Scout snipers are infantrymen skilled in long-range marksmanship from concealed locations. Their primary mission is to conduct close reconnaissance and surveillance operations in order to gain intelligence on the enemy and the terrain. Scout snipers must earn the rank of lance corporal, be selected by their battalion to join the scout-sniper platoon, and complete an approved scout-sniper course in order to receive this designation.

Initial training of a scout sniper

Requirements vary by battalion, but infantrymen who qualify may be selected for training conducted at the battalion level after successfully completing a two-week indoctrination course. After serving for a time in the battalion scout-sniper platoon, a Marine may be sent to the formal Scout Sniper Basic Course to earn the official scout-sniper MOS.

Within the MEU

A scout sniper platoon works directly for the battalion commander. They may be tasked to provide support to maneuver units or may operate separately.

Scout snipers include:

  • Spotter: Detects, observes, and confirms sniper targets, calculates the range and wind conditions on a given target, conducts reconnaissance and surveillance.
  • Sniper: Delivers long-range precision fire on selected targets, conducts reconnaissance and surveillance.

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Featured photo courtesy of Global Military Review