New ‘proof of concept’ Marine scout sniper course put on hold indefinitely

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The new 0315 Marine scout sniper course was seen as as a “proof of concept” that would a bring new dimension to the Corps’ sharpshooting community.

But before the first course could actually be held, it was indefinitely postponed, according to a Marine official.

The course, which intended to pull from Marines at the Camp Pendleton, California, School of Infantry-West and the Basic Reconnaissance Course, originally was scheduled to begin in February 2020. It was then pushed back to May, and eventually canceled.

The “course is currently being evaluated to see how it fits into ongoing Force Design initiatives,” Capt. Sam Stephenson, a spokesman for the Marine Corps, said in an email Friday morning.

At least three traditional scout sniper courses were either canceled or delayed to make room for the new “proof of concept” course, potentially putting strain on an occupancy field ― which previously suffered from a “critical gap” because so many Marines washed out.

After the Marine scout class was canceled the School of Infantry-West conducted a normal scout sniper course, Stephenson told Marine Corps Times in an early August email.

The idea of the course was to create a new 0315 Marine scout primary MOS with a similar career progression to other 03XX jobs, while providing their units with Marines specialized in advanced scouting and patrols.

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The Corps currently is “developing concepts for a future enhanced basic infantry course, which may include scouting concepts and potentially be run as a pilot course,” Stephenson said in the earlier email.

But details on what that course will look like or when it will be implemented is still to be determined, he added.

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