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Marine Snipers Dig in Deep


Marine Corps Sniper

Lance Cpl. Jared Shaver, a scout sniper with Weapons Co., 2/3, MCB Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, keeps a low profile and moves slowly across a field as he attempts to move in close to the observers in order to fire off one deadly shot.

Official USMC Photo
Updated September 03, 2003

The Marine Corps sniper has covered his face with paint that resembles the natural surroundings about him, and he is covered with grass from the field in which he is hiding.

Less than 300 yards away is an enemy considered to be armed and dangerous. The sniper must get even closer to him to get the perfect shot and eliminate the threat the enemy poses.

"One shot, one kill," he repeats in his mind as he zeros his sights in on the unsuspecting enemy.

Similarly, scout snipers with Weapons Co., 2nd Bn., 3rd Marine Regiment, aboard MCB Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, could be within 50 yards of you, and you would never know - until it was too late.

They have endured countless treacherous realms of training in which they have had to lay dormant for hours on end battling the natural forces of blistering heat, creepy insects and sharpened thorns as they prove themselves worthy of the title "scout sniper."

August 20, these scout snipers from Weapons Co., 2/3, found themselves on the Waipia Peninsula conducting stalking exercises in an effort to keep their skills sharp and to give Marines coming from line companies the chance to have a first-hand look at the life of a scout sniper before they begin the Scout Sniper School.

As the Hawaiian sun pounded furiously on the ground below, the Weapons Co., 2/3, scout snipers worked hand in hand with the trainees. They demonstrated the proper way to approach enemy undetected.

Their enemy in the situation was another scout sniper who was playing the role of an observer. His eyes are trained to catch the slightest unnatural disturbance in the environment around him.

Snipers moved within 200 yards of the observer's position and fired off one blank round without being detected. After the sniper fired the round, the observer held up a miscellaneous object. It was identified by the sniper hidden on the ground below. His shot proved he could have actually taken a clear and focused aim on the trainee.

"We must conduct training like we did today at least once a month, and sometimes more than that, in order to keep the Marines' stalking skills sharp," said 1st Lt. Colby Barrett, scout sniper platoon commander with Weapons Co., 2/3. "We are also trying to get the Marines who are preparing to go to Scout Sniper School ready for what lies ahead. They are learning today that being able to stalk the enemy and go undetected is the hardest part of the training."

The following day, Aug. 21, the Marines' training continued as they divided into offensive and defensive teams. The defense sat in still positions and located offensive teams as they approached.

The defensive teams could not move, but they possessed two advantages in their favor - two observers who were looking over the area in which they were hiding.

The only way the offense could claim victory was if it could shoot both observers or locate the defensive teams and destroy them.

The defense had to locate the offensive team as it approached, or allow the offensive team's four-hour time limit to expire.

"This is even better training because they will not know the positions of any teams as they search the area for them," said Sgt. Gerald Eggers, platoon sergeant with Scout Sniper Platoon, Weapons Co., 2/3. "This is a challenge intended to sharpen their skills as snipers."

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