Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Sniper Training Failure Rates:

To Rick: failure rate. I know you didn't ask me for my opinion but I'm going to give one
anyway. You guys are too good. There are observers and then there are OBSERVERS. I
think you guys are stacking the deck too far against the students. You take a guy that
earns his living by knowing what to look for and where and when to look for, he is going to
be much better at it than your average joe. Some of the students that passed were
probably very good, and others that passed may have been a little lucky.

Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio USA - Saturday, September 26, 1998 at 23:09:55 (EDT)

Steve - I understand your concern, however that was not the exercise that ate their lunch.
The Field shoot exam consists of five man sized targets placed anywhere from 400 meters
to 800 meters from the shooting point. The student sniper team comes onto the line and
one shoots while the other spots. They must score a 70% overall to pass. The targets are
graded as 1st round hit, second round hit, or miss. Once the team has finished those five
they move to the next five and switch roles. The scores are combined for a team score. If
they fail to achieve 70% then they are retrained and retested with either their same
partners are a new partner that has passed the test. This prevents one partner from
dumping on another partner. What caught our students on the test was nerves and letting
the sound of the wind coming through the trees stress them out. The wind was about 4 - 5
mph from 5 o'clock and fishtailing to 9 o'clock with speeds of 6 - 9 mph. They had fired in
those conditions before. One team read winds from the moa chart and called in Mils. So
the 3 moa left became "Left 3 Mils". That is a sure miss. Had they called "Left a light
mil", then they would have gotten a first round hit. Stress, attention to detail, and other
little bites got them in trouble.

The stalking scenerio is what you described and we take great pains to insure fairness in
that exercise. We observe in the same manner in which an OP would observe. We only use
7x binos, and the oberver gets one whack at the student. If when he says "Sniper at your
feet" and there is not a sniper within touching distance than the walker moves off. If the
observer sees an indication of a sniper, but does not feel that it would attract the eye of a
normal observer, then he will walk a walker into the area and warn the student of what he
has seen and told to adjust his movement and area accordingly. Blatant activity is, of
course, rewarded with the coveted long walk to the truck. We use five graded stalks and
none of them are must pass. This prevents just what you described. We also change the
observers with each stalk, and stalk lanes are never repeated to prevent the observer
from "learning" all the good spots. Another little control measure is the ragging we give
instructors when they miss and call a walker into a dry hole. We will not tolerate
"guessing" or "hunting".

Sorry this got so long. And Steve, I didn't take your statement as a challenge or anything
else. I just wanted to clear up the exercise and how we run it. Have fun guys, we go in for
the FTX Monday, if the AF C130 ever gets out of Little Rock! Gooch, what did you do to

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Sunday, September 27, 1998 at 00:37:26 (EDT)

Back to Hot Tips & Cold Shots