Snipers on the Modern Battlefield

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sinister

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Interesting article.

You have a graphic there that proves a point I've held a long time -- the institutional force can't teach/qualify enough privates to man the ranks before they're transferred, promoted, moved to leadership/staff/instructor positions, or ETS/retire.

"605% qualified sniper strength at the E-7 level" means guys qualified as Joes but are now platoon sergeants, acting first sergeants, working in a staff, or teaching somewhere else.

TRADOC and conventional infantry leaders lose the forest for the trees. Snipers are not a unique entity with their own realm, they're a supporting force capability no different than machineguns, mortars/artillery, or UAVs. If commanders don't know how to use them they're wasted assets.

You can't fix stoopid. Remember LTG Honore's admonition to civilians, staffs, and the press: don't get stuck on stupid. Platoon leaders and company commanders don't learn their craft well enough to use tools at hand, and the narrowing pyramid means those with little experience and knowledge become battalion, brigade, and division commanders who don't know how to use or sustain what they have.

I went to the USAMU sniper school in 1982 en route to an infantry reconnaissance platoon in Korea. I had eight snipers as well as scouts. Every SF ODA has two snipers, and I had two organic sniper-tasked ODAs as an SF company commander. Sniper training and employment was part of my basic duties from 2LT to battalion commander -- yet many of my infantry counterparts look at sniper employment like some kind of black magic and voodoo.
 
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sinister

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Army Sniper School Fail​

byJohn Buol, Army Reserve Marksman, 11 Jan 22

"The United States Army Sniper Course just reported that they have a high failure rate due to Soldiers not being able to pass the Army’s zero procedure of 6 MOA (4cm at 25 Meters) to standard. This is a disheartening but honest reflection of current Soldier ability with small arms. Nobody can address a problem they refuse to acknowledge. Kudos to the United States Army Sniper Course for doing the right thing and being public about it.

usasc tweet.jpg


From the United States Army Sniper Course:
https://www.facebook.com/USArm...osts/229143792741498

Before you stand the bags of 15 students who failed grouping. The one event at the USASC that delivers the largest number of failures is 25-meter grouping. This event consists of firing an M4 Carbine with iron sights at 25 meters. We shoot the Army’s standard M4 zero target and we require that the impacts are within 4 centimeters [6 MOA, which is the minimum Army standard all Soldiers are supposed to be able to pass, including new recruits during Initial Entry Training].

Do not take this as the USASC poking fun, but rather as a teaching point. Units spend a lot of money and resources to send soldiers to this course. We want to graduate 100% of our students as we believe and know that snipers are force multipliers. Please take the time to ensure you or your soldiers can meet a course prerequisite.

The 39 students who did successfully complete grouping have our fullest attention. We can also include doctrinal updates, curriculum updates and re-writes, force modernization, equipment procurement for tomorrow’s sniper, equipment testing, international sniper competition, and general soldier tasks. The soldiers used their Assault packs instead of a sandbag which is why there are notable statements highlighted in TC 3-22.9.

We presented a fact that the biggest discriminator at the USASC is 25-meter grouping. For those who don’t know, soldiers will shoot, retrain if needed, then shoot again. We do not run a selection course as we firmly believe that units have already selected the soldiers attending the course. We provide a service for the Army as snipers can help shape the battlefield. The army is vastly understrength with qualified snipers and we are far from “badge protecting.”

At one point we identified that the force was struggling so bad with the M4, that we provided an M4 PMI, took students through the EST2000, then performed attempt 1, retrain, attempt 2. The number of drops was still 25-30%, meaning no change.

The USASC does not need to disclose any of this information but for the betterment of the Soldier attending. We will share data points where difficulties commonly occur."

====================

Army's 2009 assessment of sniper-qualified soldiers. Roughly 1-in-4 line snipers is school-trained and qualified -- while E7s are at 600% strength. The schoolhouse cannot train enough to fill the ranks, and soldiers will ETS, promote, or retire out of their skill field and billets:

Capture.png
 
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roostercogburn98

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Army Sniper School Fail​

byJohn Buol, Army Reserve Marksman, 11 Jan 22

"The United States Army Sniper Course just reported that they have a high failure rate due to Soldiers not being able to pass the Army’s zero procedure of 6 MOA (4cm at 25 Meters) to standard. This is a disheartening but honest reflection of current Soldier ability with small arms. Nobody can address a problem they refuse to acknowledge. Kudos to the United States Army Sniper Course for doing the right thing and being public about it.

View attachment 7792518

From the United States Army Sniper Course:
https://www.facebook.com/USArm...osts/229143792741498

Before you stand the bags of 15 students who failed grouping. The one event at the USASC that delivers the largest number of failures is 25-meter grouping. This event consists of firing an M4 Carbine with iron sights at 25 meters. We shoot the Army’s standard M4 zero target and we require that the impacts are within 4 centimeters [6 MOA, which is the minimum Army standard all Soldiers are supposed to be able to pass, including new recruits during Initial Entry Training].

Do not take this as the USASC poking fun, but rather as a teaching point. Units spend a lot of money and resources to send soldiers to this course. We want to graduate 100% of our students as we believe and know that snipers are force multipliers. Please take the time to ensure you or your soldiers can meet a course prerequisite.

The 39 students who did successfully complete grouping have our fullest attention. We can also include doctrinal updates, curriculum updates and re-writes, force modernization, equipment procurement for tomorrow’s sniper, equipment testing, international sniper competition, and general soldier tasks. The soldiers used their Assault packs instead of a sandbag which is why there are notable statements highlighted in TC 3-22.9.

We presented a fact that the biggest discriminator at the USASC is 25-meter grouping. For those who don’t know, soldiers will shoot, retrain if needed, then shoot again. We do not run a selection course as we firmly believe that units have already selected the soldiers attending the course. We provide a service for the Army as snipers can help shape the battlefield. The army is vastly understrength with qualified snipers and we are far from “badge protecting.”

At one point we identified that the force was struggling so bad with the M4, that we provided an M4 PMI, took students through the EST2000, then performed attempt 1, retrain, attempt 2. The number of drops was still 25-30%, meaning no change.

The USASC does not need to disclose any of this information but for the betterment of the Soldier attending. We will share data points where difficulties commonly occur."

====================

Army's 2009 assessment of sniper-qualified soldiers. Roughly 1-in-4 line snipers is school-trained and qualified -- while E7s are at 600% strength. The schoolhouse cannot train enough to fill the ranks, and soldiers will ETS, promote, or retire out of their skill field and billets:

Capture.png
I wonder how much of this top heavy qualification percentage falls in the category of “I don’t want my joes getting qualified because I can’t lose them in my already shorted platoons, BUT “it’s a career progression move for this young SSG/SFC and may get them promoted so I’m ok with sending them”
 

sinister

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I think it's more of the guys who qualified actually staying in. The pyramid of authorizations narrows, but the soldiers choose to serve as more senior troops -- maybe not necessarily in platoon or instructor positions, but as platoon sergeants or staff NCOs elsewhere.
 
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County Road

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SFC Retired. It's not a sniper problem. It's commander ego problem. Commanders don't like what they can't control in their area of operation. "In summary, commanders must understand the devastating effect an invisible threat can have on the enemy. Secondly, they have to appreciate the inherently low risk of collateral damage to civilians and infrastructure that snipers provide."
The problem many army photographers had/have in getting into places they have been told to document by senior staff is local commanders not wanting outsiders in their units. If needed/determined by the mission commander we would set the camera aside and start shooting like everyone else.
 
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Pritch

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watched a mate shooting at a rabbit with a scope at 5 odd meters he kept hitting dirt "OOF''
 

County Road

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Is it being said that some wouldn't qualify for the Boy Scout Rifle Merit Badge?
"Using a .22 caliber rimfire rifle and shooting from a bench rest or supported prone position at 50 feet, fire five groups (three shots per group) that can be covered by a quarter."