I don’t know about active snipers, but Dr Ruth was one in the 40’s.
And, while looking up this clip, there appears to be lists of other female snipers on the internet, but I didn’t look at them so I couldn’t tell you what’s on them.
The Soviets allowed women in many combat roles long before the U.S., and in WWII there were about 2500 female snipers in the Soviet army. Only about 500 survived until the end of the war. Lyudmila Pavlichenko is regarded as the most successful female sniper in history with 309 kills. 36 of those kills were German snipers.
The U.S. has only recently opened up combat positions to women. While officially women can now become snipers in the U.S. military, I don’t know if any have actually done so yet.
Israel is one of the few countries in the world that has mandatory military service requirements for women. Many women serve in a variety of combat positions, including that of sniper. However, women are not typically placed into positions where actual combat service is likely. Instead, they are often placed in reserve positions.
Germany and Canada also allow women in combat positions, which I presume includes snipers.
I have read about a Syrian all-female sniper unit, and female snipers serve in many countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union (not really surprising given the role that Soviet women played in combat over the years).
Not a sniper, never been a soldier, but the physical loads that scout/snipers and USA snipers have to carry is enormous. They are light infantry, and light infantry traditionally in the US, well, at least for the last 40 years or so, carry some of the biggest loads in the entire Army.
Shooting is a very small part of the job; most of it is sitting somewhere, unobserved, seeing what’s going on, and timely telling someone else what that is. To do that, you need: radios, GPS gear, designators, night vision, optics, batteries to run all of that, the materials to construct your hide/shelter, food, water, personal items, armor, your weapons, other weapons like anti-tank rockets, and so on, and so on. All of it on your back or whatever local transport you can use. It’s not a small load.
People have this idea that snipers are just like what the Soviets bragged about; that Ludmilla could take a Moisin, 40 cartridges, a salami, and a loaf of bread, and go bag a dozen Germans. It doesn’t work that way.
“A 2007 study found Marines typically carry 97 to 135 pounds of gear”. Would this be more or less than a sniper would carry? This sounds like a lot of weight even for an above average strength male, but a women? Sorry, but she’d have to be one in a million. Even in training, the terrain and heat conditions where they are carrying this weight are often horrific, but actual combat conditions would be even worse.
The ‘longest’ isn’t really important in snipers, that’s from the current emphasis on it. What really matters is the count of enemies sniped – the consistency of their work.
And sometimes the vital-ness of the person they kill matters, but that is becoming less important as battles are more planned. Like the sniper who killed Admiral Nelson at Trafalgar – that might have been important, for Nelson could have been crucial to Britain in the future. But the Trafalgar battle was already won by Nelsons’ plans for his fleet, and succeeded despite his death.
I didn’t say or imply that I thought it was important. But there does seem to be an emphasis on it and it is a judge of skill. Also, it seems records of this is being kept up with so someone thinks it’s important. Thus my question.
In a prolonged war, inside your own country, all those peace time recruitment and training standards will fly out the window, just like what happened in continental Europe, and you will likely have women and even men past 50 in those roles. Some of the best rifle shots I know are well past 50.
“Light infantry” is infantry able to operate alone, on foot if needed, possibly in difficult and/or hostile terrain, possibly without transport, support and supply vehicles, so they must be able to carry with them everything they need.
Your study is newer than the one I’ve generally used. In the past here (in threads dealing with “should we allow women in the infantry” type questions) I’ve cited to this study from 2003, looking at US Army (USA) infantry operations in Afghanistan. http://thedonovan.com/archives/modernwarriorload/ModernWarriorsCombatLoadReport.pdf That report doesn’t cover USA snipers, which IIRC, aren’t a separate MOS like they are in the USMC, and in any event aren’t that numerically important in an article that seeks to figure out force-wide effects from the physical loads that infantry carry.
OTOH, these are still easier loads to carry than trying to carry a Bradley or Stryker on their backs, which is what makes them “light” infantry. On the other, other hand, it’s a lot easier to move quickly 1,000 light guys, than it is to move 1,000 mechanized infantry and all of their stuff.
Any how, that’s where I think SanDiegoTim is going with his post on the physical demands of being a scout/sniper, or of getting through STA Indoc, being greater than what most women are capable of. Go read “Jarhead” for a memoir of one guy’s experiences in the First Persian Gulf War as a member of a STA Platoon. (“STA” here stands for "“Surveillance and Target Acquisition,” and is where you generally find USMC Scout Snipers.)