Today, I want to take some time and educate you about the U.S. Army Sniper School. The original Sniper School originally launched in 1955 at Camp Perry, Ohio, but it closed down in 1956. The current Sniper School was established in 1987 at Fort Benning, Georgia, as part of the 197th Infantry Brigade.
This is an intense seven week program that prepares Soldiers how to be a successful sniper. The course consists of classroom and “hands on” training in the field. It’s one of the most challenging military courses around and nearly one third to one half of all students fail the course.
To attend the course you must be either a 11B, 11M, 19D or CMF 18. Soldiers who graduate the course receive the B4 Additional Skills Identifier.
Here are some of the things you will learn in the course:
- ASAT – How to evaluate your enemy and analyze human behavior
- Stalks – How to stalk your enemy without being detected
- Range Estimation – Identifying the distance of your targets
- Target Detection – How to identify your targets
- Marksmanship (M110)
- Ballistics- The science of projectiles
- M110 Data Gathering
- UKD Qualification
- M9 pistol
- Alternate Firing Positions
- How to shoot at night
- Working as a scout
- Working as a spotter
- How to kill an enemy up to 1/2 mile away
Sniper School Prerequisites
Here are the prerequisites for the course that I found online (source):
- Must be 11B, 11M, 19D, or CMF 18
- PFC-SFC (Grade waiverable)
- Active duty, or Reserve, or National Guard, must have a good performance record with no history of alcohol, or drug abuse, must be a volunteer and be recommended by his commander
- Must be in excellent physical condition (70 percent or better in each event of the APFT)
- Must have a corrected vision of 20/20
- Must not have a record of disciplinary action
- Must be knowledgeable of skill level 2 tasks
- Must have a GT score of 100
- Must have qualified expert with the M16A2/M4 Carbine rifle within six months of course attendance
- Normal color vision must be annotated on SF 88, tested within six months of course attendance
- Must have a minimum of one (1) year retainability
- Must pass psychological evaluation (MMPI/CPI) conducted under the direction of a qualified psychologist
Make sure that you prepare for the course ahead of time by reading FM 23-10 and talking with someone else who has already attended the course. In addition, make sure you are physically fit.
Famous Army Snipers
- Adelbert Waldron – former Army Sniper with 109 confirmed kills
- John Plaster – former Special Forces Sniper and author
- Timothy Murphy – Famous Sniper during the American Revolutionary War
- Gary Gordon – Received Meal of Honor for his actions in Somalia
- Hiram Berdan – Civil War Sniper
Must Read Sniper Books
The bottom line is that the U.S. Army Sniper School is a challenging school designed to prepare snipers to do their job on the battlefield. It’s not for the faint at heart, but if you like a challenge, and want to be a sniper, than this is the school for you.