There’s something about the profile of a Bradley that just calls to treadheads. Yeah it’s too tall. A bit unwieldy in the corners. An absolute pain to maintain. But it’s distinct. It’s tough. And in all honesty wasn’t even supposed to exist. You can’t help but love the thud of the gun when you fire. The wail of the engine when you gun it, and all those cuts and bruises from pulling the 25mm chaingun make you appreciate it all the more.
I’m using this as the principle art for the unit shirt for the fine infantry of Able Company 1-63AR. And it’s making me want to do more of these ‘armor in profile’ drawings. Look for some Abrams, Paladins, and 113’s to show up soon! And if you’ve got some great reference shots from the field, send them my way!
The M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle is and always will be one of my favorite vehicles in the Army. The combination of firepower and armor, even its very shape called to me as a Private. I was lucky enough to be one of the first fire support guys to ever train on them and then helped to field them later when they were finally brought to the line in the First Cav.
In fact, I learned to drive and fire one of these behemoths before I even had a drivers license. Funny thing being a fresh faced 19 year old, power sliding around in an armored vehicle before I could even legally drive a car. And firing the 25mm on the range was one of the highlights of my time with the Cav, though tearing the gun down for time left plenty more marks on me as well.
The M242 25mm Bushmaster Chaingun is one of the highlights of my time at Fort Hood, Texas, and honestly my enlistment. I was trained on the weapon as a Private as part of my train up for the Bradley Fire Support Vehicle prior to their deployment to the combat units. I learned to field strip the entire weapon in less than 5 minutes and learned to put it back together just as quickly. My hands have bled many times pulling that feeder off. That’s an experience I’m all too certain I share with the Marines that man the LAV-25.
With the same armaments and playing some of the same roles in battle, I’ve long looked at the LAV-25 as the amphibious wheeled Bradley. But with a lighter footprint than the Bradley, this pig can get around a quicker and with additional operational range. Here’s hoping that someday in the future I can hitch a ride in one of them to see just how different they are.