A sniper is a highly trained marksman who operates alone, in a pair, or with a sniper team to maintain close visual contact with the enemy and engage targets from concealed positions or distances exceeding the detection capabilities of enemy personnel. These sniper teams operate independently, with little combat asset support from their parent units. Snipers typically have highly selective and specialized training and use high-precision/special application rifles and optics, and often have sophisticated communication assets to feed valuable combat information back to their units.
Snipers shoot targets that are far away. Because the bullet shot by a sniper has to travel a very long distance, the sniper has to be very careful when taking aim. There are three main things that have an effect on the accuracy of the shot. The sniper must plan for these things.
- The target may be moving, such as walking or running. A sniper must think about where the target will be when the bullet reaches it. A still target might move suddenly.
- The force of gravity affects the bullet, so that it will drop towards the ground. If the target is close, the effect of gravity does not have a big effect on the accuracy. If the target is far distant, then the sniper must judge how high to shoot, to make up for the distance that the bullet will fall as it flies.
- Wind affects the way in which a bullet will travel and can blow it away from the target. The sniper must think about the direction that the wind is blowing and the strength of the wind. The sniper might need to shoot to the left or the right of the target, to make up for the wind.
Military snipers are chosen for their intelligence, their good sight and their ability to shoot very well. They are trained to use their sight very well. They are trained to see the enemy from far away, and to notice small movements that might show that enemies are near. They are also trained to hide themselves. Snipers use these skills to destroy enemy troops. Snipers generally work in a small unit (or team) of just two people, a sniper and a spotter.