All about the USMC Marine Scout Snipers – Selection Process, Training Regiment, and Missions

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What is the Marine Scout Snipers?

The Marine Scout Snipers are a title given to a special unit of marines that is highly skilled in Fieldcraft and Marksmanship. They are skilled in moving stealthily and killing enemies from stadiums away.

Be it simple scouting, or even a shoot-to-kill operation, the Marine Scout Snipers are the brothers that you can depend on protecting your back when you’re out on the front line.

The motto of the Scout Sniper is One shot. One kill.”
Scout Snipers Marine Soldiers

How would someone be a member of the Marine Scout Snipers?

Every soldier who wishes to become a Scout Sniper must first complete the Scout Sniper Basic Course (SSBC). All SSBC Courses are done at the Marine Corps Base in California, North Carolina, Virginia, and Hawaii.

Widely regarded as one of the most demanding schools in the US Military, SSBC has a rate of attrition of more than 60%. The sky-high barrier of entry is attributed to the fact that Scout Sniper Soldiers are expected to have not only excellent physical stamina, military knowledge, and shooting skills, but also several biological factors such as a perfect 20/20 vision in both eyes and no color blindness.

It’s no wonder the Scout Sniper Soldiers are considered elites.

Scout Snipers Training with comrade

What’s the Training Regiment of the Marine Scout Snipers?

Phase 1 – Marksmanship and Basic Fields Craft Phase

Phase 1 is where Scout Snipers candidate will learn skills such as camouflage, observation & sketching, land navigation, as well as marksmanship training (known distance 300-1000 yard lines target).

Soldiers will learn not only how to shoot, but also the means to adapt to the environment. Exactly how to read the wind, the weather, etc. All for the sake of being able to take a shot and not miss the target.

Phase 2 – Unknown Distance and Stalking

Phase 2 is a step up to the next level. Here, soldiers will learn how to shoot a target at unknown distances. By way of range estimation and also instinct. Because in the real life, there will be no yards indication, and the target will likely be moving, soldiers will have to familiarize themselves with such target, wouldn’t you agree?

As for stalking, it’s mandatory for Scout Sniper Soldiers to be able to track & stalk the enemies effectively. Why? Because being ambushed means death and a failed mission… the elite soldiers can’t risk everything just because of sloppy stalking technique.

Phase 3 – Advanced Field Skills and Mission Employment

During this final phase of the training, Scout Snipers are then trained in advanced field skills until they are combat-ready. They will then be assigned to a unit to execute a real-life mission to prove their worth as a brand new Scout Sniper Soldier.

Scout Snipers on a Recon Mission

What kind of Missions do the Marine Scout Snipers execute?

  • Surveillance – Utilizing their long scope of vision, Scout Snipers are able to see long-distance and report the territory landscape, enemy activities, etc. to their comrades.
  • Reconnaissance – All Scout Snipers are highly skilled in fieldcraft. That’s why Recon missions are well within their domain of expertise.
  • Combat Support – Through their expertise in marksmanship, Scout Snipers will support the main forces through long-range shooting.
  • Long Range Takedown – Shoot to kill mission designed to eliminate target enemy from stadiums away through the use of Sniper weapon.
  • Target Acquisition – By detecting the target location, Scout Snipers are able to employ lethal/non-lethal strategy to acquire the target.

Scout Snipers Family - photo by SSA


It is the duty of a Scout Sniper to protect their brother form harm, same as any soldiers.

But their weapon of choice is a sniper. Not meaning that they are cowards… far from it. The Scout Sniper will protect their fellow soldiers, scout to gather information, and kill the enemy in the most effective way.

Be thankful for their service and always remember…

“One shot. One kill.”