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This Green Beret Sharpshooter Team Beats The Hell Out Of Any Supposed Sniper Trick Shot
A two-man Green Beret sniper team emerged victorious at the elite U.S. Army Special Operations Command International Sniper Competition at the end of March, distinguishing themselves as among the most lethal sharpshooters in the special operations community.
Master Sgt. David and Sgt. 1st Class Cuong from the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), whose full names were withheld by officials given the sensitive nature of their assignment, bested dozens of snipers in the 22 events spread over five days of grueling precision fire challenges — even after a rocky start.
"We started off poorly on the first day due to some sleep deprivation," Master Sgt. David said in an Army release. "We really started clicking and things began to fall into place after we regrouped and got some rest between events."
More than 40 sniper and special operations forces teams from across the U.S. armed forces — including the Army Sniper School, Marine Corps Scout Sniper School, and Naval Special Warfare Command — and foreign militaries from France to Singapore turned out at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for the illustrious shoot-off hosted by the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne).
"It is the level of competitors, the cadre, and the competition that make this event so unique,” Master Sgt. David added. “At this level, all of these guys are the best of the best."
One half of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) Green Beret sniper team, Sgt. 1st Class Cuong, uses communication and teamwork with his teammate Master Sgt. David at the United States Army Special Operations Command International Sniper Competition held at Fort Bragg, N.C. March 18-22.U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Braman
Now, we love to read stories of superhuman snipers taking out a dozen ISIS commanders with one bullet from two miles away, but the USASOC sniper competition is less about jaw-dropping sharpshooter feats and more about teamwork, communication, and focus under pressure — skills that actually matter when you’re downrange. Here’s a vignette from this year’s competition from Fayetteville Observer military editor Drew Brooks:
At Range 67, snipers raced against the clock as they moved from one firing point to the next, engaging a series of 12-inch by 16-inch targets that were up to 600 meters away.
At Range 62B, their communications skills were further tested. Twenty targets were mixed amid a range that includes numerous obstacles, buildings and mock vehicles. Each was marked by a symbol and a color denoting the type of weapon that should be used — pistol, carbine or sniper rifle.
Working together, the competitors had to look at a card shown to them by an instructor, find that symbol and shoot the target with the appropriate weapon.
“It’s essentially ‘Where’s Waldo,’” said a Special Forces Sniper Course instructor overseeing the event. “It’s designed to suck them in, get them distracted or moving faster than [they] needed to be.”
I may be a sloppy civilian, but I’d much rather have a sniper team that’s flexible and versatile (and can ruck hard between positions, the focus of Range 42’s required 90-pound kettlebell according to the Fayetteville Observer) than a one-shot, one-trick pony.
But 'Where’s Waldo,' huh? I’m just going to leave this here:
A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Comedian Jon Stewart has joined forces with veterans groups to make sure service members who have been sickened by toxins from burn pits get the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
"Quite frankly, this is not just about burn pits — it's about the way we go to war as a country," Stewart said during his Jan. 17 visit to Washington, D.C. "We always have money to make war. We need to always have money to take care of what happens to people who are selfless enough, patriotic enough, to wage those wars on our behalf."
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Editor's Note: A version of this article originally appeared on the blog of Angry Staff Officer
This morning, the Virginia state capitol in Richmond saw dozens of armed men gathering to demonstrate their support for the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution – the right to bear arms. These men were not merely bearing arms, however; they were fully accoutered in the trappings of what one would call a paramilitary group: helmets, vests, ammunition pouches, camouflage clothing, and other "tactical" necessities, the majority of which are neither tactical nor necessary. Their weapons, too, are bedecked with all sorts of accessories, and are also in the paramilitary lane. Rather than carry rifles or shotguns that one would use for hunting, they instead carry semi-automatic "military grade" weapons, to merely prove that they can.
This is not an uncommon sight in America. Nor has it ever been. Armed groups of angry men have a long and uncomfortable history in the United States. On very rare occasions, these irregulars have done some good against corrupt, power-hungry, and abusive county governments. For the most part, however, they bode no good.
How We Found Out explores recent reporting from Task & Purpose, answering questions about how we sourced our stories, what challenges we faced, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at how we cover issues impacting the military and veterans community.
Following a string of news reports on private Facebook group called Marines United, where current and former Marines shared nude photos of their fellow service members, the Corps launched an internal investigation to determine if the incident was indicative of a larger problem facing the military's smallest branch.
In December 2019, Task & Purpose published a feature story written by our editor in chief, Paul Szoldra, which drew from the internal review. In the article, Szoldra detailed the findings of that investigation, which included first-hand accounts from male and female Marines.
Task & Purpose spoke with Szoldra to discuss how he got his hands on the investigation, how he made sense of the more than 100 pages of anecdotes and personal testimony, and asked what, if anything, the Marine Corps may do to correct the problem.
This is the fourth installment in the recurring column How We Found Out.