SCOUT SNIPERS IN HISTORY

World War One begins in Europe. The US maintains neutrality for the next three years.
28 July 1914
President Wilson declares war on Germany. Virginia is established that Spring.
2 April 1917
The same month, the US Marine Corps contracts with Winchester for 500 sniper variants of the 1903 Springfield. This rifle will be called the M1903A5 Winchester.
April 1917
Marine Barracks Quantico, Virginia established by Commandant of the Marine Corps Major General George Barnett.
14 May 1917
Fifth Marine Regiment arrives in France.
3 July 1917
General Pershing personally directs 5th Marine Regiment to transfer 90 M1903A5 Winchester sniper rifles with scopes to Ordnance Advance Depot No.1 for use by the British Fourth Army’s Scouting, Observation and Sniping School in the UK. These rifles will equip American officers attending that training.
  • Group photo of Scout Snipers (BW)

30 Sept 1917
20 American officers, including Marines, attend sniper training hosted by British Fourth Army in the UK.
October 1917
General Pershing, Commander in Chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), personally directs that all infantry formations in the AEF (including Marines) shall contain 8 snipers per company.
25 Jan 1918
Overseas Depot is established at Marine Barracks, Quantico, VA for the purpose of providing administrative, logistical and training support for the many thousands of raw recruits flowing in from basic training at Mare Island, Paris Island and Philadelphia Naval Yard.
19 May 1918
Marine Scout Sniper GySgt Walter Cook earns the first of five Silver Star Citations for actions action in the Bois de Belleau, France.
13 June 1918
Marine Scout Sniper Private Ople L. Waggoner earns the Silver Star at Chateau-Thierry, France.
6 June - 10 July 1918
Scout Sniper School is established alongside schools for machine gunnery, gas, bombing and leadership at Overseas Depot. Seventy-five NCO’s and 375 Privates are trained as Scout Snipers by war’s end.
Spring 1918
Marine Cpl John H. Pruitt becomes first American sniper to be awarded Medal of Honor. He was killed in action the following day “while sniping at the enemy."
  • Cpl John H Pruitt portrait

3 October 1918
Marine Scout Sniper GySgt Walter Cook earns Navy Cross and Distinguished Service Cross at Blanc Mont.
6 October 1918
Armistice signed and the “War to End All Wars” concludes.
  • Group photo of Scout Snipers (BW)

11 November 1918