Army “Fab Five”


The “Fab Five” of Michigan University in the early 90’s has been heralded as the best college recruits in college basketball history.  This team of talented five battled bravely on the court to be highly respected in their profession. Have you ever thought the Army’s “Fab Five” in weaponry? We have a few weapons we think would make our “Fab Five” team. These five picks have been around a lot longer, established superiority, and mission effectiveness in many battles.

Announcing our starting lineup:

Our first pick for the lineup playing small forward is the M4 Carbine Small Rifle. This weapon is lighter and more durable.

The U.S. Army Fab Five (weaponry)

The gas operated, air-cooled, magazine fed weapon has served Soldiers for up to three years.   It’s compact size, shortened barrel, multi-functional butt stock are just a few of the rifles features that differ from its predecessor the M16.

One the most recognizable features of the rifle is its transitional butt-stock (The ability to lengthen or shorten the rifle based on mission and comfort). This weapon brings to our fighting force the abilities of small forward, Ray Jackson of the Fab Five.

Playing center is our handheld Defense Advanced Global Positioning Satellite Receiver (DAGR). This device has been a part of our new modernized compass for a more equipped Soldier. The multifunctional capability of this device has allowed our troops to navigate very treacherous terrain in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Al though some Soldiers have said the old compass will never live down its legacy, the GPS has established itself in battle and many conflicts.  DAGR’s have been in service for more than five years and have allowed Soldiers to navigate terrain more effectively. This system has been proven as most effective because of its capability to display accurate un-assumed coordinates for Soldiers in combat environments.

GPS most recognizable feature is its graphical screen that has the ability to overlay map images and long battery life. In comparison to Juan Howard of the Fab Five, this weapon will be around for a lot longer for many more battles to come.

One of our most pivotal players,  the power forward , is the Lightweight 155 millimeter Howitzer. Successor to the M198 Howitzer,  it has been in use by our Soldiers since 2008 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  This weapon is considered to be about 42 percent lighter than its predecessor. The Lightweight 155 millimeter modifications have allowed this weapon to be transported by the by CH-47 faster.

The accuracy, dependability and effectiveness of Fab Five member, Chris Webber is a true comparison to the Lightweight 155 millimeter Howitzer.

Giving us powerful battlefield advantage and tactics the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The Black Hawk has been in service since 1979, getting its first start with the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault. These powerful air assault tool continues to be a team player in the Army weapons systems. Black hawks have seen conflicts from Grenada to recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There have been many different variants of the Black Hawk. Its versatility makes it one the Army’s most prized weapons. Having been built for rapid deployment of troops into hostile areas, the Black Hawk has also received various upgrades, including the ability to be equipped with several weapons such as the M60 Machine Gun.

Our UH -60 Black Hawks brings to us the versatility that Jimmy King brought to the Fab Five.

Rounding out our top Army Fab Five is the .50 caliber machine gun more commonly known as the “ma-deuce” or “the-fifty.” Mostly known for its use mounted on small armored vehicles, the .50 caliber rifle varies in use for many military operations.  This weapon has been modified to many different forms that allows the cyclic rate of this weapon to be just that more effective. One of its many special features includes a double feed trey for rapid firing.

Just as Michigan Fab Five point guard, Jalen Rose gave offensive power to his team, our .50 caliber rifle gives us the same offensive advantage.

Army weapons systems have modernized greatly over the course of time. Let us know what you think of our “Army Fab Five” and share with us what Army weapons you would like to see in our lineup and why.

Blog post submitted by Andrew  McIntyre, Public Affair Specialist, Department of the Army Intern