Tactics

Spec Ops Shooting

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I'm not sure how a sniper candidate can develop an appreciation for tactics other than to study military history—and read books such as this one.

The study of military history helps develop a feel for the relationships between fire and maneuver, cover versus concealment, and concentration versus dispersion. Most relevant are small unit tactics below the level of Napoleon or Clausewitz.

I strongly recommend Sun Tzu's The An of War, a 300 B.C. Chinese treatise on deception and warfare that's useful for snipers. Sun Tzu wrote, for instance, "When near make it seem that you are far away; when far away that you are near." This book is required reading for CIA officers.

A nebulous quality I look for in students is "tactical sense," the ability to see tactical opportunities and threats, to be able to assess a situation with a glance and draw one's plan in the dirt. Some of this comes with experience, but much of it, I think, is a gift of God.

Serious boxers and martial artists perhaps have a better natural grasp of tactics fundamentals, as should chess players and participants in some team sports like football. I'd give a candidate extra points if he'd been a paintball competitor.

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