When the FBI is required to engage with hostile forces, the first operatives to engage with these forces are Sniper/Observers. An FBI Sniper/Observer is a highly-trained marksman that will rank among the best in the world. They will be on the frontline of important FBI operations and are tasked with relaying critical information to the rest of their team.
Whether they work as a member of a SWAT team or as a member of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, Sniper/Observers will work to protect public safety and eliminate dangerous enemy combatants. Before becoming a Sniper/Observer with the FBI, you need to learn the qualifications of this career and some of the tasks you will be required to perform.
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Sniper/Observer Roles and Training
Although aspiring FBI Sniper/Observers will usually already possess some level of law enforcement or military training, the main requirement to enter this profession is to complete the eight-week Marine Corps Sniper School. Once you successfully complete this course, you will be able to join either the HRT or one of the 56 FBI SWAT teams located around the country.
When you are employed as a Sniper/Observer, you will fill two important roles, deployment and beginning negotiations.
In deployment, a Sniper/Observer will infiltrate a hostile area and will gather important intel about enemy forces, including their weapons systems and whether they have hostages. Sniper/Observers can also defend their other team members as the gain tactical positions.
Although Sniper/Observers primary goal will be to eliminate hostile targets, they can also initiate negotiation if the situations requires it. Because Sniper/Observers take the lead in most operations, they can make first contact with hostage takers and other individuals. When negotiations fail, a Sniper/Observer can help an assault team plan a breach.
Responsibilities of a Sniper/Observer
There are several responsibilities of a Sniper/Observer that you should learn about if you’re considering this FBI career. Primarily, a Sniper/Observer is responsible for maintain their elite marksmanship skills so that they are always ready to enter the field. A Sniper/Observer must also possess advanced collaborative skills, as the will often work alongside another Sniper/Observer.
Before becoming a Sniper/Observer, you will also need to develop effective communication skills, as you will regularly have to provide reports to commanders and team members and will also be required to make initial contact with targets.
A successful Sniper/Observer will also be able to keep track of multiple targets, will help develop offensive strategies, provide defensive fire to other FBI personnel and follow the rules of engagement.
Pay Scale for a Sniper/Observer
A Sniper/Observer can work in multiple areas of the FBI. Typically, you will be employed as a member of a Hostage Rescue Team, a SWAT team or an Enhanced SWAT team. The salary for a Sniper/Observer is based on the General Schedule (GS) scale, with most in this profession being paid between GS-10 and GS-13. Because Sniper/Observers employed with the HRT are automatically supervisors, they will be paid between GS-14 and GS-15.
If you’re committed to developing elite marksman and observational skills, you can be a leading FBI operative by becoming a Sniper/Observer. Without a Sniper/Observer, FBI operations won’t be able to succeed, making this a crucial profession.