Tactical Snipers in Modern Warfare

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Tactical Snipers: Their role in modern warfare Sniper. Just the word evokes a mysterious sense of dread in the average person. It sends the mind into places where shadows lurk, and there are men on every grassy knoll just waiting for an opportunity to fire a well-placed shot into the head of an unsuspecting victim. The snipers trade is one that is filled with mystery and misinformation. Just a little examination will reveal that these are highly trained individuals possessing the highest regard for life [8]. A soldier does not simply “sign up” to be a sniper in the military. There is a selection process that each member must undergo before training as a sniper can begin. First and foremost, each candidate must pass a rigorous psychological screening process that is intended to weed out any potential “loose cannons” and rogue elements right from the start. In the introduction of the document titled The Development of a Psychological Screening Program for Sniper Selection[11] authored by Maj. D.C. Scholt, Capt. M.L. Girard and Lt. M.A. Vanderpool they site that: “Given the nature of the training provided to snipers and subsequent exposure to highly stressful situations on operations, the absence of proper psychological screening could have serious consequences. These consequences include decreased operational effectiveness, endangering the safety of the detachment, and possibly the general public. Furthermore, proper psychological screening will also benefit the candidates by identifying those individuals who may be susceptible to stress or may not possess the psychological robustness to withstand the emotionally demanding challenges inherent in sniper duties.” With this as their stated mission for developing this program, to function as the international standard for sniper duty, 5 traits were identified as crucial to examine as the criteria for

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