Montana National Guard soldier becomes first woman to graduate U.S. Army Sniper Course

A female Montana Army National Guard Soldier graduated from the U.S. Army Sniper Course at Fort Benning, Ga. on Nov. 5, becoming the first woman in history to complete the course.

The military is not identifying the soldier by name.

“We are extremely proud of this Soldier’s achievement and recognize that this is a milestone for not only Montana, but the entire National Guard and Army,” Maj. Gen. J. Peter Hronek, the Adjutant General for Montana, said in a release. “This soldier had to volunteer several times to reach this goal, which is a demonstration of her dedication and commitment to service.”

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The soldier enlisted in to the Montana Army National Guard in December 2020. She was then sent to Fort Benning to complete Infantry One Station Unit Training, a 22 week course that combines Army basic training with advanced individual training in infantry skills, according to a release from the Montana Guard.

While attending that course, she was recommended by her training staff and chain of command for the opportunity to attend the Sniper Course due to her performance, which included qualifying as an expert shooter, according to the Guard.

“We’re all incredibly proud of her,” Capt. Joshua O’Neill, OSUT Company Commander, said in a release. “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 U.S. Army Sniper Course.”

The soldier began the Army Sniper Course in September 2021. The intensive seven week course trains selected individuals assigned to sniper positions in the skills necessary to deliver long range precision fire and the collection of battlefield information, according to a release.

“The soldier met every standard required to graduate the U.S. Army Sniper Course,” Capt. David Wright, battalion commander, U.S. Army Sniper School, said in a release. “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 U.S. Army Sniper Course qualified sniper.”

The soldier will now join her unit, according to the Guard.

She’s the first woman to complete the Army sniper course, but several have completed a shorter Air Force course to qualify as snipers, according to