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Sniper and stuff <was[DS and SG] Regiments of the Crown>

From: Los <los@c...>
Date: Sun, 25 Oct 1998 22:52:01 -0500
Subject: Sniper and stuff <was[DS and SG] Regiments of the Crown>

John M. Atkinson wrote:

> Thomas Barclay wrote:
> > varied in length. Let us take Vietnam for example. Marine snipers
> > initially had 3 days of training and were left sniping with M1-Cs
> > M1-Ds from the previous wars. Some got Winchester Model 70s. Scopes
> > were problematic. (This is early to mid-war). Army snipers got 5-7
> > days training. Some of them used scoped standard M-16s, and M-14s.
> How many of them got weeded out the hard way?  Snipers have a rather
> steep learning curve.  It's also difficult to train them to the right
> level if you don't have a live war to pitch them into to 'sink or
> swim'.  It's also easier if you start with combat veterans to begin
> with, as they have presumably learned how not to attract enemy
> attention.

OK, I only know two actual snipers from Vietnam, one Marine one Army.
was my team sergeant for many years)  Both were already one their second
(the Marine on his third) tour befor ethey became snipers. It true that
there was no formal Sniper training back then like there is now, but
ran their own courses in country which in some ways was even better
you are learning from guys fresh from the bush IN the environment you
be operating in. As Tom says snipers were not tasked on a "hey you" type
basis. Usually you had to be a seasoned, mature, infantryman who waw
also a
damn good shot before even trying out for the job. So your average
was already a dead shot with his standard rifle before even getting
as a sniper. While the standards for sniper training were uneven from
to unit and service to service, the snipers were on a whole, a cut well
above others. BTW, my team sgt had one kill out at 1100 yards, with his
remington 700 (he was the Marine) the army guy used the M14/21).

Sniper porgrams nowadays are pretty long (4 weeks to  8 weeks depending
whether its'a line sniper course of you are going to SOTIC (Special
Operations Target Inderiction Course). In the US Army, you're not going
get into the course unless you already are a dead shot (39 or 40 out of
on the standard army marksmanship test), so guys going into the course
already bring their skill with them. It's in no way a "hey you" thing.
of the training focusses on actaul marksmanship and some fieldcraft
the second skill is probably more important than the first)

Snipers in line battalions have two equally importnat roles, target
interdiction and reconnasaince and surveillance. You don't join up as a
sniper you are sent by your parent unit. It's  a big investment in time
resources. You have to take some of the best guys in your unit and send
away for training. (think of this in SG/DS terms if youa re stationed
knows where with your regt. So you lose them for the trip out and back
the course). I think it's importnat to have snipers at the battalion
(usualy a squad with maybe threeor four two man teams that you can farm
to teh companies or work independnetly.)

But still, I wouln't go overboard on snipers. (like  a platoon per bn)
don't have a significant impact on the actual battle, they can at time
the big hit, Their influence in a heads up battle is usually
"incidental" to
the main course. There's a cost analysis thing you have to do. The cost
training them vs their impact in a big fight. Go for a few high  quality
guys and keep the rest of your pepole with the line units where they can
make a difference.

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