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  • Sniper Shortage

    So they are having a hard time getting people to pass the course.......

    https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/new...sniper-school/

    I don't think the solution decided upon is the answer.
    "...But they would never find anything to beat the old Springfield ...the long sleek streamline, very slim but with potent bulges, all in the just exactly right places to give it that pugnaciously forward-leaning, eager look that marked the Springfield. Beside it, the M1 looked like a fat old man puffing with a lack of training...the two most beautiful things made in America were the ax-handle and the clipper ship? ...they should have added one more thing: The Springfield '03 rifle..."

  • #2
    Along the same lines, earlier this year....
    http://www.businessinsider.com/chang...snipers-2017-2

    Making 0317 a primary MOS is pretty stupid, IMHO, unless there's some requirement that the recruit be dropped from the MOS immediately upon failing to qualify as Expert in boot camp. As we all know, not everyone qualifies Expert.

    That's not to say, though, that those who do not qualify Expert are necessarily mediocre shooters. Often, weather conditions on the day of qualification can make or break the scores. Sometimes it takes more than one range session to learn the individual's true overall marksmanship capabilities, and you end up having to wait a year to get the chance to prove yourself again. But, it's an utter waste of time and money to take a recruit who will never be anything but a Marksman and put him through Scout/Sniper training just because he signs up for it as his primary.

    Marksmanship is the easiest skill to measure in a candidate's assessment. One doesn't shoot Expert by chance. Proficiency in marksmanship should be demonstrated and proven before a Marine (or recruit) should even be considered for a Scout Sniper billet.
    You can take a Marine out of the Corps, but you can't take the Corps out of a Marine.

    Comment


    • #3
      Doesnt bode well.

      Whats wrong with kids these days that there cant be found enough of them that not only have the desire to do the job but the ability to be trained to do the job.

      Im disheartened that it appears the Marine Corps, well Neller anyway, is throwing his hands in the air and admitting that the USMC system of training is unable to train a basically trained Marine to be a Scout Sniper.

      As the USMC moves away from traditional basic marksmanship to combat optics I think that will hurt rather than help and that seems counterintuitive as you would think the move from one style optic to another would be an easier transition but I dont think that is the case. There will be less of a strong foundation to build new skills upon.

      I remember guaranteed Corporal contracts produced Corporals everyone was pretty suspect of even if they did turn out okay. Guaranteed snipers seems a recipe to destroy the esprit of something earned.

      but what do I know I dont like the idea of guaranteed SEAL either.

      Somethings need to be earned even if its just getting your foot in the door. The experience of earning it later brings value to the rest of the unit. What is a never deployed 6 month boot going to bring to a scout sniper platoon?
      "...But they would never find anything to beat the old Springfield ...the long sleek streamline, very slim but with potent bulges, all in the just exactly right places to give it that pugnaciously forward-leaning, eager look that marked the Springfield. Beside it, the M1 looked like a fat old man puffing with a lack of training...the two most beautiful things made in America were the ax-handle and the clipper ship? ...they should have added one more thing: The Springfield '03 rifle..."

      Comment


      • #4
        The foundation of the problem from my perspective is the change in youth. We grew up outside in the woods, chasing animals, getting scratched and bruised. Later hunting and/or shooting sports.

        Now that guns are evil no one sees one until they are in service. How many even know what a sight picture is?

        yes snipers are cool bad ass dudes but they probably all have some pre-service foundation.

        And and I have no idea on this, but wat about opening it to women? Historically some of the deadliest snipers were women. Particularly the old Russian program. Maybe that would help.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you ask me that is the intended direction with this.

          Keep standards high and they pass on merit I'm all behind it.

          Water down standards and they get in based on their sex, why not just shoot every 4th guy in a platoon because dead Marines is the end result any way.

          Im not really a fan of the current CUSMC and I base that on a dumb little incident at last years USMC Birthday luncheon. He struck me as a PC puppet.

          Sorry for the disrespect to the CUSMC as well criticizing a guy that has managed a career since the late 70s, I really know nothing of him but I'm certain he is no AM Gray.
          "...But they would never find anything to beat the old Springfield ...the long sleek streamline, very slim but with potent bulges, all in the just exactly right places to give it that pugnaciously forward-leaning, eager look that marked the Springfield. Beside it, the M1 looked like a fat old man puffing with a lack of training...the two most beautiful things made in America were the ax-handle and the clipper ship? ...they should have added one more thing: The Springfield '03 rifle..."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by J!m View Post
            And and I have no idea on this, but wat about opening it to women? Historically some of the deadliest snipers were women. Particularly the old Russian program. Maybe that would help.
            How about not! Until our shores are breached and we are fighting from our own rubble, there's absolutely no good reason to have women in combat, and too many good reasons not to.
            You can take a Marine out of the Corps, but you can't take the Corps out of a Marine.

            Comment


            • #7
              Russia no longer has women snipers as far I know.

              That kind of petered out after crossing into Poland the second time and continuing to truck west of their border.
              "...But they would never find anything to beat the old Springfield ...the long sleek streamline, very slim but with potent bulges, all in the just exactly right places to give it that pugnaciously forward-leaning, eager look that marked the Springfield. Beside it, the M1 looked like a fat old man puffing with a lack of training...the two most beautiful things made in America were the ax-handle and the clipper ship? ...they should have added one more thing: The Springfield '03 rifle..."

              Comment


              • #8
                This is nothing new......the attrition rate has always been extremely high. I can promise you as I have almost daily contact with our Nations deadliest Corp. of Snipers that they are by far some of the most intelligent and physically fit and knowledgable Snipers on the battle field today.
                Like I said, the attrition rate has always been high. My basic course started with 28 guys and we graduated 10. The cariculum these "men" have to go through is mind boggling.....The amount of knowledge these guys have to study and written test out of is absolutely crazy. This is besides all of the "Basic" physical field skills they have to pass...ie, mission planning, Stalking, site selection, weapons qualification, range estimation (non tech based), urban, and wooded hide construction, observation skills, field communication skills, patrolling in both wooded and urban enviro.,..etc,etc,etc.
                and then all the tech. based equipment they employ daily. Then the physical thrashing they take allllllllll day long.
                One of the biggest hurdles they/we had to deal with was the Corp. its self. Getting unit commanders to let go of their best guys to take the Indoc. for SS platoons is at times almost impossible. I had to literally request mass all the way to the BC just to get the chance to take the Indoc. and after that, once I passed and was accepted by the Chief Scout and the Platoon, "my" platoon commander still refused to let me go saying that" he was never advised he had to allow me go to STA". Only that i was clear to take the Indoc. Sooooo again, request mass had to requested and the Chief Scout had to get involved and made it happen.
                Ask anyone that has been through the SSBC and they will tell you that it is by far one of the toughest if not the toughest courses in the entire Corp. Both mentally and physically. It will humble the toughest and smartest of men. Because of this, the attrition rate is always high. With this being said. When a guy washes out of a course, that doesn't necessarily mean he is done. Many times a guys will struggle with an event or written testable portion of the course and are bounced but are paneled by the Cadre and many times aloud a chance to return to the next course to go through again (retread). Often times Smoking it and doing exceptionally well.

                There are allot of changes going on within the SS community right now regarding re organization, training, unit and training structure etc. Some of it good and some of it, ...weeell, its to be seen. This is nothing new to our community.
                The Sniper community has always been the bastards within the Corp. You can and will hear this from just about any Marine Sniper you come across. "Your never wanted or accepted, until your needed".
                The SS community is always in a constant state of re org. contention regarding how or what to do with them. I feel this will never change.
                I don't sweat this. We/they will persevere as they always have.
                I can promise you one thing...... They/we have stood the test of time for almost a century and are still surviving. They will be fine.
                I can also guarantee you one thing though....lolol.....They know what "Sight alignment" is...lolol ;-)

                Comment


                • J!m
                  J!m commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sorry you misunderstood my sight picture comments completely.

              • #9
                That is good to hear that the water is rolling off the ducks back.

                Still you want history to be one of ever evolving improvement and travel toward the ideal not a retrograde movement that throws a wrench in the works.

                Im not saying that's happening but whats so hard about the doctrine of "Lets make things better for these guys not worse" ?
                "...But they would never find anything to beat the old Springfield ...the long sleek streamline, very slim but with potent bulges, all in the just exactly right places to give it that pugnaciously forward-leaning, eager look that marked the Springfield. Beside it, the M1 looked like a fat old man puffing with a lack of training...the two most beautiful things made in America were the ax-handle and the clipper ship? ...they should have added one more thing: The Springfield '03 rifle..."

                Comment


                • #10
                  Don't relax the standards.....perhaps primary mos after completing the entire course with a mandatory extension to equal 4 yrs of enlistment once the course is passed and now is achieved with no automatic change in mos at staff sgt. Mos changes could be requested after each period of enlistment.
                  Last edited by Hawk; 12-11-2017, 12:52 PM. Reason: Spelling error

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    One thing you have to keep in mind. By no means is any Marine in the Corp. to better himself. You are there to better the Corp and the Corp. only. If it doesn't better the corp. Then it will not happen. Proven fact.
                    Case in point. If you are a 03 and have reached the end of your enlistment without reaching E-6. You are required to do what is called a "B" billet (recruiting duty or the Drill field). Unless you have lateraled into the special operations community, you will be required to do one or the other. If you decide you don't want ether....DD214 and out is your only option.
                    Are there exceptions? Sure. But the exception is not the standard.
                    Hence, you will better the Corp of you are out.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by J!m View Post
                      The foundation of the problem from my perspective is the change in youth. We grew up outside in the woods, chasing animals, getting scratched and bruised. Later hunting and/or shooting sports.

                      I was recently listening to a podcast and heard a former USMC Sniper talking about being the opposite of conservative because, you know, "I'm from the Bronx(or Brooklyn, I forget which). His overall tone and comments led me to believe he is one of the above mentioned youth that never saw woods or guns until he went into service. Granted, I don't know anything about him, his service or his beliefs but he sure didn't seem like a Carlos or Chuck. Cliché I know but those guys refined, if not set the pattern for the modern sniper whereas what info/videos/audio is available about new snipers seems to indicate an almost 'weekend warrior' mentality as though it's just something to do that isn't run of the mill Marine-ing. I am looking from 41 year old eyes with memories of 1994 basic/SOI timeframe I admit. I guess too much Xbox/PlayStation, crap television and urban warfare has 'changed the secret ingredients' so to speak so that MAYBE, I said MAYBE current sniper candidates are more in it for prestige/bragging rights than in it because they are 'good in the woods'. Hell, maybe urban areas ARE the new 'woods' and these Xbox addicts are more suited to that than Carlos or Chuck would be.

                      I apologize to any current/former Marines as I meam no disrespect. Just my opinion based on somewhat limited available evidence and observations.

                      Comment


                      • SemperFi
                        SemperFi commented
                        Editing a comment
                        "Hell, maybe urban areas ARE the new 'woods' and these Xbox addicts are more suited to that than Carlos or Chuck would be."

                        I had the same thoughts.

                    • #13
                      The below quote re the shortage of USMC scout-snipers does not quite square with the 2016 article that was posted on this forum in early 2017:

                      "The graduation rate for scout snipers school for the past several years has been down significantly. An uptick in 2016 bumped the graduation rate to about 44 percent; but that remains well below the nearly 56 percent graduation rate in 2012, according to Training Command."

                      ....now compare that quote to the spring 2016 issue of Sniper magazine and this early 2017 post re the Scout-Sniper program at Camp Pendleton:

                      https://www.m40rifle.com/forum/gener...course-article

                      The magazine interviewed Staff Sgt Matthew Solowynsky, a 10-year veteran of the USMC, and sniper instructor. He noted the success rate of the scout-sniper program has increased over the past two years, to 60%, up from 50% previously.

                      "Question: How does the Corps account for the increase?
                      Answer: Students are not shooting at as many yard lines per day, but they are shooting the same number of rounds. We had noticed when they were not hitting the target they only had five rounds to fix the problem, which may not be enough to determine the problem.

                      Now, they are shooting from two to three yard lines per day and shooting more rounds, so we have more time to sit with each student. This gives us the change to say, for example, "On the last three shots, you did this." The problem could be fixed by correcting a bad wind call or a bad body adjustment. More rounds at each yard line enables us to see what they did right and wrong. Before we did not have enough time to identify that connection."



                      ....so I am kind-of wondering if the pass rates vary greatly b/t the east coast and west coast programs? I have no insights, but I found the difference b/t the 2016 vs 2017 articles some what odd....

                      FWIW, the very first USMC east coast scout sniper school at Camp Lejeune, NC in early 1943 had 22 enrollees, of which 13 graduated, and 9 did not. So the pass rate from the very first WWII USMC scout-sniper training program back in April 1943 was 59%. (Source: Peter Senich, US Marine Corps Scout-Sniper: World War II and Korea (1993), pages 171-172)

                      Obviously the program was very different way back in the mid-1940s, but my guess is that enrollment in the scout-sniper program may "ebb and flow" a little bit based on level of conflict during the given era. I'm not an expert re this topic, but I wonder if the essence of the issue is a classical recruitment and retention issue as opposed to a training/curriculum-related issue. Anyhow, I found the 'tone' of the 2017 vs the 2016 articles very different. My 2cts worth.
                      Last edited by Random Guy; 12-11-2017, 10:14 AM.

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                      • #14
                        "The eligibility requirements and training requirements have not been made more difficult."

                        Maybe not, but I would think that attrition rate can also be due to a lessening of time given to fulfill training requirements.

                        "To earn the scout sniper military occupational specialty, infantry Marines must currently complete a three-week indoctrination course..."

                        vs.

                        " 'As an example, before I went to school, I went through a regimental pre-sniper course, which was six weeks long,' Wojcik said in an recent interview."

                        Is the "indoctrination course" the same thing as a "pre-sniper" course? If so, then it seems the course has changed, even if the requirements have not.
                        You can take a Marine out of the Corps, but you can't take the Corps out of a Marine.

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