By Buddy Blouin
The Marine Sniper role isn’t going away, but it is headed for a drastic change. Since World War II, the Scout Sniper Platoon has been an elite unit for the U.S. Marine Corps that helps with everything from effectively taking out enemies from long range to providing necessary recon while remaining undetected. It’s a valuable position that requires a host of dedication and skill. However, as the Marines continue to evolve, what it means to be a sniper in the Marines is also changing. Learn more about the changes and what the future has in store.

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The Marine Scout Sniper Platoon Is Going Away

The Corps is ditching Marine Scout Sniper Platoons as the branch continues to transform. Yes, there will still be specific schools and snipers in the Marine Corps, but it will look a bit different than it has before. Scout Snipers work in pairs. There are spotters and shooters who both must move using stealth and understand intense skills through high-level training to hit targets from a distance and/or provide valuable information through reconnaissance. Additionally, they are also used to help protect military bases and embassies around the world for the United States. Wargames are conducted to help our military plan and it was discovered that the new infantry battalions can’t conduct the type of missions required of Scout Sniper Platoons through all-weather conditions. Now, Scout Platoons with 26 Marines are replacing Scout Sniper Platoons for infantry battalions. This will consist of four teams featuring six infantry who are led by a First Lieutenant and Infantry Gunnery Sergeant. As war with China looms and tensions in Europe continue to intensify, the U.S. has been looking at its fighting force. Changes are being made in order to ensure that the future of America remains one of safety and freedom. The Marine sniper transformation is all a part of it.

What Sniper Rifle Does the Marines Use?

It’s hard to say what the future holds for the Marine sniper position, or rather, it’s hard to understand what Marine sniper rifle the branch will be holding in the future. As Marine Corps snipers test new rifles, this was an effort that was tied to the now-canned Force Design 2030. Should the plans continue, however, the Mk22 Mod 0 Advanced Sniper Rifle is a bolt action, precision rifle system looking to take on the task.

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This is possibly the plan for replacing M40A6 and Mk13 Mod 7 rifles and reducing inventory while keeping the Marine Corps a lethal force. It would improve the efficiency of Marines by reducing the sniper rifle inventory from four to three. “It's definitely more efficient. Rather than putting one gun away and getting the next gun out, we can quickly change the barrels, and then we only have to carry ammunition and that extra barrel, not an entire extra gun and extra magazines,” said Sniper Instructor School Marksmanship Instructor, Sgt. Christopher Frazier. But no matter what happens with the rifle, the Marine Scout Sniper is facing its own major shake-up. Since 1943, the Scout Sniper Platoon as we know it is no more.

How to Become a Marine Sniper

Becoming a USMC Scout Sniper means you’re going to have to have the skills and training necessary. Thankfully, you’re going to receive such training at the Marine Sniper School. Passing the Marine Scout Sniper Course will allow students to become Marine Corps Scout Snipers. Technically, there are several different sniper schools, including those at Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, and Marine Corps Base Quantico. The Scout Sniper Basic Course may feel like an eternity because it lasts for 12.5 weeks. Several basic requirements exist. You’re going to have to be an expert shot with a rifle, possess a rank from Lance Corporal (E-3) to Captain (O-3), have vision correctable to 20/20 in both eyes, and be capable of scoring a First Class Physical Fitness Test, among other things. Qualifications can vary from unit to unit, but if you’re interested in becoming part of one of the deadliest forces known to man, speaking with your Commanding Officer can help you develop a career path toward becoming a Marine sniper.

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