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Comments by YACCS
Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I never knew


Some people earn the right to have this,
some don't.

So, Redstate Racist Ben is a Marine Sniper?

Wow. He did all this?

Qualifications

Male, volunteer

0300-Infantry MOS.

E2 - E7(No officers).

expert rifleman.Minimum Requirements:

having a second class or higher swim qualification.

a first-class score on their Physical Fitness Test (PFT).

eye sight correctable to 20/20.

not colour blind.

no office hours.

Non-Judicial Punishments within 6 months.

qualify for a secret security clearance.

and posses a GT score of 110 or higher.

For a perfect score:

3 mile run in 18 minutes, 20 deadhang pull-ups(No Swinging)

100 sit-up/crunchs under two minutes.

500 meter swim using side or breast stroke.

50 meter swim holding a weight out of water, tread water for 30 seconds holding a weight out of water, no signs of panic.

Or:

Two of the better ways of becoming a Scout/Sniper are through a Recon unit or an Infantry Battalion.

First join the Marine Corps with an Infantry MOS. While in Boot Camp you will need to shoot Expert on the rifle range, become at least a second class swimmer and score a high first class PFT.

Upon completion of Infantry training you will be given the opportunity to volunteer for Recon or Force Recon.

If you successfully complete their indoc you will be sent to a Recon unit where you will first qualify as a Recon Marine then given the opportunity to volunteer for Scout/Sniper School.

BN Recon and Force Recon have school seats assigned to them for every S/S School.

Lastly:


The other way is to be sent to an Infantry Battalion and then volunteer for the Scout/Sniper Platoon.

The S/S Plt runs indocs annually and pulls in personnel from the BN.


Each Sniper unit runs its own version of the indoc but they are all extremely difficult. Once in the unit you will go through all the training to become a sniper before ever going to S/S School.

Once at the school you will be expected to have all the basic knowledge of a Scout/Sniper and the advanced knowledge of an infantry Marine.

You will show up with everything that you will need to make it through the school including your ghillie suit.

There are no second chances at the school and drops are a daily occurrence.


Marine Snipers are generally regarded as the best snipers in the world.

USMC SCOUT/SNIPERS EARN THE TITLE QUANTICO


The title of scout/sniper is one few Marines have attained.

They are Marines highly skilled in fieldcraft and marksmanship, who deliver long-range, precision fire at selected targets from concealed positions.

Their secondary mission is to gather information for intelligence purposes, according to GySgt. Michael Johnston, staff noncommissioned officer in charge at the Scout Sniper School. The sniper is best utilized when he is sent into the area of planned offensive action ahead of time, preferably under the cover of darkness, to gather timely intelligence data and to select his targets.

During a recent exercise, 18 potential scout-snipers stood behind the tree line along a dirt road preparing their Ghillie Suits to look identical to the grass and bushes in the field they were about to cross as part of their graded exercise in stalking the enemy target. The Ghillie Suit is the camouflage uniform of the Marine sniper. It consists of trousers and a blouse with vegetation attached to it to blend in with environment. The mood was upbeat as SSgt. Kyle Bittner, chief instructor at the Scout-Sniper school, went over some important, final instructions: "Be sure to change your camouflage as you move into different areas.

Look for a good window to set your sights on your target. And don't get caught," Bittner said. The object of the graded stalk is to maneuver within 200 yards of the target and take a single shot without being detected by the instructor. Sitting on top of a small hill at the opposite end of the field, the instructor and the target are one and the same. The target scours the area with powerful binoculars to find the student crawling and slithering through the brush. "It's a weird feeling being out there all alone," Johnston said. "Your senses are heightened beyond belief. You have no time to feel fear because you are so in tune with what is going on around you." When the student graduates, he returns to his unit, now trained to be the best of the best.

His new assignment is with the same unit but as part of the Recon/Sniper platoon where he is no longer faced with stalking an instructor, but a real target. "It's not like the movie `Sniper'," Johnston said. "That movie was realistic for about the first ten minutes and then it was tremendously glorified the rest of the way," he added. The Recon/Sniper platoons are a new part of grunt units in the Marine Corps. In this platoon there are 16 Recon personnel and 16 Snipers. They return to the same unit which hand-selected them to attend the Scout/Sniper School. Only this time they are part of a smaller more elite platoon. But that all comes after eight weeks of blood, sweat and living with the smallest, ugliest creatures that inhabit the underbrush.

The graded stalk began when the whistle echoed off the surrounding hills. The students scurried into the tree line and were as visible as ghosts when they emerged on the other side. The tall grass, swaying wildly in the strong wind was a great advantage to the students. "The wind makes it nearly impossible for the target to spot the student," Johnston said. "On a day like this, any movement of the bushes or grass by the student is undetectable." Two instructors situated themselves at the middle of the field, to act as the locator for the target instructor. The target used a walkie-talkie to give instructions to the walker. "If the target spots something, he can move the walker to where he saw the student. He gets three chances to get the exact location of the student.

He then must leave the student alone until he makes another false move," Johnston said. Soon after saying this, a student tried to cross a patch of green grass with brown grass camouflage. He hugged the ground and didn't move a muscle while the walker was positioned by the target. The walker watched as he executed this maneuver and shook his head in disbelief. "If the student is caught before he reaches the 200-yard mark, he receives no points," Johnston explained. "If they get in range, then fire a shot off and are still not spotted, the walker will stand within 10 feet of the student to give the target one more chance to locate the student. If the student is still undetected, the walker checks to see if the student is aimed in on the proper target. If everything is correct they receive the maximum score of 10," he added. When the clock hit three hours, only six students were left and most of them had not even gotten off a shot.

"Each Basic Scout-Sniper Course starts with 24 to 29 students and about half make it to graduation," Johnston said. "We lose most of our students during the land navigation portion. A lot of the young Marines who come through don't know land navigation well enough and fail to get the required 70-percent mark." But those who do make it to the graded stalks train long and hard in the mud and dirt to be silent and deadly even after they take the shot. Above the doors leading to the classroom a sign reads: "Through these doors pass the world's finest infantry men. Out walks the world's deadliest weapon -- Marine Scout-Snipers."


So Ben was Force Recon, and then became a Scout Sniper? Damn, and he's only 24.

What? You mean he didn't?

He thinks he can glom on the work of people who are among the most elite operators on the planet? He thinks he would survive Parris Island, much less Quantico? Does he think Marines are impressed by a chickenhawk waving this around like he did something?

He wants to have that cup around, he should do what his boss Donald Graham did and join up. The publisher of the WaPo is a Vietnam vet and an ex-Marine. I'm sure he'd love this.

posted by Steve @ 5:02:00 PM

5:02:00 PM

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