I was perusing the depth of Facebook and came across the topic of Fieldcraft vs Marksmanship. To be upfront, this thread was on a private “Sniper” group. There were a few good responses. But I think it’s a topic worth its own thread. Now, this is going to seem like it’s geared just to Snipers or the “tactical” shooter. But it’s not; it gets at a mindset that should be encompassed in everything a rifleman does. It actually points to what’s wrong with much of the current competition shooting. We’ve forgotten our way, what got us to where we are, and where we’re going.
We get into the quandary of one verse the other often. Especially when we consider training snipers. Now I’m not bringing this up to debate the efficacy of fieldcraft training in the United States Army Sniper Course (USASC). At this point in my life, I influence nothing at the schoolhouse and anything I say will just be “like your opinion Man!” That was a Big Lebowski reference if you didn’t get it.
Anyways back on topic. I’ve thought about this many times and had discussions at length with peers, leaders, and subordinates alike. More recently with other old fat retired dudes over coffee. But we often relegate fieldcraft down to Stalking. And furthermore, think that Stalking is the culmination of fieldcraft training. I.e. pass stalks and you’re G2G.
My opinion is that fieldcraft is so much more. It’s a task as much as it is a thought process. It’s not inherently a sniper task. And it’s should be ingrained in everything a rifleman does.
From the way, you pack your ruck; to the tie downs on your equipment. From the way you walk through the woods; to the way, you set up a rifle. From the way, we carry our rifles; to the chassis weights and hair triggers. From the way we hunt to the way, we approach a stage. We don’t have to be #Fieldcraft vs. #Marksmanship. Because fieldcraft is something we should be doing day in and day out as basic riflemen. Furthermore, you don’t need to be a sniper or graduate sniper school to demonstrate proficiency in fieldcraft. It should be a thought you apply to every facet of your endeavor to be a rifleman.
Christopher is a Precision Weapons Expert with 20+ years’ experience serving as an Infantryman, Sniper, and Senior Instructor and Team Leader at the revered U.S. Army Sniper School. Later becoming the Precision Effects Capability Developer advising the Army on Force modernization and Capability development and sniper weapons acquisition.
Currently, he is the owner of CR2 Shooting Solutions, a training company dedicated to teaching men and women on becoming marksmen.