TACOM Life Cycle Management Command had issued an edict stating that only Army-issue aluminum magazines could be used in the M4 and M16. Moreover, the polymer magazines such as the Magpul PMAGs were verbotten.
It appears that either someone in the Army bureaucracy actually listened to the soldiers in the field or they caught hell from some Infantry commanders. Either way, they are now saying the TACOM directive was “misunderstood”.
According to an update at Military.com, soldiers can keep using their PMAGs.
Army officials acknowledged June 6 that TACOM’s message was poorly written and not intended as a directive on the use of PMAGs. Matthew Bourke, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon responding to questions from Mililtary.com, said the message should have included guidance that the final decision rests with commanders in the field.
“At best, the message is incomplete; at worst the message allows soldiers to jump to the wrong conclusions,” Bourke said. “Maintenance Information Messages [from TACOM] are permissive. They are not an order. They are not a directive. All content and direction in those messages are optional for the recipient.”
The story concludes:
Army officials maintain that TACOM’s message was intended to make soldiers aware that not all commercial magazines have gone through the same testing as the improved magazine, but concede that there are exceptions.
“The main message we want to get out is – although the Army does support and is confident in the improved, tan-follower magazine – we don’t want soldiers to fear punishment for using PMAGs,” Bourke said.