I guess she doesn’t remember passing out in her Blackhawk back in 2005, on her way from Tillman to Orgun-e!

  21. sabasarge says:

    This is just so f’n ridiculous. Anything else I might say would probably get me a knock on the door.

  22. Hubb says:

    Let us not forget that Defense Secretary Mattis was on a recent trip to Afghanistan and the Taliban made an effort to attack the base he was on and try to kill him.

  23. Marcus says:

    Hey it’s a new year Barbara, EATADIK.

    I mean, why would people be armed in a war zone?

    It’s a question only Socrates and a five-year old could answer.

  24. Dave in Nc says:

    Me: please let Mattis show up carrying a gutav
    Other me: please let Mattis show with a backpack fed 249

  25. DSM says:

    It’s Afghanistan, who wouldn’t carry is what I want to know?

    As for the “insult,” I’ve worked PSD before and any good crew that’s worth anything has explained to their principle what the deal is. Super Stud can look cool with his window dressing but he ain’t fighting off the desperados at high noon in the street.

  26. Big_Juju says:

    Hmm. I’m just hoping Secretary Spencer qual-ed recently. Otherwise …

    • straps says:

      Agreed absolutely.

      That said, going hot inside the wire downrange can be a scary-ass reality check, even among personnel (nominally) qualified on what they carry.

      Not so much the prospect of being shot by a HN hostile, the prospect of clearing your six and looking down the mostly occluded barrel of an M9 wielded by a fobbit with its finger on the trigger. Which happened. It was at that moment the disconnector on the M9 seemed like a less silly idea.

  27. Matt says:

    Forget the sidearm…..what if he trips over his untied shoelace?

  28. Will Rodriguez says:

    Such selective outrage.

    Where was the outrage when the last SecNav threw out the Corps research over women in combat arms?

    FWIW, we’ve been arming deployed DA civilians for well over a decade. Why wouldn’t the Navy/Corps?

  29. AbnMedOps says:

    This is the single biggest positive indicator of correct mindset and the facing of reality I’ve seen in 20 years.

  30. Jeremy P says:

    “The Internet”

    Well I didn’t see this anywhere, outside of this post and links to it, and I’d say I’m fairly well integrated into “The Internet”.

    Sure you aren’t helping that discord?

  31. JK says:

    the more important question is why the fuck doesn’t he have a safety belt on! OMG!

  32. Jester says:

    It upset some anti-American loser at CNN, therefore I support it whole-heartedly.

  33. El Terryble says:

    Never mind that Obama told the DEA to stand down (kind of
    like how he told reinforcements to stand down in regards to Benghazi on September 11, 2012) on investigating Hezbollah earning billions of dollars smuggling guns, cocaine, heroin, and individuals into the United States so he could pass a deal rewarding Hezbollah’s master Iran with a deal that allows the state sponsor of terrorism, and that harbored Al Qaeda and killed hundreds of American’s in Iraq and Afghanistan, with nuclear weapons.

    • El Terryble says:

      What’s important is that only California approved citizens are allowed to be armed inside or outside a combat zone.

  34. Gil says:

    Good for SecNav. All Americans who knows how to handle one should be armed in Afghanistan and in any war zone for that matter.