Can an officer become a sniper?

Bulldog

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Can a Para Officer become a sniper? I’m interested in becoming an officer but worried that there is little opportunity to specialise? Can an Officer apply to be a sniper?
 

Redders

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No. Not as an officer. It’s only open to paratroopers/NCOs. But officers do get the chance to take part in battalion shooting competitions if you are a good shot, so this would be something to look into once you reach battalion. Officers have their own role operationally and can’t be tied up with things like sniper. Sooty on here is ex Sniper so he can explain more
 

Mackers

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Lads don’t think sniper is like call of duty. Its a very hard course to pass and most blokes in Sniper Plt are seasoned Paras who have earned their spurs, learned the trade as a quality soldier first, all over their fieldcraft and are good eggs. It’s way more than just shooting!
 

Mackers

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If you get selected and meet the criteria, you’ll be sent on the 9 week course down in Pirbright. Definitely not as an officer
 

Bulldog

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Thanks! Apart from general duties what can an officer specialise in?
 

Redders

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To add to the above, in my experience Snipers are generally the top 10% of soldiers within the battalion. You will need to be extremely capable in the field, good at navigation and able to work in a small team. It’s not for everyone.
 

4 PARA HQ

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Thanks! Apart from general duties what can an officer specialise in?
You can specialise as an OC of a Support Weapons Platoon, such as Anti Tanks/Machine Guns etc, but these are further on in your career following a stint as a Platoon Commander of a Rifle Pln.
As an Officer your main role is to co-ordinate and manage firepower, it isn't to get into the thick of it yourself.
 

Tony_m

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Sniper is only available to riflemen/NCO ranks. The quality of the soldiers in Sniper Platoons remains very high and I say they have a level of discipline and level of field craft above that of the rest of the Battalion.

Don’t just think of specialising in respect of sexy stuff like sniper. Bare in mind that different appointments as an officer bring different roles and responsibilities. There’s a difference between the job of a young platoon commander and a coy commander. Between Ops Officer or Adjutant. Between a CO and Brigade Commander.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that as an officer your days will be filled with emails about unpaid mess bills, staff duties and the CO’s coffee pot. You’ll have the chance to get fucking fragged like the rest of the blokes.
A platoon commander must be able to exercise control over his platoon at all times but a good Officer will know not to step on the the toes or fuck up the tactical initiative of his riflemen/NCOs. Don’t get me wrong, on HERRICK Multiple commanders were often young Lt’s/Capts in their mid 20s. They got stuck in like any other bloke.They were out on the ground, climbing through the same ditches and having the same rounds fired at them as the rest of the lads. I’ve seen commissioned officers getting rounds down. The rule of thumb is that the commander must be close enough to read the battle but should not get involved in the initial fire fight and will need to continually assess the changing situation. Navigation of the platoon to an objective ultimately falls to the platoon commander. Yes section commanders cover this but the buck normally stops with the Officer. In principle the section commander is responsible for the tactical considerations of the section or multiple ( shit like arcs of fire, positions, etc), whilst the Platoon Commander deals with the overall strategic plan of the patrol/operation and communication with coy HQ, administrative reorg (comms with zero, casualties reports, etc) as well as decided how best to employ their firepower effectively when fighting an increasingly dynamic enemy.
Point being as a young officer in the Reg you’ll not be stuck inside. If you want to “specialise” as an officer you could command patrols platoon as a Recce Plt boss, OC MG Plt, OC anti tanks or you could attempt PF or UKSF selection and complete a three year tour with them as a troop boss. Another thing to bare in mind is that if follow the normal rate and join young you’ll be a captain in six years or so and a Major in your 30s. Officers tend to ramp up the ranks a bit quicker than NCOs. Ask the right questions and you’ll learn more about the role and what opportunities you can have!
 

Snows

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Lads don’t think sniper is like call of duty. Its a very hard course to pass and most blokes in Sniper Plt are seasoned Paras who have earned their spurs, learned the trade as a quality soldier first, all over their fieldcraft and are good eggs. It’s way more than just shooting!
You mean Call of Duty isn't just windage tables, cold rations and wrapping your mucker's shit in clingfilm? I now see why it's popular!
 

Snows

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Can a Para Officer become a sniper? I’m interested in becoming an officer but worried that there is little opportunity to specialise? Can an Officer apply to be a sniper?
Forgot what I meant to add. There are two role exceptions that I know of, or at least have been in the past, and that's OC Sniper Wing at Brecon and Pirbright, who can do the course (spaces allowing). However, that is 1 posting per year across the entire Corps of Infantry. And they don't get to do the job, it's basically a perk justified by "leading by example". Also, I think those jobs are often taken by LEs, who may have been sniper qualled before commissioning. So in reality the answer is no.

But you may rarely see officers with sniper quals as a result, which is liable to send the internet into a tizz claiming that officers can be snipers.
 

Chelonian

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Can a Para Officer become a sniper? I’m interested in becoming an officer but worried that there is little opportunity to specialise?
A fair question. Arguably, Officer role is a specialisation in its own right.
I'm not directing this at you but generally anyone considering Officer entry really needs to have a good, hard think about this.
 

Snows

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A fair question. Arguably, Officer role is a specialisation in its own right.
I think this is a very good way of looking at it. It's just not the kind of specialisation that many would like it to be.

My thoughts on the Officer / Soldier question are long so I'm not getting into it now, but I'll say there are plenty of bad officers (even Para Reg ones, although they do tend to be better than most) and plenty of disillusioned officers. Being a soldier has its downsides, but it largely offers what it says on the tin, up to at least Sgt.

Anyone who wants to be an officer, I strongly recommend reading around (forums, social media, essay sites like Wavell Room) and thinking out the worst case accounts instead of just the best ones, because the advertising and the reality very often don't match.
 
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