Before they become snipers, all students must graduate from the US Army Sniper Course, a seven-week program that teaches soldiers from the Army and National Guard essential skills in fieldcraft and marksmanship.
Insider spent two days at the US Army Sniper Course inside the Fort Benning military installation near Columbus, Georgia, where we observed various classes at different stages of training.
Just 288 students are accepted into the Sniper Course each year, and roughly half pass the course and graduate.
Students learn to operate several weapons systems and must master hitting targets up to 1,100 meters away.
Prospective snipers learn how to create ghillie suits, a type of camouflage clothing that snipers use to blend in with their environment. They are educated in a wide array of fieldcraft skills, including target detection, range estimation, and stalks, where they must stealthily move through wooded terrain without being spotted by instructors.
Those who are able to graduate from the course could be deployed into combat as snipers immediately if necessary.
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