US Soldiers in Poland try out for sniper course in Benning
Story and photos by Spc. Andrew McNeil, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
BEMOWO PISKIE, Poland – In the world of horology, clocks and watches, the mechanism that tells the time is called a movement, but the added-on features of the time piece, like a chronograph (stopwatch) and date (simple calendar), are called “complications.”
In the infantry, the infantrymen can be considered the movement. They are the key piece and focus of the unit. When a unit wants to add more value – or a “complication” – to the unit, operationally they call upon snipers.
“Snipers bring quite a few assets to a squadron like this,” said Staff Sgt. Cameron Angers, the sniper section leader assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment. “Snipers are able to support a troop and squadron by being able to find assault positions, support by fire positions and find their own sniper firing positions.”
Wanting to add this beneficial complication to their movement, 3rd Squadron held a three-day sniper school try-out, which ran Jan. 2 through 4 in Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland.
The try-outs allowed the unit to select the five best candidates from a handful of applicants to send to the strenuous seven-week sniper course at the U.S. Army Sniper School at Fort Benning, Georgia.
“The first day we had an RPFT (Ranger Physical Fitness Test), which consisted of pushups, situps, a five-mile run and six pullups,” said Angers. “After that we gave them a break, later we gathered back up to do a day and night land nav. (navigation) course.”
On the second day, the Soldiers had to perform a four-mile weighted litter carry while completing three different testing stations on the path. The last day of the try-outs, the Soldiers had a 12-mile ruck march.
After the ruck march, the Soldiers stood in front of a board where they were asked questions about their personal motivation for wanting to be a sniper with 3rd Squadron.
“It was always a dream of mine when I first joined,” said Sgt. Cody Wise, a sniper slot candidate and an infantryman assigned to the squadron. “I finally get the opportunity and it feels pretty good.”
Once selected and qualified, the new snipers will not only add to the unit as a whole, but will allow 3rd Squadron and Battle Group Poland to have a new tool to create complications on the battlefield for any adversarial threats.
“Being a sniper, to me, means being stealthy, sacrificing to country and being the best of the best,” said Pvt. Bryce Dorvall, a sniper slot candidate and an infantryman assigned to the squadron.
Battle Group Poland helps support Atlantic Resolve and demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the security of NATO and NATO allies. This unique, multinational battle group comprised of U.S., United Kingdom, Croatian and Romanian Soldiers serve with the Polish 15th Mechanized Battalion as a deterrence force in northeast Poland in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence.
To read this article as it appears on the Army News Service, visit www.army.mil/article/201700.
To learn more about the U.S. Army Sniper Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, visit www.benning.army.mil/armor/316thCav/129/Sniper.