US Marines Move Snipers from Infantry Battalions to Recon & MARSOC

There’s been quite a bit of grump king recently over USMC plans to move their Snipers from Infantry Battalions where they are organized in Scout Sniper Platoons to Reconnaissance Bns and Marine Corps Special Operations Command.

The move was made official late last week with release of a message which “directs immediate transition of Scout Sniper Platoons to Scout Platoons.” The move comes as part of Force Design 2030 and is reportedly due to the inability of Scout Sniper Platoons to provide continuous all-weather information on the battlefield.

Currently, Scout Sniper Platoons consist of 18 Marines. According to the message, “The Commandant of the Marine Corps agreed to establish a scout platoon within the Infantry Battalion to provide the commander with relevant, reliable, accurate, and prompt information. The Scout Platoon consists of 26 Marines, four teams of six infantry Marines led by a First Lieutenant and infantry Gunnery Sergeant. Trained designated marksmen and precision rifles will remain within the Infantry Company.”

Along with the move comes a new Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) for Snipers. They will no longer have the secondary MOS of 317. Instead, Marine Corps is establishing the Reconnaissance Sniper (0322) MOS, for designated 0321 MOS Reconnaissance Marines, which will be organic to reconnaissance battalions.

As for relying on MARSOC Snipers, the Marine Corps is writing a check they may not be able to cash since MARSOC provides forces to Special Operations Task Forces and not Marine Expeditionary Units.

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