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09-09-08, 10:28 AM #1
Scout Sniper/Recon/MARSOC Information
This information is for those individuals (Poolee, Marine Friends, Recon wannabes) looking for information on the United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper. This information is free to you to assimilate and use on your goal of becoming one of the Marine Corps best.
Scout Sniper (MOS 0317, formerly 8541) is a specialist in the United States Marine Corps whose mission is to deny the enemy freedom of movement by neutralizing enemy leaders, crew-served weapons operators, radiomen, observers, messengers, and other key personnel with single, well-aimed shots. In addition, scout snipers also provide close reconnaissance and surveillance to the infantry battalion. Scout Snipers attached to Marine infantry battalions fall under the Surveillance and Target Acquisition units, usually a reduced platoon with the headquarters company. Scout/Sniper also refers to a member of a U.S. Army Reconnaissance platoon's sniper section; though unlike the Marine position, this is not a designated MOS but rather a position denoted on the individual unit's MTOE. Scout/Snipers are typically found in the Recon platoon of the infantry Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), or interspersed into Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition (RSTA) squadrons and troops.
Surveillance and Target Acquisition or S.T.A snipers were United States Marine Corps units used primarily for information-gathering. Taking out hard targets and enemy personnel was not their main priority, although it was a secondary option.Typically, each STA team had two members, the team leader equipped with a long-range, specially-made sniper rifle such as the M40 and a high-power spotting scope. The other team member would be equipped with an SASR (Special Application Scoped Rifle), usually in the .50 caliber class such as the M82A1, to give commanders the option of taking out heavy equipment or heavily armored targets. This type of team could be effective at a range of up to 1.25 miles if the environment was right. They would be part of a Scout Sniper Platoon (SSP) that would have 8-10 of these teams, some of which would be specially suited for night operations and fully capable of operating in complete darkness through use of specially made night vision scopes and infrared laser equipment.
The United States Marine Corps has officially phased out the name "Surveillance and Target Acquisition," and now uses the more generic phrase "Scout Sniper Platoon."
Anthony Swofford's experiences as an STA sniper are recounted in his book, Jarhead, and the 2005 film of the same name. Swafford was a Marine that is not to be looked upon with admiration. He had a bad attitude, some much disregard for his fellow Marine and simply could not make the Marine Corps a career. The movie is just that, a Hollywood production with very little resemblance to real world applications
THE FOLLOWING PREREQUISITES MUST BE MET BY THE REPORTING MARINE OR HE WILL BE RETURNED TO HIS UNIT:
1. Lance Corporal through Captain.
2. Infantry MOS or MOS 0203.
3. Vision correctable to 20/20 in both eyes. Color blindness is discouraged.
4. Serving in or designated for assignment to a Scout Sniper billet.
5. Minimum of 12 months remaining on current contract upon completion of course (Does not apply to reservist)
6. Must score a First Class PFT on course convene date.
7. Current rifle Expert. Must have qualified in the last fiscal year. [/font]
(Reservist can have a score three years old, but must be current Expert)
8. No courts martials or NJP within the last six months.
9. Minimum GT of 100.
10. No history of mental illness.
11. Must be a volunteer.
12. It is HIGHLY recommended, but not required, for the student to have completed the following MCI courses: Land Navigation, Patrolling, Calling and Adjusting Supporting Arms, and Reconnaissance Marine. It is also recommended but not required that the student have conducted basic Scout Sniper field skills: stalks, consealment, field sketches, range cards, range estimations, and firing of the M-40A1 prior to attending the course. Students should also posses a high degree of maturity, equanimity, and common sense.
13. Bottom line: the best, most experienced infantry you can send.
Marine Corps PFT: For a perfect score: 3 mile run in 18 minutes, 20 deadhang pull-ups(No Swinging), 100 sit-up/crunchs under two minutes. Swim Qual: 500 meter swim using side or breast stroke, 50 meter swim holding a weight out of water, tread water for 30 seconds holding a weight out of water, no signs of panic.
Two of the better ways of becoming a Scout/Sniper are through a Recon unit or an Infantry Battalion. First join the Marine Corps with an Infantry MOS. While in Boot Camp you will need to shoot Expert on the rifle range, become at least a second class swimmer and score a high first class PFT. Upon completion of Infantry training you will be given the opportunity to volunteer for Recon or Force Recon. If you successfully complete their indoc you will be sent to a Recon unit where you will first qualify as a Recon Marine then given the opportunity to volunteer for Scout/Sniper School. BN Recon and Force Recon have school seats assigned to them for every S/S School.
The following are 2 excellent web links that have a wealth of information of what you have to do now to get a chance at becoming a Scout Sniper;
09-10-08, 06:30 PM #2
I would like to add something from personal experience. The STA platoons in the 3 infantry battlions I was in were not made up of super rambo types but intelligent articulate sons a guns. Most made it there as initially starting out as 0341's. All infantry types are taught call for fire, map reading, terrain modeling etc. The 0341's live it. They know both ends of the the gun so to speak. Many are most successfull not by firing the weapon they carried into the field, but correctly calling in a much bigger gun. Some of the best and brightest in snipers didn't get there because they could do whatever monster PT you could think of, or shoot a flea off a gnats ass they got there because they were professionals.
09-10-08, 06:40 PM #3
Bulky is correct just in my one Battalion the majority of STA were 41's. We spend so much time with maps and doing math which is a strongpoint for Snipers it makes us better suited than 11's 31's and 51's
11-26-08, 11:24 AM #4
Within the past few years the UZ Recon Contract existed, guaranteeing you a shot at trying out for Recon training. I do not know if it still is around, but if you didn't make it you will go to an infantry unit as an 0311. I noticed this question asked early a few times. Don't worry, you won't be going to a non-infantry unit.
Currently, to become an 0321 Reconnaissance Marine the roadmap is as follows:
1. Boot camp
2. SOI (Infantry training battalion to become an 0311) Note: Lat move from non infantry MOS's now must earn the 0311 at SOI/ITB before going Recon.
3. MART - Marines Awaiting Reconnaissance Training...formerly called Pre-BRC, this used to be where we got our teeth kicked in above and below the water trying to earn a BRC school seat. I can't speak to the level of thrashing or the experience the student has at MART as this is a relatively new change.
4. BRC - Basic Reconnaissance Course...this is held at Camp Pendleton as is MART. You learn patrolling, communications, mission planning, reconnaissance skills, etc. Hopefully it's a gut check. After this you're an 0321 Recon Marine
You thought it was over? Think again. Once you're an 0321, you'll be assigned to a Recon unit. 1st Recon Bn at Pendleton, 2nd Recon Bn at LeJeune, or 3rd Recon Bn in Okinawa. Reservists will return to their respective reserve Recon unit. A few students have been sent to MARSOC after training, but don't count on it. They want experience...and not the kind you get at basic training and SOI.
When you arrive at your new duty station you will hopefully get some schooling, but there is no guarantee. I've met Marines who got out without even going to jump school or SERE. Most junior Recon Marines will go to Army Airborne (jump school) and earn his lead sleds (silver jump wings) and you'll probably go to SERE school. I wouldn't count on getting Combatant Diver before you deploy. It happens, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
Note: You absolutely WILL go to Pre-Dive...the most fun Recon Marines ever have in the pool...
Shoot expert on the range, be a stud physically, be smart, and be **** hot...you could get a seat at sniper school. Expect to be sent to Pre-Sniper first. Your performance there will determine if you get a seat. As a boot, you're competing against Marines who know what they're getting into, have combat experience, and are thirsty to earn the HOG's Tooth (you probably don't even know what that is yet) more than you can imagine. Don't let that discourage you. Work harder.
The standards are not the same as the used to be...these are the Marine Corps' bare minimum standards, not those of the Reconnaissance Community. Expect to be held to a higher standard than what the Marine Corps, adjacent units, and civilians expect of you. This is both in the physical sense and mentally. Train someone long enough anybody can do 20 pullups and run miles...can you think logically after you haven't slept in days?
If you're looking for the Hollywood lifestyle, this community isn't for you. Expect to be the first in and the last out...there isn't much glamour in humping a 150 pound ruck in the mountains. It isn't as sexy as you think.
If you wanna put in work...quit reading posts on the internet and sign your ass up...back to work for me.
11-29-08, 06:59 PM #5
Until you actually become a Marine and hit the fleet you don't know what your ultimate goal is. Everyone has these vivid dreams of being in MARSOC or Recon or STA PLT until they hit the fleet and see the type of **** these guys have to go through.
We got a SSgt who just checked into my unit from MARSOC, he was in the pipeline for two years just waiting on school seats to open up with no end in site and a deployment was nothing like a mere dream. He wanted to deploy so he got hooked up and came to my unit.
You want to do the cool stuff and actually deploy more than once in your lifetime, STA PLT is where it's at.
You may not realize it, but in the real Marine Corps no one cares if you're recon, MARSOC, whatever. Only thing that matters is experience and combat deployments and in a lot of cases that means more than rank.
12-31-08, 10:22 PM #6
Accord is right on. Besides, you're no asset to a MARSOC unit without a combat deployment or two anyways. And yes...you can enlist with a Recon Contract. All it guarantees you is a shot at the big game, not the MOS.
01-01-09, 10:48 AM #7
they want EXPERIENCED OPERATORS not straight outta boot pvt's and pfc's. the attrition rate for the recon indoc is ridicilously high and very,very,very few boots make it through.why not do 2 years as a grunt,gain valuable experience and learn from your mistakes and others so that when you do decide you want to go force recon,scout sniper deltarangerseal whatever,your prepared for it!
02-06-09, 05:53 PM #8
04-06-09, 07:36 PM #9
Sir, your posting was very informative. There are however some inaccuracies in your post…
1. You can request application to INDOC as a Pfc
2. Recon is no longer a prerequisite to 0317
3. Because of the mission requirements SS are critical path
I agree with everything that you said as it applies historically, but alas it seems things are a changing. I can’t tell you what the new mission statement is as of this date…but my son just pasted his INDOC last week. He’s a Pfc 17 years old, attached to 1/9 Bravo. They had 22 applicants they needed to fill 12 slots, 6 made it. From what I’m getting from him things have change a lot since my time
08-24-09, 11:56 AM #10
04-01-10, 01:38 PM #11
I will be enlisting in a couple of months and I have a question. I would like to go recon...... and I'm wondering if I should try to get the 0321 mos and then after SOI try to make it in Force Recon.... if I don't make it would I be put in the 0311 MOS?
Edited by Sgt Leprechaun for punctuation, clarity, brevity.
Last edited by Sgt Leprechaun; 04-03-10 at 06:53 PM. Reason: See above
04-03-10, 10:58 AM #12
Well, first off you need a GT score of 105 to even qualify for Recon. One can only hope that your typing skills aren't a representation of your intelligence.
There are a few different paths into Recon, most of them involve a lot of luck. If you really want to be Recon, I would suggest asking your recruiter about a UZ Reconnaissance Enlistment Option Contract. This contract will give you the opportunity to go to RIP and BRC after you complete ITB, provided you meet all the pre-requisites.
If your planning on getting screened during ITB, don't count on it. Not every class does...mine for instance did not, yet my buddy who lives next door was screened and got in that way. It's just a matter of if they have room or need more people in RTC at that particular time.
Assuming you make it to Reconnaissance Training Company (RTC), you will first be put into RIP, or MART, or whatever they are calling it at the time. There is more info on RIP HERE. After you complete your time in RIP, which could be any where from a day to a year, you will attend BRC, again assuming you didn't quit or get dropped.
If you graduate BRC, you will assigned to one of the 3 Recon BNs (Unless your a reservist), 1st Recon in Camp Pendleton, CA., 2nd Recon in Camp Lejeune, or 3rd Recon in Okinawa. Again, you have no say in this, it's just a matter of which BN needs people at the time. Usually the entire BRC class, or most of it, will go to one BN, but sometimes like one or two guys will go to say, NC, while the rest go to Pendleton.
As far as getting into 1st Force, don't count on it until you have had one or two deployments and are **** hot at whatever you do w/in your team. When Force was first stood back up in 07-08, a few classes went straight there to give it numbers, but all but a few were taken out and sent back to the "line" companies in the BN.
On a side note, before trying to get into Recon, you should take a few hours and research what exactly Recon does. It will probably surprise you. Were not high speed CAG operators, rappelling through windows dual wielding MP5s with side mounted rocket launchers. A typical Recon (training) mission usually envolves carrying 100+ lb packs, moving long distances up big ass hills, then staring at a certain object or location for however long, not getting your extract, having to E&E for miles with all your gear, and finally getting picked up or RTB completely exhausted, dehydrated, malnourished, and sleep deprived. Your feet will probably be pretty ****ed up too. Sometimes we will jump out of a helo into freezing water, before doing that as well.
Granted, we train for and conduct a huge variety of other missions as well, but that is a classic green side Reconnaissance mission.
If you think it sounds like fun, then by all means go for it. I can say that a lot of us love getting out in the field, despite the suck factor.
04-03-10, 06:54 PM #13
That is the absolute BEST, concise, and to the point answer I've seen yet about Recon. Congratuations, FS19, you just got a 'sticky'.
I weep for what this country is becoming, and fear for my children and grandchildren's future if any more democrats gain national office. We lose more and more freedoms every single day to creeping nannystatism and those who vote for Democrats only want to increase that. Anyone voting for a 'dem' is someone who likely wants to take everything YOU have worked for and mortgage your kids future as well.
The Malignant Leprechaun
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