You're not wrong about being jealous of better gear. I was cleaning M16s with literal toothbrushes...in 2012!
We had m16a1s when I deployed to Ethiopia. Since for whatever reason their government wouldn't allow us to bring our own automatic weapons, we had to use their old ones.
It was full auto though and I would walk around in a boonie cap and a LBV like it was Vietnam.
Reserve component Army is like a purgatory between Marine corps and AD Army. You might get new shit right away, we got the m4a1s months before Fort Campbell did, and you might still be getting ACU pattern gear issued to you years after OCP became the official pattern.