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US Army personnel used the M14 service rifle up through at least 1969 in Basic Training (Boot Camp). However, during AIT (Advanced Individual Training) which immediately followed Basic Training, men scheduled for Vietnam were trained with the new "Jungle Rifle"...designated the M16. Men sceduled for Europe (Germany) retained the M14 service rifle. The M14 served as an infantrymen's rifle in Vietnam with US troops, from about 1965 until approximately 1967; by which time the M16 was nearly fully transitioned into the units. US Army (US Marines may have been different) riflemen utilized two canvas magazine pouches on their pistol belts. One on each side, each able to contain two all steel M14 magazine with a 20 round capacity. 5 magazines were normally carried by riflemen; four on the pistol belt within the two above described pouches, and one in the rifle. Nearly always...the M14 rifle was issued with a bayonet; it was considered part of the rifle (except at the rifle range). The M14's magazine was made of steel and only held 20 cartridges. Carrying more than those above described 5 magazines would have been a heavy load. The M16 used ALUMINUM magazines; seven of those could be carried in a bandolier with ease.

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Q: What is the basic combat load for an M-14 battle rifle during Vietnam?
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Continue Learning about Military History

When were the first combat troops sent to vietnam?

The term "combat troops" is confusing to civilians (and some military personnel too) because the term has been abused for so long. All US Army personnel are combat troops with specialized branches that specialize into specific combat jobs, formerly (which is why they used to go to BOOT CAMP; formerly known as Basic Combat Infantryman's Training) known as the combat arms branch: Armor (tanks), Artillery (cannons), and the Infantry (formerly fighting men/foot soldiers). During the late 1990 the US Army "may" have added other branches to that specialized combat arms system. Rumor control stated that the aviation branch was added to the combat arms system. The combat arms of the US Army are the conventional fighting branches of the US Army (or was during the Viet War days). US Combat troops, along with specialized troops were deployed to SOUTH Vietnam in 1955. CONVENTIONAL forces (those combat arms men previously discussed above were deployed in 1965).


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