In the military, they call snipers masters of “one shot, one kill.”
Now a female soldier in the Montana Army National Guard has become the first woman to join the elite cadre following her graduation from the Army‘s grueling training course.
The soldier, who has not been identified, was selected for the U.S. Army Sniper Course following her graduation from infantry basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. She became the first woman to complete the course on Nov. 5, Army officials said.
“She epitomizes what it means to be an infantry soldier and there wasn’t a doubt in our minds that she would succeed in the U.S. Army sniper course. We’re all extremely proud of her,” said Capt. Joshua O’Neill, the soldier’s company commander during basic training.
She enlisted in the Montana Army National Guard in December 2020 and began the seven-week sniper course in September. In addition to honing a soldier’s marksmanship skills, the intensive course teaches subjects ranging from detecting and stalking a target to effective concealment and camouflage.
Capt. David Wright, battalion commander of the sniper school, said the successful female candidate met every standard required to graduate.
“She arrived prepared for training and physically conditioned to succeed,” Capt. Wright said. “We are proud of the results of her efforts and the quality training provided by the Sniper Course cadre.”
Maj. Gen. J. Peter Hronek, Montana’s adjutant general, acknowledged the soldier’s graduation was a milestone for both the state’s military troops and the Army as a whole. She “had to volunteer several times to reach this goal, which is a demonstration of her dedication and commitment to service,” he said.
With the completion of her training, the soldier will rejoin her unit as a fully qualified Army sniper, officials said.