A U.S. Marine assigned to the Scout Sniper School, Weapons Training Battalion, looks through the scope of his rifle during a final exercise aboard Quantico, Va., Jan. 19, 2017. The course provides Marines and other services with Scout Sniper training in preparation for duty as a Scout Sniper within a Scout Sniper Platoon of an infantry battalion, reconnaissance unit and Marine Special Operations Unit. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. James R. Skelton
Marine Corps scout snipers are legendary for their tactical proficiency, physical and mental toughness, and extraordinary abilities as reconnaissance and surveillance professionals and force multipliers on the battlefield.
Intelligence, extreme discipline, and precision with a rifle are vital core competencies, and the path to joining the proud fraternity of Marine scout snipers starts in the Scout Sniper Basic Course. Those who attempt the course are called PIGs, or Professionally Instructed Gunmen, and those who have what it takes to make it through the rigorous training and graduate earn the elite moniker “HOG,” or Hunter of Gunmen.
Most people will never know what it takes to get through the course, but at least we mere mortals can take a visual journey through the often hellish training while sipping coffee and scrolling online. Now top off that cup of joe and check out this photo essay. And for those of you who immediately run out to the nearest recruiting station to enlist, make sure you tell your recruiter to thank us. We accept fine liquor and beer as respectable gifts.
Ethan E. Rocke is a contributor and former senior editor for Coffee or Die Magazine, a New York Times bestselling author, and award-winning photographer and filmmaker. He is a veteran of the US Army and Marine Corps. His work has been published in Maxim Magazine, American Legion Magazine, and many others. He is co-author of The Last Punisher: A SEAL Team THREE Sniper’s True Account of the Battle of Ramadi.