US Navy faces ridicule over rifle photo mistake

Social media users have poked fun at a photo of a ship commander firing a rifle with the scope mounted backwards

A US Navy social media post has gone awry, drawing online ridicule over a photo showing a senior officer shooting an assault rifle with a backwards-mounted scope and the lens cap still attached.
The since-deleted photo, which was posted earlier this week on the Navy’s official social media accounts, showed Commander Camerone Yaste firing an M4 carbine from the deck of the USS John S. McCain guided-missile destroyer. The scope is mounted backwards, with the lens cap still on, and Yaste is holding the rifle incorrectly.
The picture was captioned: “From engaging in practice gun shoots, conducting maintenance, testing fuel purity and participating in sea and anchor details, the US Navy is always ready to serve and protect.”
Online critics mocked the gaffe. “We’re going to lose a major war,” one X (formerly Twitter) user said. “We probably should start learning Chinese,” another observer replied.

Users also mockingly shared what appeared to be now-deleted posts from other US military branches.

US Representative Mike Collins (R-Georgia) posted a picture of a semi-automatic pistol with the slide and barrel turned backwards. “Navy’s newly issued sidearm,” he said in the caption for his X post.

After the photo of Yaste was taken down, an updated US Navy on Facebook said, “Thank you for pointing out our rifle scope error in the previous post. Picture has been removed until EMI (extra military instruction) is completed.”