When an untrained shooter gets a failure in the M16/AR, the first thing you see them go to is the forward assist in an attempt to "do" something.
Which only makes the issue worse.
I am fairly certain the early versions of the rifle did not even have a forward assist. You will see military trained shooters chamber a round, then bump the FA a time or two as part of their loading routine.
The two classes I've taken, the instructors derided the FA heavily.