How to get into the USMC scout sniper community

PapaBacon

KopfJager
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Dec 23, 2019
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Gentleman,
I want to put some feelers out here in the forum to see if there is any interest from some of our younger members who are considering a career as a sniper. I can only speak to my Marine Corps experience but would like to set the record straight and shed some light on how the process works. I know there are very few resources to guide you prior to your entrance into the military, as the scout sniper community doesn't have a whole lot of exposure in regards to exactly what the pipeline is. So basically if there is any interest i would love to be a resource for either young dudes trying to do their research or even currently serving grunts who have any RFI's.

If there is any interest please feel free to ask away, if not carry on!
 

Tundrafox

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Hello, sir!

I was surprised no one else took interest in this post.

In your experience, how often do field grade officers get a chance to attend Scout Sniper school, and what are the general circumstances surrounding?

Thank you!

@PapaBacon
Mod-edit to tag OP
Ooh-Rah
 

Teufel

Force Recon
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Officers generally do not attend sniper school. This includes sniper platoon commanders who attend an abbreviated sniper unit leader course instead. Field grade officers are generally in critical billets and do not have time, or the need honestly, to attend schools like that other than maybe airborne. Things may be different in the reserves.

There are exceptions to every rule of course. I remember a Major attending the Scout Sniper Course in Quantico but he was the course OIC. This was a long time ago. I'm not sure if he actually went through the course as a student or just shadowed the class to learn about the skills they taught there. I know some lieutenants used to attend the scout sniper course in Hawaii but they closed that school a while ago.
 

Tundrafox

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Officers generally do not attend sniper school. This includes sniper platoon commanders who attend an abbreviated sniper unit leader course instead. Field grade officers are generally in critical billets and do not have time, or the need honestly, to attend schools like that other than maybe airborne. Things may be different in the reserves.

There are exceptions to every rule of course. I remember a Major attending the Scout Sniper Course in Quantico but he was the course OIC. This was a long time ago. I'm not sure if he actually went through the course as a student or just shadowed the class to learn about the skills they taught there. I know some lieutenants used to attend the scout sniper course in Hawaii but they closed that school a while ago.
I apologize sir,

I mispoke. I should've in fact said company grade officers rather than field grade. From your very thoughtful reply I have gathered that O-1s through O-3s do have a somewhat better chance of attending, but even that is unlikely and a luck of the draw sort of thing. Obviously you would have to be a total stud too, I imagine, but that is sort of given for these types of schools.

Thank you for your help.
 

0699

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NoVa
I apologize sir,

I mispoke. I should've in fact said company grade officers rather than field grade. From your very thoughtful reply I have gathered that O-1s through O-3s do have a somewhat better chance of attending, but even that is unlikely and a luck of the draw sort of thing. Obviously you would have to be a total stud too, I imagine, but that is sort of given for these types of schools.

Thank you for your help.
Coronavirus question time.

Trying to understand your thought process; what need do you think exists for officers to attend sniper school? What purpose do you think it would serve?
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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Not Afghanistan
Hello, sir!

I was surprised no one else took interest in this post.

In your experience, how often do field grade officers get a chance to attend Scout Sniper school, and what are the general circumstances surrounding?

Thank you!

@PapaBacon
Mod-edit to tag OP
Ooh-Rah
According to your profile you are at Parris Island for an eventual Ground Radio Repair MOS, and you're curious about being an officer in a Scout Sniper Platoon?

Are you currently in Recruit Training or what?
 

Tundrafox

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Mar 10, 2020
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5
According to your profile you are at Parris Island for an eventual Ground Radio Repair MOS, and you're curious about being an officer in a Scout Sniper Platoon?

Are you currently in Recruit Training or what?
Sir, I leave for Parris Island on Monday. I will be a reservist and going to undergrad once I leave 29 Palms. I've spoken with the Marine who commands the PLC for the school I plan to attend. I feel I would make a positive impact on the Corps as an officer. However, I have no interest in pushing pencils and if I don't see a likely opportunity for me to sling lead and try and run with the best the Marine Corps has to offer than I can't see myself ever going active duty. (I am well aware there are at least two possible other routes to get this opportunity as an officer, I have just heard the least about Officers in SS, compared to Recon and Raiders). Please don't take that as me saying that people who aren't out there taking fire are soft, I have tremendous respect for anyone who chooses to put on a uniform with the Stars and stripes on it, whether they be a Marine, or any other branch no matter MOS or anything else. And I'm not saying the typical combat arms routes don't get an opportunity to fight a lot too, it just seems as though they aren't getting too many deployments right now (I know that could change but no one knows how long this peace could last).

With that said, my main focus right now is getting my EGA, first class swim, expert badge, and a 300 PFT. If my question was in any way out of line, please let me know so I can prevent making a similar mistake in the future.

To answer 0699's question, I read a PDF manual for SSS online and it said O-1s to O-3s can attend SSS. I wasn't able to locate that source today however Wikipedia's article does say the same thing about SSS, although that is not the most legitimate source.

I figured some company grade officers must attend Scout Sniper school as who else would lead Scout Sniper platoons than SS officers, but that was my assumption and it could easily be very wrong.

I give you three gentlemen my most sincere gratitude for taking the time to answer my questions. Please let me know if there's anything I need to do to improve my attitude.

Thank you and stay safe out there
 

digrar

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I figured some company grade officers must attend Scout Sniper school as who else would lead Scout Sniper platoons than SS officers, but that was my assumption and it could easily be very wrong.
In our neck of the woods, it's an E7 Sergeant Sniper Supervisor that runs the cell. Different country though.
 

Tundrafox

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In our neck of the woods, it's an E7 Sergeant Sniper Supervisor that runs the cell. Different country though.
It's interesting to hear about the unit structure of a foreign nation's sniper force. Having a platoon with no officers is certainly different than here. Always nice to hear how our allies structure their forces

Please have a great day.
 

Teufel

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[
In our neck of the woods, it's an E7 Sergeant Sniper Supervisor that runs the cell. Different country though.
We generally don't employ snipers as a platoon. Normally you see them break down into teams and then support infantry companies as teams or pairs. The sniper platoon commander will often run tie into the battalion S2 and provide them with reporting from across the battlespace. They attend a two or three week sniper leader course that familiarizes them with sniper operations. This builds on the 10 week Infantry Officers Course and 11 week Ground Intel Officer Course they attend as well.
 

digrar

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We're generally running a cell of 9 snipers, 4 pairs and the supervisor. #2s qualified at a Brigade run course, #1s qualified at the school of Infantry.
The Supervisor is generally #1 qualified, and does the Officer NCO Recon course (also run at the school of Infantry), I've never seen a supervisor who wasn't at any rate.
Recon platoon HQ and the Sniper Cell Supervisor all work out of BHQ in the field, patrols and pairs either tasked directly by the CO and OPSO, or farmed out to the Rifle Companies.
Different again operationally over the last 20 years as we haven't sent a traditional Battalion on ops since Timor.
 
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