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How a photo of a gun with a backward scope became a Navy embarrassment

Apr 11

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The commander of the USS John S. McCain, Cameron Yaste, and the U.S. Navy faced online mockery Wednesday, April 10 after the Navy shared a photo of the commander on its official Instagram account. The photo showed Yaste firing a rifle with the scope mounted backwards and the lens cap on.

The caption accompanying the original photo read, “Highlighting the amazing work of our U.S. Navy Sailors! From engaging in practice shoots, conducting maintenance, testing fuel, and participating in sea and anchor details, the U.S. Navy is always ready to serve and protect #readiness.”

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Gun users and gun-safety advocates criticized the photo. They said it was embarrassing not only for Yaste but also for the military. Commenters argued that the photo demonstrated a lack of firearms competence from the commander of a naval warship and a Citadel graduate.

“It’s so bad it had to be done on purpose,” one X user commented.

Rep. Mike Collins, R-Ga., also poked fun at the Navy on Wednesday. He posted a photo of a pistol with an edited backward barrel, captioned, “Navy’s newly issued sidearm.”

Several social media users speculated that the photo could have been photoshopped or intended as a joke.

The Navy removed the photo and shared several others Wednesday afternoon, highlighting its crews in the Red Sea, Philippine Sea and Pacific Ocean.

The Navy also addressed the photo in later social media posts.

“Thank you for pointing out our rifle scope error in the previous post,” the Navy wrote in the comments.

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

THE COMMANDER OF THE USS JOHN S. MCCAIN – CAMERON YASTE – AND THE U.S. NAVY ARE BEING MOCKED ONLINE.

THIS AFTER THE NAVY POSTED A PHOTO OF YASTE TO IT’S OFFICIAL INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT – SHOWING HIM FIRING A RIFLE WITH THE SCOPE ON BACKWARDS AND THE LENS CAP ON.

THE TEXT UNDER THE ORIGINAL PHOTO POSTING SAID “HIGHLIGHTING THE AMAZING WORK OF OUR U.S. NAVY SAILORS! FROM ENGAGING IN PRACTICE GUN SHOOTS, CONDUCTING MAINTENANCE, TESTING FUEL PURITY, AND PARTICIPATING IN SEA AND ANCHOR DETAILS, THE US NAVY IS ALWAYS READY TO SERVE AND PROTECT HASHTAG READINESS”

GUN USERS AND ADVOCATES SAY – THE PHOTO IS EMBARRASSING FOR NOT ONLY YASTE BUT ALSO THE MILITARY BECAUSE IT SHOWS A LACK OF FIREARMS COMPETENCE FROM THE COMMANDER OF A NAVAL WARSHIP AND CITADEL GRADUATE.

“U.S. NAVY JUST KILLING IT ON INSTAGRAM” ONE USER ON X wrote.

“THIS IS MAX CRINGE” ANOTHER USER POSTED.

“IT’S SO BAD IT HAD TO BE DONE ON PURPOSE” A THIRD WROTE.

GEORGIA REPRESENTATIVE MIKE COLLINS MOCKED THE NAVY IN A POST – BY POSTING A PHOTO OF A PISTOL WITH AN EDITED BACKWARD BARREL ON IT – WRITING “NAVY’S NEWLY ISSUED SIDEARM.”

SEVERAL OTHER USERS WROTE OPINIONS ABOUT HOW THE PHOTO EITHER COULD’VE BEEN PHOTOSHOPPED OR EVEN A JOKE.

THE NAVY HAS SINCE TAKEN DOWN THE PHOTO – AND HAS POSTED SEVERAL OTHER ONES – HIGHLIGHTING THEIR CREWS IN THE RED SEA, PHILIPPINE SEA AND PACIFIC OCEAN.

THE NAVY RESPONDED TO THE ERRORS OF THE PHOTO IN OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS WRITING “THANK YOU FOR POINTING OUT OUR RIFLE SCOPE ERROR IN THE PREVIOUS POST.”