No matter how many times you may have seen American Sniper starring Bradley Cooper, there's no education like the real thing and while we can't necessarily prove it, we're pretty sure that most of you will never attend the U.S. Army's Sniper School at Fort Benning in Georgia. No offense, it's just pretty freakin' exclusive — not to mention intense as hell. Seriously, the combined mental and physical toll is enough to make even the strongest man run away like a small, frightened child.
That being said, someone's gotta do the job and fortunately, there are plenty of brave souls out there more than willing, or at least willing at first. The desire alone isn't enough to hack it. You have to train live you've never trained before. According to Business Insider:
"Over 300 candidates start the seven-week Sniper School course at Fort Benning each year. In early August, 46 soldiers were on hand for the first day. Each had already met demanding criteria, including navigation and marksmanship evaluations, physical-fitness tests, and psychological examinations. "
"After a battery of physical-fitness tests on the first day, candidates are taught to make a ghillie suit — a camouflage suit that uses foliage to break up the outline of the soldier's body. The first test of their new concealment comes hours later, crawling hundreds of feet through tall grass and a ditch filled with water, mud, rocks, and vegetation. Part of the exercised requires students to carry and drag one another — testing their ability to help their comrades if one is wounded or incapacitated in the field. 'The object of this training is to teach students that being a sniper can be a difficult and dirty job,' Moran said. 'These are the conditions that snipers will often find themselves in.'"
The need for this grueling training is apparent, as snipers will actually be doing the very things they're training for. These aren't hypothetical situations — in layman's terms: this is not a drill. Can you imagine going through this training knowing damn well you'll one day have to employ the knowledge/tactics? Woof, no thanks. We support and honor the troops, clearly they're the real heroes.
Lead Image Via Getty