Top U.S. General In Afghanistan Is Carrying A Heavily-Modified Glock With A Compensator Attached

General Miller has also carried a full-size 1911, but a sidearm in a combat zone with a compensator attached is usually the stuff of action movies.

byTyler Rogoway|
Afghanistan photo


We have written about U.S. Army General Scott Miller, America's top officer in Afghanistan and a Delta Force alumni, and his penchant for carrying unique sidearms. A competitive shooter, Miller's choice of carrying a full-sized 1911 drew our interest in the past. He has also been known to carry a Glock, which is a very popular series of sidearms in the U.S. special operations forces community, replete with a small red dot sight and extended magazine. Now, it seems that the General's Glock has gotten some new upgrades, including a flared magazine well for easier reloading and a big compensator, like those sometimes used in shooting matches, fixed at the end of the weapon's threaded barrel. This is a feature we have only seen used for combat in far-fetched action flicks. We're looking at you, John Wick and Lara Croft!

The latest images of Miller's unique sidearm come from the recent visit by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Afghanistan, where the two men met this month to discuss a path forward for the war-torn country after two decades of a constant American military presence there. Previous images, including those from when the General met with citizens on the streets of Kabul in February 2020 (one is seen below), show what could very well be the same gun, but without the compensator attached to its barrel or the flared magazine well. It isn't clear exactly what Glock model it is, although it is a Gen 4/5. The 9mm G19 is the most popular in the U.S. military, but this could possibly be a G17, or even a G22 chambered in .40 Smith & Wesson.


Miller's sidearms have made news in the past, not just for their uniqueness, but because the General actually drew his 1911 during a brazen insider attack in Kandahar in 2018 that killed controversial Afghan National Police Lieutenant General Abdul Raziq and wounded two Americans. Miller was not among the casualties.

In addition, the introduction of Sig's Modular Handgun System (MHS), consisting of the full-size M17 and compact M18 pistols, which are set to replace the majority of the Beretta M9 pistols across the services, has grabbed headlines in recent years. However, Glock continues to expand its reach across the U.S. military, especially among some of its most elite units. Delta Force, which General Miller was a part, among other U.S. special operations units, has largely transitioned to Glocks, namely the 9mm G19, as the units' primary sidearm. Glocks fitted with the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro miniature red dot sight have been increasingly seen in the hands of American special operators, as well.


With that in mind, it isn't too surprising that Miller would also carry a Glock, although the latest modifications to his pistol seem, well, unique. The heavy compensator, designed to counteract the upward movement of the gun during firing and make it easier to put multiple rounds on the same target quickly, is something we've never seen before on a U.S. military sidearm in a war zone. 

John Wick and Lara Croft both famously wield H&K pistols with compensators, which look great for the camera, but in real life they make a weapon heavier and less ergonomic for carrying, among other issues while also offering some reduction in muzzle flip., Lionsgate/Paramount

As the civilian market has become flooded with every accessory and modification you can imagine for Glocks, and especially for the top sellers in the Austrian company's product lineup, it isn't a big surprise to see some of them show up on service pistols belonging to the special operations community. But the compensator is pretty weird. In fact, the advantages of a compensator like this, which is from Zev Technologies, are debatable, although they do look cool. Hollywood has already given a verdict on that! The video below offers a good look at a similarly configured Glock with the same comp and addresses its pros and cons:

Video thumbnail

One thing is certain, General Miller loves his pistols and adding custom features to them, as there is little left to add to his Glock at this point. Considering he serves in a place where friends can become enemies in an instant and he is literally the top U.S. target in the country, whatever works, right?


We have some great feedback already on this post. It turns out, that this unique tricked-out configuration of a Glock (specifically the G19) is called a "Roland Special" or a "Gunfighter Special." It supposedly traces its roots to a member of the U.S. Army special operations community—Chuck Pressburg now of Presscheck Consulting. Still, the exact definition of it is quite the contested subject in the always lively firearms community. Some say there is only one true Roland Special, the one offered by ATEI Guns, while others seem to use the term more loosely, as anyone can configure their Glock similarly and the general concept can be adapted to other Glocks models than just the G19. You can read a bit more about exactly all that goes into the Roland Special here

It isn't clear exactly who set up the General's Glock in its Roland Special configuration, so we can't say just yet where it sits in the grand universe of Glock, but it is definitely an established configuration. One firearms instructor tells The War Zone it is sort of "the all-in 'operator special' of Gucci Glocks." So take that as you may. Here are a couple of videos about the Roland Special you can watch and critique as well!

Video thumbnail
Video thumbnail
Video thumbnail

Contact the author: