FORT BENNING, Ga. -- Two Marines representing Expeditionary Operations Training Group, II Marine
Expeditionary Force, participated in the 2015 annual International Sniper
Competition in Fort Benning, Georgia, Oct. 19 through 23, 2015.
Sgt. James Stroope and Sgt. Jordan Davis, reconnaissance and surveillance
instructors as well as infantry snipers, participated in the competition in
order to test their marksmanship skills against both American and international
The competition was hosted by the United States Army and consisted
of 37 two-man sniper teams from around the world. Each team went through 17
physically challenging events to become recognized as the best team.
competition tested the competitors on their ability to perform basic
marksmanship fundamentals, advanced marksmanship fundamentals, firing at known
and unknown distance targets, and providing cover for field craft in the form of
stalking exercises designed to tests the team’s ability to perform undetected.
“The purpose of the competition was to gather teams from national,
international and foreign agencies to test and evaluate them on their tactics,
techniques and procedures in order to create a friendly competition to crown the
top sniper team this year,” said Stroope. “It also opens up opportunities for
cross training between the competitors and helps build a cohesive relationship
across the sniper community.”
Participants must have graduated from a
recognized sniper school in order to enter the competition.
competitors were required to shoot an M4 carbine, M40 A5 sniper rifle and
9mm pistol at close distances in order to test their weapons manipulation
ability to hit standing and moving targets, and night known and unknown
distances. Shooters used a formula called the “mill-relation” to measure an
unknown distance and size of a target.
“It was challenging,” said Davis.
“It really opens your eyes to the new stuff that’s out there, like the new
moving targets that the army is using. They are phenomenal because they give
real world feedback, it’s almost life like.”
Prior to the start of
various events in the competition the teams performed different exercises that
physically exhausted them, such as performing sprints and deadlifting 225
pounds. 20 times as a team, in order to make the event more challenging as well
as testing their ability to perform under stress.
When the competition
ended, the Marines finished in fourth place and are eager to return next year,
if given the opportunity.
“Absolutely, I would compete again,” said
Stroope. “Understanding now about what the competition entails and looking at
the deficiencies of finding distances between targets, good shooter-spotter
dialogue and shooting under stress, not just shooting and being in a good and
comfortable atmosphere and actually putting yourself in a rigorous setting would
help out a lot in preparing for next year.”