Since most of a sniper's time is spent on reconnaissance missions observing the enemy, his observational skills have to be flawless. USMC Scout Sniper School has developed some unique "games" to hone student snipers' ability to look at things critically. This section details the games used to teach advanced observational skills.
Army Ranger Sniper details one training exercise called the KIMS game:
The KIMS game that Army Ranger Sniper describes is played repeatedly throughout the two-month course. As time goes by, students are given more objects to look at and less time to look at them. To add to the challenge, the time between seeing the objects and reporting what they saw gets longer as the course goes on. By the end, they may see 25 objects in the morning, train all day, and then at night be asked to write down descriptions of all the things they saw.
Another observation game happens in the field with a sniper scope. According to Army Ranger Sniper:
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Try your hand at sniper observation games.
Use the mouse to move the sniper scope around the field to locate the 10 hidden objects. Mouse over and click to shoot. Time yourself to see if you can do it in 30 seconds like a real sniper.
Snipers' observational skills tie into their main mission: reconnaissance. Such intense observational practice rewires a person's brain. Army Ranger Sniper explains, "Even just driving down the road now I see weird little things on the side of the road that a lot of people wouldn't really notice."
In the next section, we'll look at another critical element of the sniper's skill set: the stalk.