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Montana soldier is 1st woman to complete the U.S. Army Sniper Course

Sniper teams from across the US travel to Fort Benning, Georgia, to compete in the U.S. Army Best Sniper Competition, April 14, 2021
Posted at 1:21 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 15:32:47-05

A Montana Army National Guard soldier graduated from the U.S. Army Sniper Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, on Nov. 5, 2021, becoming the first woman in history to complete the course, according to a news release from the Montana National Guard.

The military is not identifying the soldier by name.

“We are extremely proud of this Soldier’s achievement and recognize that this is a milestone for not only Montana, but the entire National Guard and Army,” said Major General J. Peter Hronek, the Adjutant General for Montana, in the news release. “This Soldier had to volunteer several times to reach this goal, which is a demonstration of her dedication and commitment to service.”

The soldier enlisted in the Montana Army National Guard in December 2020. She was then sent to Fort Benning to complete Infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT), a 22-week course that combines Army basic training with advanced individual training in infantry skills.

While attending OSUT, she was recommended by her training staff and chain of command for the opportunity to attend the Sniper Course due to her superior performance, which included qualifying as an expert shooter.

From the Fort Benning website:

The Basic Sniper Course trains selected individuals assigned to sniper positions in the skills necessary to deliver long range precision fire and the collection of battlefield information. Soldiers will receive training in fieldcraft skills; advanced camouflage techniques, concealed movement, target detection, range estimation, and terrain utilization (Macro and Micro), intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB), relevant reporting procedures, sniper tactics, advanced marksmanship; known and unknown distance firing, at stationary and moving targets during daylight and limited visibility in varying weather conditions, and staff subjects (intelligence, mission, training, combat orders, command and control, and training management) to ensure mission accomplishment without compromise in accordance with the supported unit Commanders intent in all operational venues.

“We’re all incredibly proud of her,” said Captain Joshua O’Neill, OSUT Company Commander. “She epitomizes what it means to be an infantry Soldier and there wasn’t a doubt in our minds that she would succeed in the U.S. Army Sniper Course.”

The soldier began the U.S. Army Sniper Course in September, 2021. The seven-week course trains selected individuals assigned to sniper positions in the skills necessary to deliver long range precision fire and the collection of battlefield information.

"The Soldier met every standard required to graduate the United States Army Sniper Course,” said Captain David Wright, Battalion Commander, U.S. Army Sniper School. “She arrived prepared for training and physically conditioned to succeed. We are proud of the results of her efforts and the quality training provided by the Sniper Course Cadre. We wish her luck as she heads back to her unit as a U.S. Army Sniper Course qualified Sniper."

On hand for the Sniper Course graduation ceremony were Command Sergeant Major John Sampa, Command Sergeant Major of the Army National Guard, and Command Sergeant Major Claudena Brady, State Command Sergeant Major for the Montana Army National Guard.

With the completion of training, the soldier will now join her unit.