By Don Jarosz, TACOM Public AffairsJanuary 30, 2018
DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. -- In 1776 Gen. George Washington issued an order to select men for his personal guard called the Commander-in-Chief's Guard, arming them with Brown Bess muskets. Today the Army's Company A of The Old Guard has an updated version of the Commander-in-Chief's Guard still using Brown Bess muskets to honor this historically famous unit.
The origin of these historic muskets go back to nearly 300 years. In order to maintain the Army's inventory of Brown Bess muskets, a team was established last year for a long-term program for the refurbishment and maintenance of these muskets.
The musket refurbishment program team included a representative from the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command along with representatives from the Commander-in-Chief's Guard, 529th Regimental Support Company, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment Logistics Office, Army Military District of Washington Logistics, Fort Lee Logistics Readiness Center and Joint Base Myer - Henderson Hall Logistics Readiness Center.
The musket refurbishment program goal was to ensure our weapons are up to the high standards of The Old Guard and function properly. The team discovered that they can completely disassemble the weapon and restore it to a ceremonial state, which will also increase firing rates. The program worked to fix damaged wood stocks that are beyond repair. They were able to take a 3D scan of a stock and they can also purchase stocks as needed for as low as $350.
"We are cultivating the relationship with our team to ensure this becomes an enduring program. This course of action is substantially cheaper than replacing our current inventory and we are excited to see the finished product," stated Col. Jason Garkey, 81st Regimental Commander, 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard).
Terry Blount, a TACOM Armament Logistics Assistance Representative stationed at Fort Eustis, Va., was part of the musket refurbishment program team and worked with Soldiers of the Commander-in-Chief's Guard on the proper care and maintenance of other historic weapons.
The work that the musket refurbishment program team has done for the Brown Bess muskets now provides a level of maintenance the Soldiers of Commander-in-Chief's Guard simply cannot replicate.