The Lack of Representation in the Scout Sniper MOS:

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Since 1918, when the first USMC Scout Sniper course rolled out 75 non-commissioned officers and 375 privates to serve in France, the place of Marine Scout snipers ebbed and flowed during and between the country's wars. These elite precision marksmen remained loyal as they witnessed their units activated and deactivated and their MOS designations eliminated, while they consistently adapted to the evolving demands of modern warfare.

However, one constant challenge remains: representation at strategic command and policy levels during peace time, which has been a consequence of the small number of commissioned officers, gunners, and E-9s who had received formal Marine scout sniper training and who were thus able to follow career paths forward from formal training.

This policy-level omission means that Marine Scout Snipers often lacked informed representation at the highest levels of Marine Corps command. A dearth of senior leaders who experienced Scout Sniper training firsthand, at best, ensured that the unique needs and perspectives of Marine Scout Snipers were rarely represented adequately both when gearing up for, and winding down from war.

The absence of commissioned officers, warrant officers, Sergeant Majors, and Master Gunnery Sergeants within the Marine Scout Sniper backgrounds led to catastrophic disconnects in understanding the critical roles these warriors played on the battlefield. Marine Scout Snipers were not only precision shooters with devastating firepower, as measured by their performance in both world wars, Vietnam and, most recently, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, they provided immeasurable strategic value as battalion-level infantry intelligence assets.

Bottom line: Marine Scout Snipers saved lives. Integrating commissioned officers with Marine scout sniper training early on may have enhanced decision-making over time at the top, ensuring that the voices of Marine scout snipers were heard and their contributions more fully recognized as they themselves moved up in the ranks over the duration of careers.