Sniper Selection and Assessment


Verified Sniper
Jun 22, 2011
Anyone with insight please comment.

Basically, when I was unqualified, I held a selection process. It was basic 11b tasks. Was NOT anything difficult. What I thought I knew, and what I now know are 2 vastly different things.

A few key points, we are NG, so time and assets are always a constraint. This is my revised plan that myself and a few others have put together. Basically the "others" are not yet qualified, but are awaiting their class start date. After a long AT, I have done the best I could to train them to be operational, and feel that they could currently deploy with success, and also feel they have no worries about passing the Sniper school. So between my own findings, and how they have viewed what they they feel is required, this is what we came up with.

timeline is not exact as actual times will change. My concept is that should a soldier "pass" and we select him. he will be on probation for 6 months while we train him. If he performs and grasps sniper knowledge, then we will do a proper transfer to our unit and fit him to school once we feel he is ready. Our goal is to minimize the retraining of the basics/intermidiate functions of an 11B so that we can focuse on sniper marksmanship/fieldcraft. If the soldier is not able to grasp fundementals, then we can send him back to his unit with minimum paperwork.

Please offer useful critsicm



Must be 11B/19D

Must have GT 100 or better

Must have NO record of disciplinary actions

Must have qualified EXPERT on M4/M16 Rifle within 12 months/most recent IWQ

Normal color vision

1 Yr retain-ability

Must have a corrected vision of 20/20

250 APFT; total points with at least 70% in each event for their age group

Financial stability


Day 1

0730L Hrs Arrive at HHC 1-114 IN

0800L Hrs Depart to FT Dix NJ or FT AP Hill Va.

1. Diagnostic APFT with pull-ups*

2. Range Estimation (Range “E”) class

3. Range “E” Practical Exercise (PE-1)

4. Sketches class/ PE-1

5. Tasks/Team Events

6. Bed-down; in patrol base


1. Night into Day Land Navigation (0330 wake-up, 0400 start)

2. 25m grouping exercise

3. Range E PE-2

4. Patrol Class

5. 5 Mile run

6. Range E PE-3

7. Sketches PE-2

8. Patrols/ Patrol Base-/Bed-down


1. 0400 Wake-up

2. Range E PE-4

3. Tasks/team events

4. Enter and clear a room

5. Obstacle Course

6. Patrols/Patrol Base/Bed-down


1. 10 Mile rd march- 35# ruck, 4 qts water, 2 ½ hr limit

2. Interviews**

3. Compile cadre notes/data/score sheets***

4. 1200LHrs Depart Ft Dix or FT AP Hill VA to return to HHC 1-114

*7 Pull-up Minimum- Can be Palm in or out, may change grip as long as Soldier does not touch ground.

** Interviews will be conducted by qualified Snipers

*** Notes and data will be based on individual basis and at Cadre discretion. Score sheets will be go/no go events on tasks trained/evaluated. Receipt of a “GO” does not indicate a guaranteed selection; conversely, a “No Go” does not remove/disqualify a Soldier from selection.


1-114 BN SNIPERS Will conduct Sniper Selection and Assessment process.

Candidates will be graded on individual abilities, strengths and weaknesses.

Candidates will be subject to leadership and individual tasks, evaluated on participation, motivation, performance, and knowledge.

Anyone using any type of tobacco products might as well quit now.
why do you say that? I used to smoke but quit, but i still dip. obviously we know smoking has many drawbacks, tactically and physically, but you think its the same for dip?
The nicotine in your system will never let you be your absolute best at distance, so it's best to start getting it out of your system now. It'd be a shame to make it to the final shot and then have a plant fuck it up. Take control of your bodily system just the same way you expect to take control of the Sniper system.
i see your point, but ive never had a nicotine "itch" while my heads in the game. I did have to give up coffee though..

Thanks. Any insight on anything else you would add/do/take away from the rest of the list?
Don't underestimate the value of a very, very, tiny portion of a mil dot when doing range estimation.
Start doing KIM's games now to get your memory trained, Ginko Biloba will help a lot also.
Spend lot's of time in the woods so target detection exercises will be easier.
The rucking and PT should already be a given but not taken for granted, what will make a Sniper is Sniper stuff that others can't do, i.e. being totally aware of your surroundings 100% of the time.
Patience, patience, patience under pressure.
Don't hurry a shot on a stalk, it's better to be sure with 1 minute left than to get busted with 45 minutes left.
Never move directly toward your target.
Cammo the shit out of your ghille suit, and don't shortcut when you build it, a piece of jute laying on the ground could be your undoing in the real world.
While it is summer, practice range estimation on pavement while there is still a heavy mirage, this will put you back in the saddle the next day while others are heading back to their units.
Use desert tan boots and absolutely no black heels. I've busted more people on their boot heels from 600m than you would believe. Keep your heels DOWN!
Go ahead and get used to shooting with an elevated heart rate so you can learn to get it under control. A .22 is sufficient for now.
Im not asking about how school is gonna go, im good, I am qualified, its the rest of my current section that is not. they are trained and reserved in school, just awaiting the start date.

this list is how we are going to evaluate the NEXT generation of wanna-be's :)

**edit** unless you wanna get me a spot in SFSC, and then im all ears ;)
In that case, I would take all qualified shooters on a 6 miler with gear and rifles and march them straight to the range and immediately put them on the line and see who can still shoot. You've just weeded out 1/2 of those that might otherwise waste your time.
I see where your headed, but i think your not following my path.

1-E6, 2E5, 3E-4's are now in my section. Of those, I am the only B4.

1 E5, and 3 E4 are going to school shortly, and have been informally trained for 1 yr now.

I will be moving on to a different position in the near future, opening my E6 spot.

One E5 will move up to take mine pos, 1 E4 will take an E5 spot.

This leave the section with 5 open spots for someone to come into the Sniper section.

This selection and assessment, as described above, will be to find out who has the possibility to have one of those OPEN 5 spots. Is there anything not on that list that you would add to help determine who has what it takes and deserves to become a sniper? Or, anything on that list that should not be?

FYI,my final evaluation was a Final Shot of sorts for my current guys,- 500M team stalk with gear, to ORP, move to FFP, all undetected. FRAGO as to target and situation. ID, report, request to engage, and engage priority target (UKD,dicriminate target, off angle Ivan silhoutte), 2 rounds, and exfil. All teams passed, but all teams also needed a 2nd round since target was angled from their POV and they over estimated range. I have no doubts they can do the job, let alone pass the school. They just need to do it again, and again..ect..

**edit** or did you just mean, take all expert M4 guys to a range and see if they can still shoot?
I guess I'm not tracking what you want to know then. Either they can do all they need to do to be a Sniper or they can't, pass/fail. I would see who can pass everything you have laid out and then see who has the personality and attitude to properly employ their skills. Stress is the best way to weed people out IMO, especially when their shot might change the course of battle at some point. If you are looking to fill slots, then pick the best shot. If you are wanting to replace/employ Snipers then I would hold them to the highest standard without margin. Except nothing but the absolute best at all you have planned and go from there. If they show up late by even one minute for anything then let them go because it shows a lack of respect for the job on their part. Your outline looks fine as far as an outline, but you and I know there is more to it than that, they have to want it more than the title.
yea, your 3rd sentance sums it all up. these guys are gonna be 11B from throughout the BN, some may have AD time or been NG their whole career., may or may not have been deployed. I agree 100% with everything after that you have said.

It basically is just an outline at this point. What I noticed from my first selection is that i did not test the candidates enough. Ive actually dropped 3 soldiers in the past year that i thought would be good.

1st was a SGT that showed no motivation beyond minimum effort and prone to physical injury, or at least claim to be. 1 SPC that PT dropped while in the section (70% gets you in, APFT conducted quarterly, and must perform 80% or better to stay in the section)

and the last PFC, was late 2 times and AWOL once, but that was only because I couldnt get him back out of the section before he could fuck up more. So im trying not make those same mistakes in selection again.

Basically your last post sums up my overall view of the section and how its currently ran. I just wanted to ask if anyone had any other ideas about what to look for in prospects. Thanks
ive thought about doing that for the 6 month probation in the section part of it. or did you mean during these 4 days, or both?

how does that go? ive never been to a school that does it?
Peer eval is a great tool to help assess the "whole person" and to get a feel for what a guy is like when he thinks he's operating in the absence of consequences (i.e. when the cadre isn't working). I've been through a couple of programs that have them, they can sometimes be eye-opening for both the cadre and the individual.

You could have a peer eval at the end of your four-day selection, and then at the halfway point and the conclusion of the probation period. I think that would definitely help you assess how a guy would fit into your team.
Sounds like a plan. I think I will do that. Whats the format/questions on a peer eval?
I think it's best to craft your own based on what you're looking for in a sniper. Since I'm not familiar with what it takes to make a good sniper, I can't help you there. But I recommend you keep it to a few questions, make them rank-order everyone in the process (including themselves) and leave a block for them to hand-write anything they want to add. This last part is particularly good because it tells you a bit about both the writer of the eval and the person/people he is talking about.

I think something important in a peer eval, especially in small-groups, is that you have to make sure it's part of the overall process and doesn't make or break a candidate on its own. If you have four aspiring snipers, and they're all studs, someone still has to be last in the rank -ordering. That doesn't mean you should send him packing. At the same time, if you have someone who has been to Ranger School, say, and knows how to "game" peer evals, you could have a situation where everyone has pretty much the same rating (I rate you 1, you rate me 2, he rates me, I rate him 4, and in the end everyone comes out "center of mass") but you KNOW that one of your guys is a shitbag. Very useful tool if done correctly.
can you give me an example though? what do you mean part of the over-all process? i think you mean, not the end-all, be-all final say. thats what the interviews are really for. Thats where myself, the Co, and any other B4's are sitting at the end of the Rd march and talk to them, and that holds the most weight. But i would like to see how the rest of the candidates view the rest, to see who really thinks what, who says what, and how that differed from what we saw.

But again, got any example questions? and how its actually formated on paper? like is it just question 1-6, and a rating system?
The Peer system in the Q was that you had to give 2 positive (Blue Slips) and 2 negative (Pink Slips) peers. Obviously the amount of peers may be dependent on how many students/try outs you have. At least what I remember it was, Who would you want to deploy with and the other one would be Who would you not want to deploy with and why. Obviously if you do continual peers and evaluating in their probationary period like once every month and when the end comes up obviously you will see where the pink cards and rankings stack up.