Field manuals have been around since the ancient Greeks and Romans. One General (Baron) Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand von Steuben wrote the very first American Army field manual. The good baron was George Washington's Inspector General, and helped train the Continental Army in 1779. Since then the US Army has published thousands of these often very dry books dealing on everything from Mountain Warfare Operations to the ever-popular Field Sanitation. Many lonely soldiers has sat bored on a CQ or radio watch post and bored him to sleep with a DA Pam, FM, or TM. One exception to this was the colorful comic book formatted “US Army Preventive Maintenance Manual for the M16A1 Rifle", published by PS Magazine in a comic book form.
Officially dubbed DA Pam 750-30, the book was to provide that young, often draftee (this was 1969, remember the peacetime draft was a reality back then) soldier something that he was more likely to read. The prominent comic artist Will Eisner illustrated the work. Eisner was an important comic book artist and established the concept of a graphic novel later in life. He is best known for his work on The Sprit comic for years and later the Comic Book Hall of Fame and the Comic Industry Awards were named in his honor.
The book covers the malfunctions and problems encountered with the newly introduced M16A1 rifle. It covers correcting malfunctions, cleaning, maintenance, dis-assembly/assembly, lubrication, and lots of do's and don’ts. It is overall an interesting read and is still valid today for many AR-platforms.
It has been reprinted in color and is available for sale on many websites. Since it’s a US-government publication, it’s in the Public Domain and is widely available.
For instance, you can download it in one part at at least two different places or in color or three parts in high-rez black and white
For the benefit of our Firearms Talk readers, Here are the highlights below, enjoy!: