Trijicon triggered an international uproar when US soldiers in Afghanistan discovered that letters and figures they thought were simply stock or model numbers referred to passages from the Bible.
One example was JN8:12 which turned out to be a reference to chapter eight, verse 12 in the Book of John: “When Jesus spoke again to the people he said ‘I am the light of the world’.”
The company has now issued a statement saying it had stopped putting the inscriptions on its sights.
It said it would also give the Pentagon, free of charge, 100 free kits which could be used to remove the references from sights that had already been issued to troops.
The ADF has several hundred of the sights, which are prized by elite troops for their accuracy over long range, and it is now working out how to remove the scriptural links from them with wrecking the equipment.
The Michigan-based family-owned company said it had for two generations been working to provide America's military men and women with high quality, and innovative sighting systems.
“Our effort is simple and straightforward: to help our servicemen and women win the war on terror and come home safe to their families.
“As part of our faith and our belief in service to our country, Trijicon has put scripture references on our products for more than two decades.
“As long as we have men and women in danger, we will continue to do everything we can to provide them with both state-of-the-art technology and the never-ending support and prayers of a grateful nation.”
The ADF confirmed yesterday it had been unaware of the meaning of the inscription when the sights were issued to troops.
“The Department of Defence was unaware of the significance of the manufacturer's serial number,” the spokesman said. “The sights were procured because they provide mature technology which is highly reliable, in wide use by our allies and best meet Defence requirements. Soldiers are confident in the utility of the sight and the positive and proven effect which it is having on operations.”
The spokesman said Defence was conscious of the sensitivities over this issue and was assessing how to address them.
Another inscription was 2COR4:6, which is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament. The passage reads: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”