What have I done? So far listen to you do the exact same thing that you accuse me of: Make pompous pronouncements.
Your experience doesn't trump other arguments. If that were the case only the dead could write obituaries.
For over 40 years the M4 and M16 platform of been part of our capabilities. You seem to think it's a severe detriment. So you're either really lousy at convincing people other than me who may actually have input or it's not part of your area making the mention of what you did for 4 decades a complete non-sequitur.
As for my part "all" I did was fix radios. So while it's true I never took a bullet or fired one in anger, someone like me assured your medevac call got through.
First, thank for your service. Fixing radios is essential and yes, mine worked fine for my medevac.
As for what I did about the M-16 while I was in, I wrote letters to my Congressman about our losses thanks to the M-16 in Vietnam, with of course, no useful response. I was commissioned a couple years afterward and led a platoon, a Headquarters Battery, and much later a battalion. We trained with those rifles, qualified with them, inspected them, and repaired or surveyed them when they broke. The M16A2 is decent enough at least in garrison and the heavier bullet works well but it didn’t do long distance as well in Iraq and Afghanistan. After retiring, I was picked to work for a Battle Lab to develop new technologies in infantry and artillery systems - I am a mechanical engineer. Every attempt we made to experiment with new systems was stonewalled by Benning, Picatinny and Aberdeen. Almost always government civilians with no time in uniform and very few weapons enthusiasts. All they want to do was add rail systems to hang more battery-powered weight to the front of those things. (One funny was a TV camera so troops could transmit video of the scenes to higher headquarters. As I am sure you can guess, most often, they sent videos of each other’s butts).
We tried to get them interested in 6.8 and 6.5 but they always found great reasons for not changing anything. The troops in the field asked for help, but still nothing. We tested the SCAR, we tested suppressors, we tested optics, we tested calibers but nothing changed. All the imbecilic Joint Service Small Arms Program could come up with was that ridiculous 25mm pig with its $25,000 sight, 17 pound weight, and grains of sand frags from its explosive round.
Hence my negative attitude when I discuss the M16 derivatives and the army development hierarchy.