Monday, January 5, 2015

Number One With a Bullet

Modern American Snipers – From the Legend to the Reaper – On the Battlefield with Special Operations Snipers – Chris Martin – (St. Martin’s Press)

For whatever reason, there is a fascination on the part of the general public about snipers. I am not sure if it is the deadly skill set that they bring to bear or the loner quality that is often part and parcel of how snipers are portrayed in countless books; both fact and fictional accounts and the multitude of onscreen portrayals of these often larger than life characters.

From Chris Kyle’s American Sniper to Carlos Hathcock in Marine Sniper and even Stephen Hunter’s fictional sniper Bob Lee Swagger, there is something that inherently draws us to these men. The patience, the skill, puffed up swagger that is part of these guys character, that lead to amazing stories.

In Modern American Snipers – From the Legend to the Reaper – On the Battlefield with Special Operations Snipers, author Chris Martin explores not only the men, but also the evolving role of the modern, American, special forces snipers. The sniper’s job description has changed almost has dramatically as the tools that they use to complete their assignments.

Martin draws a clear picture of not only how the role of the sniper as changed, but also the in the field situations that are at the root that evolution. It is a core standard for snipers to always seek the higher ground and the upper hand on the battlefield and the training and tactics that snipers use in the ongoing war of terror has allowed them to have a major impact on not only changing the elements of battle but of the situational priorities that lead to lives saved.

A master sniper is worth his weight in gold not only for the fear they can strike in the hearts of their enemies, but also the confidence they engender in their team when they provide overwatch and draw down on the bad guys. While Martin captures the colorful characters that populate the special forces sniper community he also details the in the moment tactics that these guys bring to the fight.   

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