Patriotism, Innovation, and Tradition.
Release Date: 9/13/2013
We celebrate Veterans Day to honor the men and women who have served in our nation's military. The sacrifices of men and women who believed in the ideals of liberty and elected representative government have made it possible to enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today and the prosperity they have engendered. Earlier this year on Independence Day, we posted an album of photos to highlight the diverse array of firearms John M. Browning created to answer the call of his country to equip our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airman, with superior firepower. Our 4th of July Facebook post surpassed recent reach, impressive considering the popularity of our posting about the Unbranded project, and it’s not hard to see why.
Discussions about the military contributions of John M. Browning tend to exhibit enthusiasm, debate (often about which contribution was the greatest), and often a sense of reverence at the unique mind of a man who was far ahead of his time.
This picture shows a Browning M2 machine gun mounted in front of the commander’s hatch on an M26 Pershing heavy tank from the WWII/Korean War era. Over 60 years later, this same model serves the exact same function with very few changes on the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank, the most advanced armored fighting vehicle in the world.
Arguably, there are less expensive pistols that require less knowledge to operate than the venerable 1911 or Browning Hi-Power, yet approximately 100 years after their inception, they maintain almost a “cult following” and the comments on this post reflect that consumers still love these pistols.
The longevity of John M. Browning’s military contributions has tied together multiple generations of military men and women.
My grandfather served as a gunner on a B-17 bomber during WWII. He was a stoic individual whose words often concealed the warm and caring man that he was underneath.
I once interviewed my grandfather for an elementary school history assignment. He spoke to me of his experiences preparing to go to war and training on the Browning .50 caliber machine gun. He spoke in terms that were way over my young head, learning how to adjust headspace and timing and the intricacies of aerial gunnery.
My grandfather passed away on January 3rd, 2007 – two years later, I was making my way through the U.S. Army’s Armor Officer Basic Course. As a new 2nd Lieutenant, I found myself adjusting the headspace and timing on an M2HB .50 caliber machine gun on top of an M1A2 Abrams main battle tank. I suppressed emotions that I didn’t know were so near the surface as I labored to pass the same technical proficiencies that my grandpa had undertaken more than 60 years earlier.
Less than a year after graduating from Armor school at Fort Knox, KY, Browning M2 machine guns were protecting me and my platoon of Cavalry Scouts in the Kunar and Pech River Valleys of eastern Afghanistan. The genius of John M. Browning, silenced the guns of our enemies. The silhouette of “Ma Deuce” on the top of our Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored trucks provided a feeling of comfort as we navigated the treacherous valleys of the Hindu Kush.
Today, it’s a privilege to be associated with the heritage of John Browning – not only as a Soldier, but working to continue the legacy of patriotism, innovation and tradition that Browning has always embodied.
Article Copyright Browning 2013. Written by Browning staff writer and web team member Stewart Brough. Photos used with permission.