Via John at The Castle Argghhh! comes a bit of news from Afghanistan. The Marines put a patrol on the road. 30 Marines were ambushed by a force estimated at 250 Taliban. The final Score? Marines-50, Taliban-0. The highlight? One young Marine, serving as a Designated Marksman, got 20 of the Taliban all by himself. This alone would be a somewhat stunning feat of arms. The kicker? He did it with 20 shots. That’s some shooting, Corporal. BZ.
During the battle, the designated marksman single handedly thwarted a company-sized enemy RPG and machinegun ambush by reportedly killing 20 enemy fighters with his devastatingly accurate precision fire. He selflessly exposed himself time and again to intense enemy fire during a critical point in the eight-hour battle for Shewan in order to kill any enemy combatants who attempted to engage or maneuver on the Marines in the kill zone. What made his actions even more impressive was the fact that he didn’t miss any shots, despite the enemies’ rounds impacting within a foot of his fighting position. Via Ace
What is a Designated Marksman? He’s about halfway between a rifleman and a sniper. Snipers in the Marines generally belong to headquarters units and are part of the reconnaissance and intelligence gathering portion of the unit. A Designated Marksman is an integral part of the rifle squad. Maybe this article will shed a little light on the subject. We’ve talked about the M-14 before, in this post. Note that both the Army and the Marines are using this concept, albiet with minor differences.