Kit Up! was given the opportunity to follow students of the Army Special Forces Sniper Course during their culmination exercise at Fort Bragg a couple weeks ago.
One thing that's interesting about the SFSC is that it's the only school in the US military that trains for what is called "Level 1" sniping. Instructors there told me that means that a SFSC-trained sniper is allowed to kill targets on an objective where friendly forces are also present in close proximity.
A couple other things of note -- instructors said there's been a bit of a change in philosophy with SFSC recently. First, instructors don't wash out as many students as they once did during early shooting tests. As one MSG told me "we can make you a shooter." That puts extra demands on instructors who sometimes have to come in on weekends to make sure some of their less accurate students are getting that sub-minute of angle group.
Also, there's more reliance on technology and less class time devoted to the alchemy of divining the atmospheric conditions and all the other factors that go into calculating long range accuracy. Handheld computers and whiz wheels are now standard issue and since less time is devoted to arcane math, more time can be devoted to teaching all the other things that go into being a spec ops sniper.
Both moves were not without controversy, however, and the changed philosophy prompted some old-timers to leave the school, we're told. I know there will be many of the purists on this blog that think "modernizing" the sniper school philosophy is a bad thing -- and that's understandable. But the MSG who spoke to me about this and was the impetus for much of the change has a combat resume that's unimpeachable.
Check out the video and see first hand how these one shot killers learn their trade.