USMC Sniper Shortage

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by USMCGrunt, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    I was very surprised and disappointed to read these articles. This should be a coveted role that hard chargers are lining up for. It brings together the best marksmanship, tactics, and field skills to create a real force multiplier. I am not sure why the USMC is facing a shortfall of snipers but I am confident they will figure it out without softening the course.

    https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/ne...hy-the-corps-could-lose-its-next-urban-fight/

    https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/ne...any-marines-are-washing-out-of-sniper-school/

    https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/ne...r-snipers-than-the-marines/?utm_source=clavis
     
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  2. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    I believe the drop rate is causing the shortage. Why that is happening, I don't know. I like the idea of splitting the course by sending the student back to the operational environment to work with seasoned snipers and then returning to finish training. A retired sniper in one of the articles mentioned he went to a regimental pre-course before reporting to the COI and he stated the graduation rate was higher among those who did that compared to the Marines who did not.

    The idea of making 0317 a primary MOS might work but will be met with resistance by old timers. Sending Marines from boot camp to sniper school without time in the Fleet will not be popular. I had a similar situation when I was the head of training for the Navy's operational medical NECs when that billet was at BUMED. We had shortages in both IDCs and preventive medicine technicians. I couldn't do this with IDCs but got approval to send PMT students straight from A school to PMT school. I got major blow back from both the Fleet and the schoolhouse but we looked at the billet full, or the billet empty. Most people started to realize they would rather have a body rather than not.
     
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  3. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

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    Great comments @Devil Doc. Back in the dark ages, we had a mandatory Regimental pre-course as described and I think that is a great practice to renew. I also like the suggestion of breaking the school into parts but they need to figure out how to address the issue of training a late-tour Marine only to have him separate shortly after graduation. I don't like the 0317 primary MOS approach for the reasons noted.
     
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  4. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    Another good recommendation is when the scout sniper Marine makes SSgt, he should acquire the 0369 MOS while maintaining 0317 and still be able to perform as an infantry leader and continue as a trigger puller from his hide. Chris Kyle was a Chief for goodness sake when he was creating pink mist in Iraq. The commandant has been known for shaking things up so maybe he will take some of my recommendations. He has not asked me yet so I don't know.
     
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  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Do washouts get a chance to recycle through the training? Seems like that might help in honing skills.
    Not that I have any experience with this but @Devil Doc 's last comment on MOS seems to have merit. Doc, maybe you should be writing letters to the Commandant? :D
     
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  6. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    I'm not sure about the recycling question. I think that would be something to help cut attrition. I know the students who do not pass the infantry officer course first time get to stay at Camp Barrett to work on their deficiencies and try again.

    I actually know General Neller from years ago at Camp Lejeune. My son and I saw him and his son, also a Marine officer, a few years ago at the Alexandria Coast Guard station gym. Maybe I'll drop him an email. Or not. I'm too lazy and enjoying my snow day off.
     
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  7. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012 5-Year Member

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    A couple things:

    -Many of the hard-chargers who maybe in the past would have sought out scout sniper may instead be looking to MARSOC. In a semi-peacetime Marine Corps, the idea for a lot of Marines of going through a grueling selection process to still end up just doing ITX and WESTPAC floats is not appealing. The idea of instead joining a community where there's big boy rules, a higher chance of getting some, and higher prestige seems to be more appealing.

    -Maintaining a 0317 BMOS as an 0369 does not necessarily make sense to me (obvious caveat: not a grunt). The Chris Kyle analogy isn't a great one. A SSgt 0369 generally will have more direct troop leadership responsibilities in an infantry platoon than a SNCO SEAL in a SEAL team.

    -Sending Marines from boot camp direct to scout sniper seems like a way to not set those Marines up for success. Pre-screening at lower level units seems like a much better method.
     
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  8. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    @Hurricane12 I'm not a grunt either but was assigned to them three times in 26 years. What do you think a CPO, not SNCO, in a SEAL platoon or detachment does? Direct troop leadership. Why couldn't a seasoned 0369/0317 SSgt perform sniper duties while assigned as platoon sergeant? With the shortage it may be that the employment/deployment of scout/snipers will have to move beyond the traditional TO of the STA platoon and other platoons within the battalions.