I was in the AF when they were the first to procure the AR15. As it evolved into the M-16 and caused so many problems in the Army, I have always mistrusted the system, even though it demonstrably improved.
Guess I also never quite understood the .223 as a military round. My prejudice was that it was a varmint round ... wouldn't dream of it on deer! Plenty lethal at close range, I never though it could do the job down range, or against a skinned vehicle, for example.
As a kid, I hunted everything in Maine with a 6.5X55 surplus Swedish Mauser, which I still have and still use occasionally with commercial sporting ammo. Just the handiest damn weapon, excellent at long range and extremely accurate, deadly even on a moose! So when the Army announced the 6.8, I thought "Hey that's more like it!"
I have two youngsters ... a niece and a nephew ... in Iraq and Afghanistan. I want them to have the most powerful reliable weapons they can handle ... even if I have to buy them.
The best you can do for your kin in those places is get them Trijicon sights, if they don’t have them.
The biggest gripe I've ever had with he M-16 were the crappy magazines we had.
The second was during high rates of fire the barrel would smoke thus obscuring your sight picture.