Read part one here.

Following our initial introduction and preliminary course of fire on the first day, the overall course structure was roughly laid out and presented to us, as students attending the sniper training. It was a course that consisted of a focus on marksmanship principles with long distance application paired with camouflaging and target stalking exercises. This was great because it sort of encompasses some of the skill sets required and utilized by a small reconnaissance element, so we already had some partial experience. Many of our fellow students, we had already brushed shoulders with while operating forward of our respective friendly lines. We would creep between outposts through dense brush and abandoned houses, occasionally meeting a pair of shooters equipped with long-range precision equipment. Their steely eyes watching us carefully as we progressed through their “territory”on the way to an objective.

Of course marksmanship is huge in any sniper school and my Marine Corps background and affinity for shooting in general gave me a big head-start here. Even as a basically trained Marine, we are expected to accurately engage targets out to 500 meters, with iron sights (in my time) on an M-16 service rifle. Most people will tell you that adding an optic, a free floated barrel and hair-trigger to that equation equals a dangerous marksman. During the sniper course we practiced a constant refinement of the basic fundamentals of marksmanship; grip, stance, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger manipulation, and follow through. Without these all being applied together, your shooting is generally shit; except for maybe stance, but that’s at an advanced level.