Prospective snipers give it their best shot

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) took a shot at becoming snipers during the Sniper Pre-Selection Course conducted on Lavarack Barracks and Townsville Field Training Area.

CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment carry out a fitness test during a sniper pre-selection course at Lavarack Barracks, Queensland. Story by Captain Joanne Leca. All photos by Corporal Daniel Sallai.

The course covers all skills expected of an Australian Army sniper, such as day and night navigation, judging distances, stalking an enemy, camouflage and concealment.

With only 10 qualified sniper positions in the battalion, the course is highly competitive.

Snipers’ crucial role to an infantry battalion is to provide highly accurate direct fire support for a long-range target

Sergeant Jake Philips said as a sniper supervisor he looked for a specific set of attributes when selecting soldiers for the next phase.

“We’re looking for soldiers who can be adaptive and independent,” Sergeant Phillips said.

“Snipers are often expected to work as individuals, so having initiative is important.”

Sergeant Phillips said the instructors not only looked for physical skills, but also conduct and behaviour.

“We are taking note of the soldier’s discipline and integrity while conducting the activities,” he said.

“We’re looking for soldiers who show honesty, responsibility and professionalism during each activity.”

At the completion of the course, only a few soldiers were identified as suitable for the Basic Sniper Course.

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CAPTION: An Australian Army soldier grits his teeth while leopard crawling during a gruelling sniper pre-selection course at Kapyong Lines, Lavarack Barracks


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