FBI Sniper/Observers are some of the most highly trained marksmen anywhere. They have elite technical skills up to par with the world’s best long range shooters, as well as top range situational awareness skills and ability to stick to the letter of the law flawlessly. Snipers maintain impeccable FBI standards while protecting national and public safety.
FBI Snipers must undertake an eight week training program with the Marine Corps Sniper School, after which they are put on an SWAT or HRT team. In this capacity they have two major roles:
1. Deployment: As secretive observers, they must acquire knowledge pertaining to the location of hostile forces, their weapons and defence systems, whether or not they have hostages, or if there are bystanders or other environmental conditions that might cause complications to a mission. During terrorist and/or WMD missions, operatives must consider the location and status of explosive devices, biological hazards and nuclear warheads as paramount. Once all of this information has been ascertained, the rest of the SWAT or HRT team is given a strategy for moving forward. Snipers give other operatives cover with defensive fire as they assume tactical positions.
2. Initiation of Negotiations: A Snipers main training is to stop suspects from a great distance, however, they also assist in starting dialogue with hostage keepers or other individual targets. Snipers are the lead operatives for ground missions, and as such have the positioning to asses the risks involved in a breach, and creating strategy to avoid live conflict where possible.
Job Description for FBI Sniper/Observer
Snipers have the following responsibilities:
1. Keeping up elite standards of marksmanship using a diverse range of rifles and firearms.
2. Collaborating with co-snipers between shooting and observation tasks.
3. Reporting to commanders and other team personnel about the situation at hand.
4. Initiating communication with hostile subjects.
5. Stopping potentially violent targets.
6. Keeping track of all hostages, public bystanders and explosives in range.
7. Advising on tactics for deployment of SWAT and HRTs.
8. Recognising and communicating to team about offensive opportunities
9. Giving other operatives defensive fire while they take cover.
10. Maintaining a high level of knowledge regarding the rules of engagement.
Salary for FBI Sniper/Observer
FBI Snipers can be part of SWAT, Enhanced SWAT or Hostage Rescue Teams. They start at a GS-10 pay grade and can receive promotion up to a GS-13 for long term field service. Snipers who become supervisors, instructors or managers can be promoted all the way up to GS-14 or GS-15, and Snipers on HRTs are automatically supervisors. There is also a Cost of Living Adjustment (which is between 12.5 and 28.7 percent of base wage) for Snipers, plus an extra 25 percent for constant availability. Snipers benefits include health, life and long-term care insurance, Thrift Savings Plans and retirement benefits 20-25 years of employment.