Typically, the only way to get one of the coveted and extremely rare General Officer pistols is to become a general in the U.S. military. About that...

The Army's General Officer Pistol program dates back to at least 1972, when the service's Rock Island Arsenal began producing M15 pistols for general officers, a gun that led to the now-popular Officer series of M1911s. Marked with serial numbers prefixed with the letters "GO," the program switched to issuing M9 Berettas in the 1980s and, in 2018 in a story covered previously by Guns.com, to Sig Sauer M18 GO models. 

Other than the special serial number range, GO models are issued for operational use and are essentially no different from standard-issue pistols. 

According to U.S. law, at the end of their service, generals can purchase their issued pistols, which are unfathomably rare, museum-worthy collectibles if not retained by the family. As noted by the Army, famed WWII Gens. Omar N. Bradley, George S. Patton, and Dwight D. Eisenhower all purchased their guns when they left the military

A rarity, the General Officer M9 in the Guns.com Vault was obtained directly from a retired U.S. Army general who had more than thirty years of successful military experience spanning the Cold War and Desert Storm, including more than five years with the famed 82d Airborne Division.

General Officer M9 Beretta 9mm pistol
Its serial number, GO-00787, sets it apart from standard martial M9s or guns produced for the consumer market. (Photo: April Robinson/Guns.com)
General Officer M9 Beretta 9mm pistol
The left slide is marked "U.S. 9mm M9-BERETTA-65490" and carries the encircled PB Beretta logo. (Photo: April Robinson/Guns.com)
General Officer M9 Beretta 9mm pistol
The right slide is marked "ASSY9346442-65490" the correct cage number for military-issued 9mm upper assembly, complete for Beretta M9. It has an etched "PM" government acceptance mark.  The frame is marked "U.S. 9mm M9 P. BERETTA 65490." (Photo: April Robinson/Guns.com)
General Officer M9 Beretta 9mm pistol
It wears black plastic checkered grips with the traditional Beretta arrow logo on each panel, serrated grip straps, and a lanyard ring on the butt. (Photo: April Robinson/Guns.com)


When an Army colonel is promoted to brigadier (one star) general, their promotion ceremony typically includes the pinning of their star by a family member and the presentation of the GO pistol and pistol belt. The latter, a thick black leather belt with an 18-karat gold-plated buckle and imprint of an eagle, was first produced in 1944. The rig is worn at the discretion of the general. 

General Officer M9 Beretta 9mm pistol
Our GO M9 includes the distinctive military-issue Bianchi "G-100" marked UM-84 General Officers Model holster and "G-115" twin slot magazine pouch, also a rarity in any condition. (Photo: April Robinson/Guns.com)


General Officer M9 Beretta 9mm pistol
It is hard to stress how rare these guns are, with only a few in circulation outside of museums and preserved as family heirlooms. (Photo: April Robinson/Guns.com)