A pair of U.S. Army Soldiers recently beat out Marines to earn top spots at the notoriously tough Marine Scout Sniper Course.

Soldiers’ Background

The Soldiers in question are Sgt. Clinton Scanlon and Sgt. Bryce Fox from 2d Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. They captured “high shooter” and “high stalker” over Marine students of Scout Sniper Course 1-18. The students graduated at Camp Geiger on Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina last month.

As the USMC notes in a news release, however, the Soldiers had an advantage; both are graduates of the Army’s Sniper School.

“…we had an expectation that they would at least be familiar with the skills that we teach in this course,” said Staff Sgt. Craig Chandler, acting chief instructor, SSC 1-18.

But it wasn’t exactly a cakewalk, either. Chandler noted that Scanlon and Fox had to shoot the USMC’s M40A6 sniper rifle instead of the Army’s M2010 rifle they’re undoubtedly more familiar with.

Scout Sniper Course Success

Still, the Soldiers were the best in the class. Fox earned “high stalker” based on the fact that he scored the highest point average on the Sniper Course’s ten graded stalks.

“Stalking is when you put grass, leaves and any natural vegetation around you on your body and then you sneak up [on a target] using individual movement techniques. You take a shot without being seen and then you shoot again. The [instructors] do a walking sequence to try and lock on you. If you don’t get found, you pass,” Fox said.

Scanlon, meanwhile, won “high shooter” for earning the best overall score on the rifle ranges.

“We did go through U.S. Army Sniper School so I think we definitely had a leg up on some of the fresh Marines right out of the fleet,” said Scanlon. “It was clear that everyone here knew what they were doing and the instructors were able to get the guys here shooting very well.”

Chandler said Scanlon and Fox were “extremely easy to work with,” and were more than willing to share their knowledge with other students in the class.

Scanlon praised the Scout Sniper Course, even going so far as to say he wanted to take another USMC sniper course.

“It was a great course that has all the information to get a sniper going in any community, Army or Navy,” said Scanlon. “After this, I’d like to attend one of the advanced Marine Corps Sniper courses, but for now I’m going to go back to my unit to get my guys trained up on the things I learned here.”

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