5 Life Lessons Learned from USMC Scout Sniper School

From the Archives, 2016

 

SSNA

A former Marine scout sniper shares life lessons from the Marine Corps’ Scout Sniper Basic Course.

There is no shortage of popular culture lionizing snipers. From movies to books, legendary exploits are laced with evocative imagery. Alone, unafraid, heroically holding back enemy hoards with only a bolt gun. This captivation is not without good cause, but Hollywood’s depictions often fall short of capturing what it truly means to be a sniper. Those hard lessons learned from the Marine Corps’ Scout Sniper School have been ones that have profoundly changed who I am and stayed with me for life.

Brilliance in the basics. In the military, firepower is everything, but often there is a common misconception about what that means. Most think that increasing firepower means to increase the number of rounds per minute. Snipers believe that increasing firepower means increasing the number of hits per minute. With this infectious mentality, accuracy becomes supreme. “One shot, one kill.” In this way, a single sniper could feasibly provide more ‘firepower’ than a squad of machine gunners. It is no surprise that accuracy is the cornerstone for snipers, but it is attained by adhering to a simple maxim: “brilliance in the basics.” By mastering the seemingly simplistic fundamentals of marksmanship, snipers effectively change the battlefield. Snipers offer a long-range precision that prevents enemies from being shielded by distance or imprecise area weapons. It is profound that something so minor found in ‘the basics’ can change the way warfare is conducted. The same way this logic applies to the battlefield it applies to the classroom, office, or wherever you might find yourself. Mastering the basics changes the game making you more effective.

Dedication. Many service members are professionals — clean rooms, inspection-ready uniforms, excelling at their day jobs. Sniper school students don’t aspire to a mere occupation, to be a scout sniper is a way of life. The job doesn’t end with the fallout of formation or weekend liberty; it is brought home and lived. In the evenings at the barracks, snipers can be found studying the physics of ballistics, adjusting their gear until it is perfectly balanced or hand-sewing patches in their ghillie suits. Discussions of techniques in fieldcraft are shared over meals and debates about guns, optics and tactics rage into the nights. This dedication extends throughout the sniper community. The ‘community’ is an abstraction, with only about 300 active duty scout snipers, it is a small circle where everyone knows everyone else, separated only by a degree or two at most. This community makes it easier to remain sharply focused and dedicated to the craft. Sniper school taught me that the level of dedication necessary to master any vocation requires actively living it.

Read the Remainder at Task and Purpose

 

U.S. Navy’s Drone Jammer


U.S. Navy’s Drone Jammer — American Partisan

Swiss Army 1972 Tactics: Vintage Film “Infantry Combat” (w/English subtitles)

H/T American Partisan

 

The Militant Drone Playbook

The Militant Drone Playbook

 

“Therefore, we believe that militants will continue to view drones as a useful adjunct to their existing military repertoires, using them to assist in targeting forces on the battlefield, to harass command and logistic hubs, and to disrupt the supply and movement of adversaries’ soldiers and materiel.”

Drones have a vital role to play in 21st Century Asymmetrical Warfare.

If you haven’t already, read Ghost Fleet by P.W. Singer

Study Up.

 

Hitler’s Saw

Know Your WW2 Weapons.

Weapons and Warfare

World War II Interior Pages

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MG-34

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MG-42

The MG-42 was designed during World War II as a replacement for the multipurpose MG-34, which was less than suitable for wartime mass production and was also somewhat sensitive to fouling and mud. It was manufactured in great numbers by companies like Grossfuss, Mauser-Werke, Gustloff-Werke, Steyr-Daimler-Puch, and several others. It is estimated that more than 400,000 MG-42s were manufactured during the war, and it was undoubtedly one of the best machine guns of World War II. It was designed to be reliable and cheap to manufacture; the design was so effective that it is still in production in more or less modified form in many countries.

Although the German Army of 1939 was not an entirely mechanized force (the German infantry was still largely foot-mobile), the hallmark of the blitzkrieg was fast-moving offensive operations characterized by speed, firepower, and sudden, overwhelming force. During these types of operations, the…

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