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'A milestone': First woman completes Army sniper course

She “epitomizes what it means to be an infantry soldier,” a military official said.

A Montana National Guard soldier became the first woman to finish the Army’s sniper course at Fort Benning, Georgia, military officials said.

The woman, who was not identified in a news release from the Army on Monday, completed the seven-week class Friday.

The military describes the course as a program to turn students into “the most feared weapon on the battlefield.”  

The soldier, who enlisted in the National Guard in December, was sent to Fort Benning for basic and advanced individual training. Training staff members and others recommended that she take the sniper course because of her “superior performance,” the Army said.

“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 statement. 

Students in the course learn fieldcraft, marksmanship, mission planning, advanced situational awareness, urban operations and other battlefield tactics.

A company commander at Fort Benning, Capt. Joshua O’Neill, said the soldier “epitomizes what it means to be an infantry soldier.”

“There wasn’t a doubt in our minds that she would succeed in the U.S. Army sniper course,” he said.