Big Sky Roundup
Montana native becomes first woman to graduate from U.S. Army Sniper Course
A Montana woman became the first National Guard Soldier to graduate from the U.S. Army Sniper Course on November 5.
“We are extremely proud of this Soldier’s achievement and recognize that this is a milestone for not only Montana, but the entire National Guard and Army,” said Maj. Gen. J. Peter Hronek, the Adjutant General for Montana, in a news release. “This Soldier had to volunteer several times to reach this goal, which is a demonstration of her dedication and commitment to service.”
The woman, a Montana native who has not been publicly identified, began the U.S. Army Sniper Course in Sept. 2021. This intensive seven-week course trains selected individuals assigned to sniper positions in the skills necessary to deliver long-range precision fire and the collection of battlefield information.
After enlisting in the Montana Army National Guard in December of 2020, she was assigned to Fort Benning to complete Infantry One Station Unit Training, a 22-week course that combines Army basic training with advanced individual training in infantry skills. While attending the training in Fort Benning, she was recommended by her training staff and chain of command for the opportunity to participate in the Sniper Course due to her superior performance, which included qualifying as an expert shooter.
“We’re all incredibly proud of her,” said Capt. Joshua O’Neill, OSUT Company Commander in the release. “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.”
On hand for the Sniper Course graduation ceremony were Command Sgt. Maj. John Sampa, Command Sergeant Major of the Army National Guard, and Command Sgt. Maj. Claudena Brady, State Command Sergeant Major for the Montana Army National Guard. With the completion of training, the soldier will join her unit.
“The soldier met every standard required to graduate the United States Army Sniper Course,” said Capt. David Wright, Battalion Commander, U.S. Army Sniper School. “She arrived prepared for training and physically conditioned to succeed. We are proud of the results of her efforts and the quality training provided by the Sniper Course Cadre. We wish her luck as she heads back to her unit as a U.S. Army Sniper Course qualified sniper.”
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