For me, it was the highlight of my career when I was in charge of the US Navy SEAL sniper course as Course Manager during my last tour with the Teams. The work the students were doing overseas to support not only SOF missions, but regular Army and USMC was just fantastic. Chris talks about that in an interview when I was still running Kit Up as the main host. Click here for the Kit Up interview.
Here’s a quick look at highlights and some past writing on the subject. I’ll post more on actual sniper gear on The Loadout Room soon!
SEAL Sniper Course Highlights
- Approx. 3 months in length
- Must qualify expert (again) to start the course. If you don’t, see you later….
- Comms and Digital Photo course prior to Field Craft Phase (2 weeks), and focus is on Field Intel gathering and communication skills.
- Scout phase includes stalking and field craft (integrated digital photography Recon work). Graded stalks and advanced marksmanship begin. (~4 weeks)
- Sniper phase includes advanced ballistics, mental management training, practical shooting and testing. We test them with stationary and moving targets and individual skills out to 1000 yards in high wind (~7 weeks)
The one thing that I would say really separates the SEAL course from the pack is the comprehensive curriculum and length of training (compare it to other courses and you’ll see). Also, graduates are tested and trained to operate as smart individual shooters (most of our missions utilize single snipers). This is a departure from the traditional shooter/spotter pair training methodology.
One thing for certain is that the SEAL sniper can self spot and make rapid assessments of where to place the next shot ALL without a spotter. You would not want to be on the other end of the equation with most military snipers, especially a SOF trained one…..