My First Kill: President of the USMC Scout Sniper Association

JT 1

Good Friday, 2006, my second deployment to Iraq and my first as a Sniper Team Leader with 1/2, my team found itself in a fortunate position to be able to make our first confirmed enemy kill on insurgents transporting weapons from a cache across the Eurphates River.

An AO near ours was being controlled by an AAV unit that had been transitioned into provisional infantry. That unit had been taking fire from an area across the river from them and knew something was fishy in that area. My Battalion decided to send my team to assist the unit with trying to locate and eliminate the threat that was hindering their operations.


I worked up a mission with the Company Commander and got my team set in place. On day 3, we were planning to extract, when all of a sudden we saw some activity.

By the time we had positive PID of the weapons, calculated our data, I had to make an on the fly 926yrd shot from a ridgeline, shooting across a village and a river. Knowing that my gun had been through the ringer over the last couple of weeks with our op tempo so high, jumping in and out of trucks, falling down wadis, banging my gun around like crazy, I was not certain I could hit anything. Tracking the individual through my scope as he walked down the riverbank, I was getting nervous that he would keep walking out of my view. Then suddenly he stops to meet with another guy, as he reveals the weapons to the other individual, I take my shot.

The first thing my spotter Mike said when I pulled the trigger was, "holy sh*t, you f***ng hit him" as I then re-engage and hit him a second time. Taking a life or the loss of life is never a thing to be celebrated, but I was very content in knowing that shot made and impact that would prevent another Marine from being killed. That mission led to a huge shift in insurgent movement and activity in that AO for the next month. They decided to lay low for a while.