USMC sniper metes out swift death in Iraq

Discussion in 'Modern' started by syscom3, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I bet not even Les is as a good a shot as this guy (and hes a yankee too!!!!!)

    RAMADI, Iraq (AP) — He was 5 when he first fired an M-16, his father holding him to brace against the recoil. At 17 he enlisted in the Marine Corps, spurred by the memory of Sept. 11.
    Now, 21-year-old Galen Wilson has 20 confirmed kills in four months in Iraq — and another 40 shots that probably killed insurgents. One afternoon the lance corporal downed a man hauling a grenade launcher 5½ football fields away.
    Wilson is the designated marksman in a company of Marines based in downtown Ramadi, watching over what Marines call the most dangerous neighborhood in the most dangerous city in the world.
    Here, Sunni Arab insurgents are intent on toppling the local government protected by Marines.
    Wilson, 5-foot-6 with a soft face, is married and has two children and speaks in a deep, steady monotone.
    After two tours in Iraq, his commanders in the 3rd Battalion, 8th Regiment call him a particularly mature Marine, always collected and given to an occasional wry grin.
    His composure is regularly tested. Swaths of central and southern Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, are dominated by insurgents who regularly attack the provincial government headquarters that Marines protect.
    During a large-scale attack on Easter Sunday, Wilson says, he spotted six gunmen on a rooftop about 400 yards away. In about 8 seconds he squeezed off five rounds — hitting five gunmen in the head. The sixth man dived off a 3-story building just as Wilson got him in his sights, and counts as a probable death.
    "You could tell he didn't know where it was coming from. He just wanted to get away," Wilson said. Later that day, he said, he killed another insurgent.
    Wilson says his skill helps save American troops and Iraqi civilians.
    "It doesn't bother me. Obviously, me being a devout Catholic, it's a conflict of interest. Then again, God supported David when he killed Goliath," Wilson said. "I believe God supports what we do and I've never killed anyone who wasn't carrying a weapon."
    He was raised in a desolate part of the Rocky Mountains outside Colorado Springs, "surrounded by national parks on three sides," he says. He regularly hunted before moving to Fort Lauderdale, as a teenager. His brother also serves in the military.
    Guns have long been part of Wilson's life. His father was a sniper in the Navy SEALS. He remembers first firing a sniper rifle at age 6. By the time he enlisted he had already fired a .50-caliber machine gun.
    "My father owned a weapons dealership, so I've been around exotic firearms all my life," said Wilson, who remembers practicing on pine cones and cans. "My dad would help me hold (an M-16), with the butt on his shoulder, and walk me through the steps of shooting."
    Technically, Wilson is not a sniper — he's an infantryman who also patrols through the span of destroyed buildings that make up downtown Ramadi. But as his unit's designated marksman, he has a sniper rifle. In the heat of day or after midnight, he spends hours on rooftop posts, peering out onto rows of abandoned houses from behind piles of sandbags and bulletproof glass cracked by gunfire.
    Sometimes individual gunmen attack, other times dozens. Once Wilson shot an insurgent who was "turkey peeking" — Marine slang for stealing glances at U.S. positions from behind a corner. Later, the distance was measured at 514 meters — 557 yards.
    "I didn't doubt myself, if I was going to hit him. Maybe if I would have I would have missed," Wilson said.
    The key to accuracy is composure and experience, Wilson says. "The hardest part is looking, quickly adjusting the distance (on a scope), and then getting a steady position for a shot before he gets a shot off. For me, it's toning everything out in my head. It's like hearing classical music playing in my head."
    Though Wilson firmly supports the war, he used to wonder how his actions would be received back home.
    "At first you definitely double-guess telling your wife, mom, and your friends that you've killed 20 people," Wilson said. "But over time you realize that if they support you ... maybe it'll make them feel that much safer at home."
    He acknowledges that brutal acts of war linger in the mind.
    "Some people, before they're about to kill someone, they think that — 'Hey, I'm about to kill someone.' That thought doesn't occur to me. It may sound cold, but they're just a target. Afterward, it's real. You think, 'Hey, I just killed someone,'" says Wilson.
    Insurgents "have killed good Marines I've served with. That's how I sleep at night," he says. "Though I've killed over 20 people, how many lives would those 20 people have taken?"
    Wilson plans to leave the Marines after his contract expires next year and is thinking of joining a SWAT Team in Florida — possibly as a sniper.
     
  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    Not bad but this is a little further Lilja Precision Rifle Barrels Remember that the Canadians taught you about sniping from the first war up to and including the re-establishment of the US forces sniper teams back in the 70s
     
  3. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    19,162
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Communications
    Location:
    Long Island Native in Mississippi
    Home Page:
    Any shot over 400 yards is one helluva fuc*king shot man.... I was nominated for sniper training back in 1991, but declined due to the operational tempo of sniper duty, which is rather slow and tedious.... Not my bag...

    I have the greatest respect for snipers, be them Marines, Navy or Army sharpshooters... The patience and the ability to judge distances are some of the hardest combat skills to hone....
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,768
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Used to insert the sniper teams over in Iraq and extract them like a week later. I have a lot of respect for them but not a job for me.
     
  5. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Student in High School
    Location:
    Auburn,Alabama; USA
    Agreed! I knew someone whose father was a Sniper attached to the 24th Infantry at Fort Benning. Manage to kill a few Insurgents in Iraq two years ago and was wounded twice. Recieved the Bronze Star for his bravery.
     
  6. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,160
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    Have a huge respect for them. I have shot in competitions with the army some of whom have been snipers. That said its clear that the shooting is the easy part of it for them, its the mental strength that makes the difference.

    I couldn't do it.

    Most of them have been like Gallen described above, quiet, calm types.
     
  7. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Its always the quiet and calm ones you have to watch out for

    :lol:
     
  8. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Still a student
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
  9. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Student in High School
    Location:
    Auburn,Alabama; USA
    Exactly.:lol:
     
  10. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    8,848
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Naval Electronics Technician
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    As amazing as it may seem to you, I also knew that. ;)

    I guess maybe because I'm also Canadian, and actually interested in Canadian history and all. :rolleyes:
     
  11. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Anything is possible, but do you have any sources to back that up?
     
  12. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    8,848
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Naval Electronics Technician
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Nope, not currently. Ask pb, he might have something handy.

    When did you of all people become so interested in backing things up anyway?
     
  13. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    The US army has always had sharpshooters, and to think that they needed a sniper school (in Canada) sounds a little bit far fetched
     
  14. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    8,848
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Naval Electronics Technician
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Most of the world's armies have some sort of formal sniper training. They don't usually just send them off with a precision rifle and hope for the best. There have been some wartime exceptions to the rule, like with the Russians at Stalingrad for example, but it isn't usually done.
     
  15. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    it was a American History Channel documentary on Snipers
     
  16. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    8,848
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Naval Electronics Technician
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    What, seriously? And they actually admitted that Canadians instructed US Army snipers? Ha, will wonders never cease? :lol:
     
  17. 102first_hussars

    102first_hussars Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2005
    Messages:
    2,214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Service Truck Driver For Fountain Tire's Farm And Fleet Service
    Location:
    Edmonton,Alberta
    I am shocked, what next?
     
  18. P38 Pilot

    P38 Pilot Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,814
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Student in High School
    Location:
    Auburn,Alabama; USA
    The French winning a battle for once...:lol:
     
  19. Chief

    Chief Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Operational Cleaner
    Hey, If anything we get it from the english since, we were English before the revolution. And since you saw Snipers on the history channels you would also know there were snipers(sharpshooters then) who got from basic hunting. I also respect them. It's different when you choose when a person dies.

    I'm not putting the canadians down. I'm just giving credit where it's due.
     
  20. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    11,985
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I believe the English were the first to use dedicated "sharpshooters" in the English Civil War. But the English didn't actively teach the U.S snipers that often.
     
Loading...

Share This Page