Do Soldiers Choose Their Own Weapons?

Soldiers protect their nations' territories from invading forces. Thus, having a good gun is necessary to boost their confidence and performance on the battlefield or duty. The main question is whether a soldier is at liberty to pick a gun that they prefer without being assigned by the unit leader.

So, do soldiers choose their own weapons? Typically, the unit assigns weapons to their soldiers; they also record their position and the type of gun the soldiers will use. Thus, a soldier cannot select any weapons like a gun based on their personal preference but only use the legally assigned weapon. However, there may be exceptions to this rule for particular missions, although it rarely happens. Due to the armies' elaborate system, every weapon that leaves the armory must be registered under the soldier's name and against their fingerprints.

Weapons are tools of mass destruction, especially when they land in the wrong hands. Therefore, the contentious issue of owning and choosing weaponry is quite tricky, even for members of the army. Read on as we gather more intel on whether soldiers can purchase their own gun and if SAS and SEALs can pick their own weapons from the armory.

Can Soldiers Buy Their Own Weapons?

Soldiers and other military personnel can buy their own guns, but after obtaining a carry permit with the military officials' assistance. The only rule is that they should not carry their gun to the military base. They can come with their personal gun on base in some countries, but have it locked in the base stores. Different commanders also have contrasting opinions on how soldiers should handle personal guns.

It is acceptable to carry a personal firearm to the base and get it registered for safekeeping in some bases. It is also possible for base commanders to have soldier's register their gun as a concealed weapon for them to carry around even while on base.

In other countries, apart from keeping personal weapons in the arms room, those who live off base or in private quarters should leave their firearms at home.

Basically, soldiers have free will to own a personal weapon, but with adherence to the few stated restrictions, such as always checking in and out at the armory in case they reside on base.

In other countries, soldiers can buy their own guns, personalize them, and even use them as a backup during a crisis. However, the best way to go is for soldiers to be sure to consult their post commander on the way forward in matters of gun ownership.

Do Navy SEALs Pick Their Own Weapons?

The Navy SEALs have various weapons suitable for any operation type that may present itself, and thereby, they may not need to choose weapons. However, some missions may require them to pick specific weapons relevant to the task.

For instance, the navy SEALS obtain high-level training to ensure that they can deal with the various weapons due to their vast weaponry systems. The Special Forces, on the other hand, use a standard weapon system for use.

Uniformed soldiers typically use general issue weapons, that is, the unit's weapons that are within the organization. Some of these guns include the M11 and SCAR-H, which can shoot longer range than M4.

Hence, it is highly likely that a soldier would choose either M11 or SCAR-H. However, both are good for use as primary weapon systems, and in such a situation, a navy SEAL can choose a weapon.

In most cases, the unit will issue weapons according to the mission at hand. Therefore, the soldiers will have to work with what is available, but the SEALs can access better and new weaponry than ordinary soldiers. Most importantly, the process may be quite procedural, but it is a decision that a single soldier cannot make.

Do SAS Soldiers Choose Their Own Weapons?

Special Forces (SAS) soldiers have a wider weapon selection with different types of firearms. A SAS soldier should train and understand how to use all the world's standard military weapons and any other weapon that an average soldier cannot use. This wide selection gives the training soldiers a chance to use different weapons, which will come in handy during combat, especially during emergencies.

Individually or as a team, the SAS soldier can bring forward a request to improve their performance by acquiring a certain type of gun. Suppose they want to replace their long gun with a short one to ease their operation; the military supply service will always avail weapon systems that fit the particular duty.

If there are varieties, the senior individuals in the SAS soldiers team may pick their best, leaving them to select the available ones. The remaining options must always be a standard weapon system that they can still use comfortably.

Thus, unlike typical military soldiers, the Special Air Forces have more relaxed conditions when choosing weapons to use during combat. However, it is not that easy due to some regulations and conditions that are put in place.

The most preferred weapons are those capable of shooting at long range, lightweight, and high-power; such weapon systems are the best to alienate the enemy totally.

Can a Soldier Choose their Own Weapons?

A soldier's choice is limited to the type and number of weapons available in the unit. Secondly, it depends on the role that an individual plays in the squad. However, if the soldier's unit has two types of guns available, they may have the privilege of choosing either of the weapons.

The main rule is that the soldier use whatever the unit issues to them. Thus, they cannot ask for other weapons that their unit has not provided and requesting otherwise may also not be granted.

Having soldiers supplied with the same weapons makes it easier for the unit to supply the soldiers with the necessary ammunition. Otherwise, it would be difficult to provide ammunition to soldiers with different types of weaponry.

If soldiers have the same type of weapons, it would be easy for soldiers to use their partner's gun in case of emergency, and this would only happen if guns are not individual specific or personalized.

The duty position will also determine the kind of gun a soldier can use; therefore, it all depends on the soldier's role and their duty post. On the other hand, if they receive a spoilt or defective gun, they may return it for replacement, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they can get to choose which gun they can exchange it with.

Finally, uniformity is paramount in the military because during combat, and soldiers must know how to operate any other gun that their team members are using.


Soldiers do not have the right to ask for the type of gun they deem fit for a certain mission. Thus, it is the unit's duty to provide guns appropriate for the task at hand. If the unit provides more than one type of weapon, they may have a certain degree of freedom of choice. Otherwise, soldiers will be forced to use what they get.

We have also gathered that soldiers can purchase guns for their personal use, for instance, hunting purposes. However, the officer is restricted on how to carry around the gun. In some bases, soldiers can come with their personal guns but leave them at the armory, while others are advised to leave them at home.

Finally, Special Forces soldiers such as SAS and SEALs have the right to pick their own weapons. However, they must first get training on using all the weapons available at the Special Forces armory.


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