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sniper cadre

#2
You'd need to be in long enough to prove that you are a damn good shot and have very good fieldcraft skills.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#5
Used to have been a marksman with slr for minimum 3 years, that way you could be badged mksmn. Then be nominated for a place when available. Not every Bn had sniper plns or even sections so detaching troops for the course was an additional cost to the training budget which not all CO's would approve.
With a lot more call for the job I suppose it is part of most bns establishments but My old Bn hadnt had an asslt pioneer pln for over 10 years and even then only double hatted 1 section per company.
Money and time are the issues. You may be lucky like our sniper cadre in 85 when it was held in July?August 1985 at Kellys Garden. Of course at that time of year it was snowing in the Falklands and nearly no one volunteered, a few were co erced and one of the instructors was just about forced to take part. It was snowing heavily and there was no SASC or other examiner available to assess the lads after 6 weeks of crawling through the snow so they could be badged.
Compare that to a TA unit that put a new bloke on the 2 week annual camp cadre at Tregantle and awarded his badge despite the fact that no one suitable to D Inf standards had assessed them and the red*rse could'nt even march up to the CO correctly and collect his badge!
Kind of devalues the whole doing it properly thing now doesnt it?
 
#6
I think most battalions have got a sniper platoon now. I think my mate was with his battalion a couple of years before he went off and did his sniper course. He was/still is keen as 10 men. I think he was with his battalion less than a year when he got put into the COP prior to them deploying to NI on a 2 year residential.
Earlier this year a plantie came top of the sniper course. Come on the planties.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#7
Not sure about the mech Bns, they may have the trained troops and the kit on the shelf but not have the role in the current orbat.
One of the things about the Arms plot was moving infantry Bns every 2 or so years. Whilst this kept most troops on their toes it did mean that specialisations could go stale such a sniper, close obs, asslt pnrs, heli ops trained pers etc. One of the downsides but perhaps the move to a permanent base and trickle posting of personnel will allow the expertise to remain even if the people do move on every 5 years or so.
What on earth is an RE doing getting dirt on his combats. Should be directing the pioneer corps shouldnt he?
 
#8
1 Royal Anglian are mech but they still have one. I think its because the snipers are proving very usefull in Iraq and Afghanistan. 12 Mech are covering Afghanistan next year so I should imagine that 1 Royal Anglian will make sure its blokes are trained up.
The Corps has got a few sniper trained guys but they are few and far between. We do have several guys in the Army 100 but competition shooting is vastly different to sniping.
 
#10
5RRF have just been allowed to have a sniper role.

Any ideas as to how training and qualifying TA snipers works?
 
#11
It dosent anymore .No sniper or sharp shooter cardes anymore for ta .
Too much skill fade reason given.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#12
woody said:
It dosent anymore .No sniper or sharp shooter cardes anymore for ta .
Too much skill fade reason given.
To be honest woody a 2 week course is barely long enough to test let alone train someone for those roles. The skills required cant be learnt, to be honest cant be taught in a 2 week course. The big problem with TA training is the 2 week limit on courses. If you are lucky to get on a regular 6 or 8 week course you really have to be on the dole to manage that. With continuation training in unit you really end up giving up all other skills for the duration of that role. No OC wants to let his dedicated turn up each weekend troops go off and train as a seperate team but thats whats needed fo each infantry specialist skill. 1 weekend per month follow upp and development in addition to 1 weekend per month for unit core skills. With a 3 year training cycle a unit with the right staff could possibly just make it provided no deployments or changes in leadership took place!
 
#13
plant_life said:
We do have several guys in the Army 100 but competition shooting is vastly different to sniping.
But that's hardly surprising, because there isn't really a "Sniper Match" in the same way that there's Match 9 for all the GPMG(SF) types, or TASAM/CENTSAM (and the Army100 / TA50) for the section weapons.

Target shooting certainly isn't sniping - although it's a very good way of understanding and improving marksmanship skills, and keeping up with the "state of the art".

The McQueen (the "sniper match" at the Central Meeting) is a target shoot; albeit an extended watch and shoot at small, short exposure targets over as wide a frontage as the gallery range template allows, using a sniper rifle.

I've taken drivers and pay clerks onto a range with an L96, and watched them knocking down Fig.12 at 400 within a few minutes. "Accurate enough for sniper" is far easier to achieve than "good enough fieldcraft for a sniper".

Perhaps a tactical match in the spirit of Match 9 is the answer? You could do one for the mortar platoons too (in the spirit of KGVI for all the ex-UOTC types out there).

This used to be done on "Sniper Concentrations" and "Mortar Concentrations" in UKLF and BAOR, but op tempo means that these are long gone.

<Mount hobby horse>
As ever, it's the difference between "Marksmanship", and "Weapon Handling". Unfortunately a lot of the less experienced don't quite understand that it's the two together that make up "Skill-at-Arms"; and a lot of less experienced instructors focus on the one and not the other.

Add to that the fact that a lot of RCOs come off the range management course with safety-safety-safety drummed into them; but then forget that the whole point of rangework is to improve marksmanship. (Be honest - how many times have you heard the inexperienced RCO brief the troops so that the thing they remember is "right lads, today we're going to focus on firing standing unsupported" instead of "right lads, today I want to see safe weapon handling, rifles pointing down the range, I don't want any NDs"?). Combining the safety brief with the range brief has that effect.

If the troops get the feeling that the instructors and coaches regard rangework "Main Effort" as an exercise in turning live to brass with the minimum of accidents, then don't be surprised if they can't hit a cow in the arrse with a banjo afterwards.

Personal suggestion? Either make up a shooting team of your SAA instructors, or send your shooting team on SAA Instr and get them to teach. Competition shooting is a means to an end, not a source of glory for the few...

...and yes, those that know me will smile at that last line, but those that ever saw me running ranges will hopefully smile at the rest.
 
#14
The only way to have part time snipers would be establish a regional
sniper platoon and thats all they would do .No headshed would allow that have his keenist blokes disappear pity really .An awful lot of blokes would be intrested might be an idea to run sharpshooter cardes and have the regulars
lined up with ftrs forms for those who want to be snipers on end of course :twisted: .
Match 9 may supposedly be a tactical shoot for the gpmg ,but,Its just testing skills not tactics.
 
#15
jimmi1 said:
Do you have to be in your unit a set amount of time before you can do the sniper cadre?.
It's entirely up to your unit, many things may have different reasons for you being on the cadre or not. It really is a unit thing.

It may depend on how long you've been in you unit, shooting skills, fieldcraft skills, smoker or non smoker, general soldiering skills and I DON'T mean drill or some other useless activity, how you've done on other field courses, would the unit be wasteing their time teaching you etc etc - the list goes on.

Good Luck.

BT
 
#16
ugly said:
woody said:
It dosent anymore .No sniper or sharp shooter cardes anymore for ta .
Too much skill fade reason given.
To be honest woody a 2 week course is barely long enough to test let alone train someone for those roles. The skills required cant be learnt, to be honest cant be taught in a 2 week course. The big problem with TA training is the 2 week limit on courses. If you are lucky to get on a regular 6 or 8 week course you really have to be on the dole to manage that. With continuation training in unit you really end up giving up all other skills for the duration of that role. No OC wants to let his dedicated turn up each weekend troops go off and train as a seperate team but thats whats needed fo each infantry specialist skill. 1 weekend per month follow upp and development in addition to 1 weekend per month for unit core skills. With a 3 year training cycle a unit with the right staff could possibly just make it provided no deployments or changes in leadership took place!
Ugly, as a civilian hunting/stalking types shooter, and (presumably) as a sniper at one time or another, how much cross-over would you say there is between the two? For example, I know of one TA old-boy who was once a TA Sharpshooter/Sniper (back in the day) and takes about 30-50 Deer a year. I would contend that skill fade for someone like him would be minimal, what do you reckon?

(Except, I suppose, he might be in the habit of always staying downwind of the enemy! :D )
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#17
I'd say that a basic understanding of fieldcraft for stalking, both woodland and hill stalking is superb grounding for snipers. The Minute of deer is 4 inches and although that isnt a bad kill area on a fig 11 it does force the poorer shots to stalk that bit closer. I found that being a very active rabbit shooter, when I was in the TA post regs, improved my shooting for pairs or in fact any field firing shooting far beyond that which even a good infantryman could expect to achieve. I hunted for the pot and that kept my shooting so much better. I also use a shotgun regularly which has improved my snapshooting.
to answer the question though 50 plus deer is once a week roughly and a good practise for sniping as far as Iam concerned. The 200 yd head and 600 td torso shots are not too far if you shoot regularly and even if you dont always get your deer the being out in nature often on your own side of things is great for practising your field craft.
In my honest opinion there is so little in the way of making all of our infantry shoot as well as the BEF in 1914. The SMLE wasnt the rifle we were meant to go to war with it just happened that way. The Germans thinking we had many mgs was great. The massive early losses though precluded the deployment of really great marksmen as snipers early enough until the need was forced on us by the Hun. We could have done it with that Army it just wasnt recognised.
I wasnt a sniper, had the chance and bottled at the thought of six weeks in the snow and no badge at the end of it!
I was though what I would class as a sharpshooter having achieved marksman 1st time on the APWT but I was always jimpy or 84 man in a section. The price for broad shoulders!
The cross over exists now if you could get enough TA sniper qualified involved in stalking that would work. Paying for it is the problem.
 
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