“It’s about the money, right?” said Brig. Gen. Duane Miller, the Army’s No. 2 law enforcement official.
Theft or loss happens more often than the Army has publicly acknowledged. During an initial interview, Miller significantly understated the extent to which weapons disappear, citing records that report only a few hundred missing rifles and handguns. An internal Army analysis that AP obtained tallied 1,303 firearms.
In a second interview, Miller said he hadn’t been aware of the memos, which had been distributed throughout the Army, until AP pointed them out. Army officials later said the total is imperfect because it includes some recovered guns and may include some duplicates.
Like Miller, top officials within the Marines and Secretary of Defense’s office said weapon accountability is a high priority — and when the military knows a weapon is missing, it does trigger a concerted response to recover it. The officials also said missing weapons are not a widespread problem.
“We have a very large inventory of several million of these weapons,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in an interview. “We take this very seriously and we think we do a very good job. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t losses. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t mistakes made.”
Weapons accountability is part of military routine. Armorers are supposed to check weapons when they open each day. Sight counts, a visual total of weapons on hand, are drilled into troops whether they are in the field, on patrol, or in the arms room. But as long as there have been armories, people have been stealing from them.
Originally Appeared Here