Fieldcraft US Army sniper school

JohnT

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Apr 12, 2010
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Ft. Lewis, WA
Hey, My name is John.

long time lurker first time poster. always been shooting since I was 10 or so, joined the army and confirmed my personal thoughts that I'm good at shooting. Was wondering if anyone here would like to share their Sniper school experience, as I'm hoping to apply when we get back to the states (currently deployed to the 'stan) wondering what's it like, how hard is it, things that would make it easier to know beforehand.

I have an understanding of the mildot/milrad concept, FFP vs SFP, wind drift, lighting, and such. Just picked up my first precision rifle from another member on the 'hide. a .300 WM 26" sendero in AICS stock (thanks to TheShooter) I'll be able to run it thru it's paces when I get home. I have the fundamentals of shooting under wraps (ragged quarter size hole 100M when zeroing a stubby SAW, dead center)

all in all, if anyone can teach me (either here, PM, or E-mail) as much about being a US Army Sniper, as possible. to have a bit of a leg up on the competition, it would be VERY much appreciated!
 

11B-B4

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Re: US Army sniper school

The school is a good mind fuck. I would make sure you come down in good shape. As long as you run everywhere you go with your ruck you wont get bitched at that much. Dont let them catch you walking. Listen to everything thats said in the class room and you will be fine. Get sneaky with stalking and be sure to talk to the other "good" candidates down there. Some people are stupid and offer no valuable insight. If you can read people decently get together with other smart people and share tips and tricks. Be sure to set up your gear every night before you go to bed as if you were prepping for mission in the stan. Also mentally repeat scenerios from the day and go over them again to remember what you could have done differently to have done better. Learn from your mistakes. Pack good lunches. Have boots on hand that are broken in so your feet dont give out on you. Bring a ghillie down that has allready been "made" chances are when you get down there youll make improvments to it. I brought what i thought was a kick ass suit down. I ended up putting another 40 hours into it at school. Dont be the guy running around to craft stores looking for jute and canvas and a sweing machine. You will most likely fail as that will sidetrack you from things you should be thinking about.

Anyway, good luck.
 

11B-B4

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Re: US Army sniper school

one more good piece of advice is try to meet some snipers in your battalion. They would be good to talk to if they are qualified and can answer your questions. If you are in a sniper section right now it shouldnt be too hard. If you arent, then you might have to tryout for a selection to the sniper section before you are admitted. Most units hold some type of selection for new sniper candidates.
 

JohnT

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Re: US Army sniper school

The only friendly Sniper from my brigade was in another batt and I didn't get to talk to him much about it. and what all do most units do for selection?

we have to bring our own ghillie suits down then? what are limitations they put on that kind of stuff? guidelines? I'm pretty good at ruck running so that's not much of a problem for me, and after this deployment I've lost alot of weight and gained alot of muscle, so that shouldn't be a problem either (no clue what my current PT score is :\)
 

11B-B4

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Re: US Army sniper school

Most units do some combination of PT, BRM qual, Land Nav, Board review, and maybe a kims game or something. If you arent in section yet make that your first priority. Once in section glean information off qualified guys. If theres nobody qualified yur basically screwed and have to prep other ways. Good units prep thier guys before they go down with range-e, TD's, and maybe some wind reading if you have access to ammo and a sniper range. Those guys generally have a much better chance of passing. Also stalking would be good to train on. If theres anyone in your section that has spent time being burned up on glass he'll have some good pointers for that. You could run practice stalk lanes that way. The instructors down there are some of the best in the world on glass. Its pretty insane what can get you busted.
 

18Echo

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Jun 12, 2007
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Re: US Army sniper school

If you are up at Lewis, 1st Group should run a SOTIC up there every year. I did the first one they held there in 2001 and we had some 2nd Batt guys there so maybe you can get your S3 to score you a slot, contact the ASS (advanced skills section) and see what they can do for you. SOTIC is a gentleman's course where they teach you the skills, planning, execution, etc..., regular army sniper school is full of nonsense. Just my opinion.....
 

11B-B4

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Re: US Army sniper school

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 18Echo</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If you are up at Lewis, 1st Group should run a SOTIC up there every year. I did the first one they held there in 2001 and we had some 2nd Batt guys there so maybe you can get your S3 to score you a slot, contact the ASS (advanced skills section) and see what they can do for you. SOTIC is a gentleman's course where they teach you the skills, planning, execution, etc..., regular army sniper school is full of nonsense. Just my opinion..... </div></div>

You might no better than me, but last i heard only SOF personnel were allowed for admittance to SOTIC. I know a SOTIC instructor I could ask i suppose. He might know. The active army school is a big dick contest. The guard school however is a gentlemanly course as well for the most part with a wealth of valuable information that you wont find in an FM. The instructors there have an average of about 6 years instructing. Not to mention they have placed better at more comps than most other sniper schools im aware of.

Having said that though i do like the layout better of SOTIC.
 

Graham

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Oct 30, 2007
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Re: US Army sniper school

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Zack Lee</div><div class="ubbcode-body">DO NOT believe people on the internet.</div></div>I don't believe you.
 

18Echo

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Re: US Army sniper school

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 11B-B4</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 18Echo</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If you are up at Lewis, 1st Group should run a SOTIC up there every year. I did the first one they held there in 2001 and we had some 2nd Batt guys there so maybe you can get your S3 to score you a slot, contact the ASS (advanced skills section) and see what they can do for you. SOTIC is a gentleman's course where they teach you the skills, planning, execution, etc..., regular army sniper school is full of nonsense. Just my opinion..... </div></div>

You might no better than me, but last i heard only SOF personnel were allowed for admittance to SOTIC. I know a SOTIC instructor I could ask i suppose. He might know. The active army school is a big dick contest. The guard school however is a gentlemanly course as well for the most part with a wealth of valuable information that you wont find in an FM. The instructors there have an average of about 6 years instructing. Not to mention they have placed better at more comps than most other sniper schools im aware of.

Having said that though i do like the layout better of SOTIC. </div></div>

The Class I was in at Lewis had 2nd Ranger Batt guys and I even think we had someone from what was to become the stryker brigade before they got their strykers. Maybe things have changed, I haven't been at Lewis since 2003.
 

18Echo

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Re: US Army sniper school

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Graham</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Zack Lee</div><div class="ubbcode-body">DO NOT believe people on the internet.</div></div>I don't believe you. </div></div>
grin.gif
Thats funny....
 

JohnT

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Apr 12, 2010
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Re: US Army sniper school

yeah I'm with 5/2 SBCT. And as a relatively new soldier I don't see myself going for SOTIC right now. perhaps further down the line. seems alright. I'll hit up my S3 when I get back from leave on that note. what kind of glass do they use at sniper school? Leupold's? FFP or SFP? I'll be picking up a Vortex PST for personal use So I can practice with that.

So besides practice stalking, wind drifts, mil ranging, not listening to Zach Lee on the Internet, and picking up some eXtenze what else should I look into?
 

18Echo

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Re: US Army sniper school

You'll definitely have to be filling a sniper slot in your unit to get just a chance to go to the SOTIC at Lewis, chances are also that your unit would rather send you to benning and the RA school.

Scope on the M24 is a Leupold M3 fixed 10 power, the SR25 has a variable I believe.

I found that Milling a target was the hardest part for me, that and the kims games.
 

kmussack

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Jul 16, 2001
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Re: US Army sniper school

51MuLhoDt1L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg

This book has a bunch of good stuff in it about the Sniper School at Ft.Benning. For under $20 you can get it from Amazon.
 

Graham

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Oct 30, 2007
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Re: US Army sniper school

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 18Echo</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I found that Milling a target was the hardest part for me, that and the kims games.</div></div>What I hear the most from the instructors is that Milling and Stalking are the hardest areas in terms of damaging the pass rate.
 

11B-B4

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Re: US Army sniper school

I think milling can be easy... you just have make sure that you are reading the mils from a very steady support. Screw around with stuff until you find something that works for you. The best way is to not let your eye touch whatever ocular device you are observing through. However if you let the center axis of your eye go out and get scope shadow even slightly it can throw the parallax off in the scope and cause you to mis read the mils too. With a little bit of practice you should be ok. I over prep everything and brought an LRF and E type on a stick down to school as a training supplement in my off time. Loaned it to an 18 series guy that was having trouble on range-e. Thats another thing to know about the school atmosphere, be a team player. It might not benefit you to help someone else in the short run, but you will need help later and then they'll have your back.

As far as the 110 its a second focal plane with the TMR reticle I belive. Ive used them alot just cant remember right now. Anyway the .2mil hashes on the TMR scope should make mil ranging a bit easier with the scope. But its really the binos you should be worried about. If i had the option i would bring steiners down as they far exceed the fujinons. That being said the M22 binos has correct stadia for mil ranging and the steiners did not. They were never given a spec for the military contract. As such you would need to measure them up on a mil board to see if the pair you are bringing are correct or not. Ive heard nightmare stories of guys thinking they were using what should have been a 2.5 or 5 mil line and being over a mil off.

As far as the school, from what I have heard I think they re-did the LOI to include m110s for the school house. That being said it might be harder to pass now as I dont think the standards have changed. 6oo yard movers at night would be a bitch with a 110 as far as im concerned. Maybe its a horse a piece though cuz the old AN/PVS10 scope sucked balls... and the new UNS rocks... then again the 24 was more accurate than the 110.

All things to consider I suppose.
 

kraigWY

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Feb 10, 2006
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Re: US Army sniper school

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">regular army sniper school is full of nonsense. Just my opinion.....</div></div>

That pretty much discribes most Regular Army Schools.

Wop Wop School seems to be the worse in that department.
 

Trigger Monkey

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  • Apr 29, 2005
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    Re: US Army sniper school

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 11B-B4</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> But its really the binos you should be worried about. If i had the option i would bring steiners down as they far exceed the fujinons. That being said the M22 binos has correct stadia for mil ranging and the steiners did not. They were never given a spec for the military contract. As such you would need to measure them up on a mil board to see if the pair you are bringing are correct or not. Ive heard nightmare stories of guys thinking they were using what should have been a 2.5 or 5 mil line and being over a mil off.

    </div></div>

    +1 The Fujinon M24 binos I used were kind of like that. The distance from stadia line to stadia line was good to go but the height of each line varied. We used a barber pole to check the subtension and make a rough estimate of what actual height was so we could get better range estimates.