When you wear four stars in the Army, you get a bit of leeway in what you carry as your personal sidearm.
Indeed, that ages-old tradition hasn’t yet gone away, as we reported last year when pictures of Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, the commander of all US forces in Afghanistan, surfaced with him carrying a tricked-out 1911 as his sidearm.
Though the 1911 has been mostly out of service with the US military for years, having last been widely fielded by various Marine Corps special operations units, there’s an incredibly cool relationship between Miller and the back-to-back world war champ pistol.
Long before the man pinned on his fourth star, he served as an operator with the Army’s famed 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, aka Delta Force, or “The Unit.”
Back when Miller joined Delta, the 1911 was the secretive Tier 1 outfit’s go-to sidearm, with its operators spending almost unbelievable numbers of hours perfecting their marksmanship with the legendary .45 gun, according to former operator Eric Haney in his book, Inside Delta Force.
The Unit eventually moved away from the pistol, opting for a Glock solution in .40 S&W, though not before retooling the 1911 repeatedly to boost reliability and accuracy. According to one former operator, by the 1990s, Delta’s 1911s boasted a stunning perfect reliability rate.
Years later in 2009, Miller officially chose the 1911 as his personal sidearm, though details on that specific weapon and its customization are still a tightly-held secret. It shouldn’t be any surprise that Miller returned to a gun he, as well as other former operators of his ilk, could very well be considered a virtual expert on.
As it turns out, it looks like Miller straps a second piece to his gun belt — and this one’s pretty badass, especially for all you Glock fanboys out there.
When he doesn’t tote around his operator-spec 1911, Miller seems to prefer Glocks — pistols that SOCOM warfighters have become well-acquainted with over the years.
In one picture, the general appears to be carrying a Glock in a hip holster with a threaded barrel, and what looks like a red dot sight mounted on the slide. From the picture, it’s difficult to determine the model of the gun.
However, during an award ceremony , Miller was once again spotted with what is clearly a Glock 19 with a threaded barrel — likely the same blaster from the previous picture.
The red dot sight was also identified as a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro, a direct competitor to Trijicon’s widely popular RMR sight.
Glock 19s have been in use with US Army Special Operations Command for years, first appearing in the early 2000s in the hands of Green Berets deployed to combat zones. Rangers of the 75th Ranger Regiment were also later issued G19s as sidearms, including models with slide cuts to mount red dot sights.
By 2016, SOCOM adopted the G19 across the board, with multiple American special operations units incorporating the reliable and customizable pistol into their arsenals.
Indeed Miller, having worked intimately with SOCOM for considerable portions of his career (including a stint as Joint Special Operations Command’s commanding officer), would probably be very familiar with the G19.
While some might question the need for a 4-star to carry around a pistol in country, especially when escorted around by a protective detail that’s armed to the teeth... Miller has found himself in dangerous situations in recent years, including one last year where he was forced to draw his weapon and pull security while casualties of an insider attack were evacuated.
Speaking of a loaded-for-bear protective detail, check out Miller’s SOF entourage, including the one pipe hitter with an “extendo” magazine in his Glock, right behind the general.
Ian D’Costa is a correspondent with Gear Scout whose work has been featured with We Are The Mighty, The Aviationist, and Business Insider. An avid outdoorsman, Ian is also a guns and gear enthusiast.