In September 2012, I had the opportunity to attend the Craft Level II Advanced Sniper Course instructed by retired Sergeant Major Mark Spicer of Craft International LLC. Mark Spicer is a 25-year veteran with the British Army and has a worldwide reputation in the sphere of sniping. That reputation led to his selection as the U.S. government’s expert witness in the Washington, D.C., Sniper trials. Mark has authored three books on the subject of sniping and co-authored another. In 2009, along with the late Chris Kyle, Mark co-founded Craft International, which offers many courses on sniping, counterterrorism and close-quarters battle tailored for military or law enforcement audiences. Craft also offers special courses tailored for the responsible citizen.

Assisting Mark with our class was “Angry Dave” Agata. Dave is a retired police officer who started his career in Southern Florida in 1989 and became a police sniper in 1998. Dave is an advisory board member of the American Sniper Association and of the National Patrol Rifle Conference. In addition to his work with Craft, David is an adjunct instructor for the Department of State in the field of antiterrorism.

Warrior Mindset

The five-day course started early Monday morning, when Mark entered the room and said, “Right, let’s get on with it.” He immediately jumped into the course content, explaining that this was an advanced countersniping course, and as such it would not be a marksmanship course. “Advanced sniping is advancing the point you are at now. Shooting is the easy bit,” Mark explained. The students were all active police countersnipers and were expected to already have the corresponding skills.

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