When a civilian looks toward the armed services recruiting center they weigh their options. Those that look toward the army want to become Rangers, the Navy, SEALs. However, when an applicant walks into the Marine recruiting center, they think Scout Sniper. Most with very high hopes and confidence until the day they get off the bus.
The MOS of the Marine Scout Sniper is shrouded in myth. Perpetuated by our rich history of the Marine and his Rifle. The word Rifle is capitalized because Marines learn them as a brother. A Marine and their Rifle are apart of each other, symbiotically in essence. One relies on the other to keep them clean and ready, the other to defend their life in the field of battle. Furthermore, Marines are deadlier because of them.
One story recounts what one man can do with a Rifle. Widely read on the Commandant’s Reading List is Rifleman Dodd, by C.S. Forrester, which recounts the Peninsular Campaign in the Napoleonic War. The hero, Rifleman Matthew Dodd, is detached from his unit and defies all odds to effectively wage war and evade enemy capture. The book ends in conclusion with Rifleman Dodd getting back to his unit. Furthermore, the book depicts a resolute image of the Marine Rifleman.
As a Scout Sniper, being a Rifleman is taken to another level. With more capabilities for reconnaissance , their mission is not merely to “locate, close with, and destroy the enemy.” A Scout Sniper must “Conduct close reconnaissance and surveillance operations in order to gain intelligence from the enemy.” This requires a team to insert swiftly and silently into the midst of hostile territory.
GySgt Carlos “White Feather” Hathcock
GySgt Carlos Hathcock, one of the Marine Corps most renown Snipers, set the tone for the current Marine Corps Scout Sniper MOS. He was a part of a top secret mission, deep behind enemy lines. He crawled through the tall grass in the jungle for three days in order to get a good bead on his target. Carlos Hathcock was bit by a viper, 350 fire-ants and was almost “stepped on” by an NVA on patrol. After the third day he put “one” well aimed shot at the NVA 2-Star General’s chest. Amidst the chaos and confusion that followed, he was able to escape and extract from hostile territory. As a result, Carlos Hathcock’s methodical patience served as an example to future Scout Snipers.
Scout Sniper Stigma
Scout Sniper’s are glamorized in movies like Sniper, or Shooter; both with characters that served in the Marine Corps. A very realistic approach is taken in the movie Jarhead, which is Anthony Swafford’s personal account as a Scout Sniper in Operation Desert Storm. However, some took their knowledge and have used it for evil. Lee Harvey Oswald, an expert marksman in the Marine Corps years ended the life of former President John F. Kennedy. Charles Whitman, another Marine who used their talents for evil, was the infamous Austin shooter. Whitman barricaded himself in the 28th floor of an observation tower in Austin, Texas. As a result he was able to kill 14 people and wound 32 others in a 90-minute period.
The deadly efficiency of the Marine and their Rifle comes with a powerful stigma from the public. Due to the refined skill and prowess of the Marine Scout Snipers have filled the imaginations of the American public. They have glamorized and demonized in film. Yet one fact remains the same. No one can operate on their level of surgical precision in warfare.
There is mixed feelings about the Marine and his Rifle. One thing is certain. The Rifle and the Marine are effective. In addition, the Marine Corps Scout Sniper provides reconnaissance and surgically precise shots on the battlefield. They operate as an invisible shadow before their enemy.
Our team of Marines at Devil Dog Shirts understands the importance of Scout Snipers. We know what kind of pain they bring the enemy on the field of battle. This is why our next design is dedicated to them. The Scout Sniper Hunter of Gunman Coin and the Scout Sniper MOS Coin.