The US Navy SEAL Sniper Course: One of The Best in the World


SEAL sniper Navy SEAL sniper concealed in FFP (Final Firing Position)

My friend and Navy SEAL Chris Kyle's book, American Sniper, is getting a lot of media (as it should) since his book hit shelves yesterday. American Sniper is sure to be a massive best seller.

I thought I'd just briefly highlight the US Navy SEAL course requirements (in brief), as not too many people are aware that we have our own Navy SEAL sniper program.

For me, it was the highlight of my career when I was in charge of the US Navy SEAL sniper course as Course Manager during my last tour with the Teams.  The work the students were doing overseas to support not only SOF missions, but regular Army and USMC was just fantastic. Chris talks about that in our Kit Up interview with him (click the above link).

Brandon Webb's personal 300 Win Mag

Here's a quick look at highlights and some past writing on the subject. I'll post more on actual sniper gear on Kit Up soon!

SEAL Sniper Course Highlights

  • Approx. 3 months in length

  • Must qualify expert (again) to start the course. If you don't, see you later....

  • Comms and Digital Photo course prior to Field Craft Phase (2 weeks), and focus is on Field Intel gathering and communication skills.

  • Scout phase includes stalking and field craft (integrated digital photography Recon work).  Graded stalks and advanced marksmanship begin. (~4 weeks)

  • Sniper phase includes advanced ballistics, mental management training, practical shooting and testing. We test them with stationary and moving targets and individual skills out to 1000 yards in high wind (~7 weeks)

The one thing that I would say really separates the SEAL course from the pack is the comprehensive curriculum and length of training (compare it to other courses and you'll see).  Also, graduates are tested and trained to operate as smart individual shooters (most of our missions utilize single snipers).  This is a departure from the traditional shooter/spotter pair training methodology.

One thing for certain is that the SEAL sniper can self spot and make rapid assessments of where to place the next shot ALL without a spotter.  You would not want to be on the other end of the equation with most military snipers, especially a Navy SEAL trained one..

Excerpt from Brandon's article on Becoming a Sniper MAXIM UK.

"The 21st Century Sniper is a mature, intelligent shooter who leverages technology to his deadly advantage. He has spent thousands of hours honing his skills. He is a master of concealment in all environments, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the crowded streets of Iraq. He is trained in science and left alone to create the unique art of the kill. To the sniper, the battlefield is like a painter's blank canvas. It is his job to simultaneously utilize tools, training and creativity to deliver devastating psychological impact upon the battlefield. And it is he alone that is left with the intimacy of the kill.

What does it take to make a Navy SEAL sniper? The SEAL course is arguably best in class. It is the most challenging and technically advanced course in the world. Just looking at the accomplishments of the course graduates is justification enough. Few people outside of US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) know this of course. What you will not read about on Wikipedia or anywhere else, is that the Navy SEALs currently have the most accomplished sniper in SOCOM, with over one hundred confirmed kills to his credit." -Brandon

An excerpt from Brandon's article from MAXIM UK: Hunting Pirates

"In seconds the situation has been handled with finality.  The pirates did not suffer because they were shot with precision.  It is a clean death, unlike what most of us will encounter in this life." -Brandon

"The Only Easy Day was Yesterday"-Brandon out.

Brandon is the former US Navy SEAL Sniper Course Manager and coauthor of The 21st Century Sniper.

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