CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Marines with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, conducted unknown distance shooting during the Pre-Scout Sniper Course aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, July 17, 2015. The six-week long course is designed to prepare and screen students for follow-on training at Scout Sniper Basic School.
“This is essentially a try-out to get into the sniper school,” said LCpl. Robert Mueller, an amphibious reconnaissance operator with 1st Recon. “What we’re going through is literally like a shootout.”
Only students who pass the Pre-Scout Sniper course will move on to attend the Scout Sniper Basic School.
Students that attend the Pre-Scout Sniper Course learn land navigation, marksmanship, stalking and field skills.
“This week we’re getting them on the guns so that they have trigger time on the M40 and the M110,” said Sgt. Garrett Greer, an instructor from 1st Recon training cell. “This gives them the chance to understand what they’re getting into before they go to the sniper school so that we’re not just sending them in blindly.”
The overall goal of the course is to familiarize students with the main aspects of sniper skills so that when they go to the Scout Sniper Basic School, they will continue to improve and successfully complete it.
“Just getting experience behind the gun has been great. Learning all the math and science behind the ballistics of the bullet is also good information,” said Mueller. “I’ve been in for a couple of weeks now; it’s a fun course in the sense that it’s physically and mentally challenging. I’m excited to be here.”
Getting the students through the course and into the Scout Sniper Basic School brings them one step closer to achieving their goals of becoming a scout sniper.
“Having scout snipers is incredibly important for shaping the battlefield,” said Mueller. “Not only can they engage targets from long distances, but they can also give oversight on the whole battle space. They can go behind enemy lines and provide watch.”
With the help of its instructors, the Pre-Scout Sniper Course will continue to equip its students with the necessary skills they will need to complete the required training and succeed as certified scout snipers.