Had basic at Ft Polk in June and July of 68, with M14s. The High School I went to in Casper, WY had ROTC, we learned all about the M1, including field stripping blindfolded. I soon discovered how similar the M14 is to the M1. While in class to strip the M14 I wasn't paying as close attention to the instructor as I should have been so he "asked" me to field strip then re-assemble the weapon. No problem. With the detachable mag the M14 is much easier than the M1. Well, he wasn't impressed. "DROP AND GIVE ME 20"
Only a few in my company got any time with the M16 (me not icluded) so the rumor was those that did had but one destination.....Vietnam.
I received RVN training at Fort Dix, NJ. Fired a whopping 10 rounds of 5.56. I was paired with a 2nd Lt for qualification, we both had perfect scores.
An M16 was my constant companion in VN. I also had a 1911 that I "leased." These leased models were past on from guys leaving to the FNGs. The going rate was $25-35.