Snipers are military marksmen who engage the enemy from a distance. According to figures released by the Department of Defense, the average number of rounds expended in Vietnam to kill one enemy soldier with the M-16 was 50,000. The average number of rounds expended by U.S. military snipers to kill one enemy soldier was 1.3 rounds. That’s a cost difference of $23,000 per kill for the average soldier, vs. $0.17 per kill for the military sniper.
According to the Army, the average soldier will hit a man-sized target 10% of the time at 300 meters using the M16A2 rifle. Graduates of the Army sniper school are expected to achieve 90% first-round hits at 600 meters, using the M24 Sniper Weapon System (SWS).
Sniper Abilities, Training, and Equipment
Snipers have special abilities, training, and equipment within the army. It’s a sniper’s job to deliver discriminatory, highly accurate rifle fire against enemy targets that cannot be engaged successfully by the regular rifleman because of range, size, location, fleeting nature, or visibility. Sniping requires the development of basic infantry skills to a high degree of perfection.
A sniper’s training incorporates a wide variety of subjects designed to increase his value as a force multiplier and to ensure his survival on the Battlefield. The art of sniping requires learning and repetitiously practicing these skills until mastered. A sniper must be highly trained in long-range rifle marksmanship and fieldcraft skills to ensure maximum effective engagements with minimum risk.
A lot of people have the misconception that to be a good sniper, you have to be a good shooter. Shooting is only 20% of the course at the Army Sniper School. It takes a patient person, a disciplined person, and a person who is used to working alone. In addition to marksmanship skills, the school instructs on detecting and stalking a target and estimating the range of a target. The course also covers concealment and camouflage, as well as observation exercises.
The first Army Sniper School was initiated in 1955, right after the Korean War cease-fire. The present U.S. Army Sniper School was established at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1987. The length of the school is for five weeks. The Army National Guard Sniper School was established in 1993 at Camp Robinson Arkansas.
Must be 11B, 11M, 19D, or CMF 18
PFC-SFC (Grade waivable)
Must have a corrected vision of 20/20
Must have a GT score of 100.
Must not have a record of disciplinary action
Must be knowledgeable of skill level 2 tasks
Attending Sniper School
Upon reporting to the U.S. Army Sniper School, students are required to have the following:
Ghillie suit complete
DA FORM 2-1 6. DA FORM 2A
DA Form 3822-A
Two ear-plugs with carrier
One lensetic compass