A Montana National Guard soldier has becomes the first woman to graduate the US Army Sniper Course at at Fort Benning in Georgia.
News Release, 08 November 2021: A female Montana Army National Guard Soldier graduated from the US Army Sniper Course at Fort Benning, Ga on Nov. 5, becoming the first woman in history to complete the course. At this time, the military is not identifying this Soldier by name.
“We are extremely proud of this Soldier’s achievement and recognise 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. “This Soldier had to volunteer several times to reach this goal, which is a demonstration of her dedication and commitment to service.”
The Soldier enlisted in to the Montana Army National Guard in Dec. 2020. She was then sent to Fort Benning to complete Infantry One Station Unit Training (OSUT), a 22 week course that combines Army basic training with advanced individual training in infantry skills. While attending OSUT, she was recommended by her training staff and chain of command for the opportunity to attend 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. “She epitomises what it means to be an infantry Soldier and there wasn’t a doubt in our minds that she would succeed in the US Army Sniper Course.”
The Soldier began the US 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.
“The Soldier met every standard required to graduate the United States Army Sniper Course,” said Capt. David Wright, Battalion Commander, US 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 US Army Sniper Course qualified Sniper.”
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.
Source: Montana NG PAO – Maj. Ryan Finnegan