After a slew of misreporting on the identity of the shooter who was responsible for taking the lives of five police officers in Dallas last night, we finally know that it was Texas native Micah X. Johnson.
Ever since the shooting first began, major social media outlets have been reporting that “a sniper” was firing on the officers, and the label still has not been dropped. As a former Army Ranger, I have served with and continue to be friends with many who are or were snipers. They are incredibly intelligent and emotionally mature people who elected to take on a difficult job on behalf of our nation. Many have gone on to attend and graduate Ivy League schools, become positive assets to their communities, and raise beautiful families.
Micah X. Johnson was not, in any way, a sniper.
What is a sniper? A sniper is a very specific duty position within a military, para-military, or law enforcement unit. The U.S. Army Field Manual 23-10 Sniper Training states that:
“The sniper has special abilities, training and equipment. His job is to deliver discriminatory highly accurate rifle fire against enemy targets, which cannot be engaged successfully by the rifleman because of range, size, location, fleeting nature, or visibility.”
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Image courtesy of DoD