National Guard soldier becomes first woman to graduate the Army’s sniper school

(Fort Benning, Ga) – In Week 3 of U.S. Army Sniper School, 35 students participate in the ghillie wash, which is designed to test the strength and durability of the suits as well as weather them. Sniper School students use sand, water and mud, all in an effort to perfect one of their most important tools: their camouflage. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning Public Affairs)

A Montana woman is the first female US Army Sniper school graduate, breaking gender and sound barriers accordingly.

The Montana Army National Guardsman was selected out of infantry school due to her superior marksmanship skills, according to Army press officials. 

“We’re all incredibly proud of her,” said Capt. Joshua O’Neill, who was the unnamed soldier’s company commander during her infantry training. “She epitomizes 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.”

According to the Army Times, the unnamed Soldier began Sniper school in September. 

“The Soldier met every standard required to graduate the United States Army Sniper Course,” said Capt. David Wright, the sniper school’s commander. “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.”

Women have been entering several combat arms courses since 2016, when the male-only barrier was lifted. 

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