In late 2003, a small group of American police snipers formed a support network to address the operational equipment needs of American military snipers deployed abroad in the war on terror.
Originally known as The Adopt A Sniper program, the effort began as a simple request for assistance among deployed friends, who were also peace officers serving in the National Guard and Reserve. These peace officers were employed as SWAT team snipers at home and were also assigned as snipers within the United States military.
As the initial war in Afghanistan stabilized and the war in Iraq progressed, the urban mission profiles of US police snipers and US military snipers were found to overlap somewhat and the gear and supplies needed to accomplish the two missions were found to be virtually identical. Once deployed, these military snipers requested assistance from their SWAT sniper friends in procuring the specialized gear, which was better suited for their missions and which was unable to be supplied by their parent military entity for a variety of reasons.
Due to the enormity of the commitment in Iraq and Afghanistan and the differences between the various units and staff personnel; many American snipers and designated marksmen were, and still are, having to spend their own funds and enlist their families and friends in procuring gear and getting it to them in the middle of a war zone. Consequently, these servicemen often go without gear they desperately need, due to the expense associated with procuring it.
The police snipers staffing the organization were all too aware of the expense associated with the specialized gear needs of their military brethren, due to their own experiences commonly associated with police department budgetary constraints. They were also acutely aware of the necessary, albeit seemingly endless red tape and agonizing wait times associated with the procurement process of any government entity. Government cutbacks and priorities make a difficult situation even more so.
So the police officers decided to radically broaden the scope of their efforts and committed to aid as many snipers in the military as possible, no matter the theater of operations, for as long as the officers could sustain the program.
Using contacts developed throughout the US police and military sniper communities, the police snipers were able to network with military snipers deployed abroad, obtain their overseas addresses and began sending desperately needed gear and supplies that are specifically tailored to the sniper mission, currently at the forefront of the war on terror. Due to the immediate unity and lifelong bonds formed between the two groups of professional American snipers (most of who had never met), the name of the organization was officially changed to AmericanSnipers.org.
11 years in existence, the AmericanSnipers.org effort makes no distinction between the full fledged sniper teams who are often fully trained and equipped, to the designated marksmen of the mechanized, mortar and cavalry units who, like their full fledged sniper brethren, are also assigned the daunting task of overwatch and denying the emplacement of IEDs. These designated marksmen are often doing what is normally a sniper’s job, without the training and ancillary gear normally associated with the infantry sniper MOS. They are often assigned to a Stryker, Cavalry or other non-infantry unit and equipped with an M14 rifle that is often older than the sniper’s parents. Due to their unit type, sniper related gear is often not on their Modified Table of Equipment and these men often must literally do something with nothing. Amazingly, as they have always done, they are doing the job regardless of the obstacles presented them.
AmericanSnipers.org has made it their mission to assist these specialized troops and what began as a few police snipers sending gear right out of their own gear bags, has grown into a full time program currently supporting snipers and designated marksmen in over 150 sniper platoons of the US military.
The snipers and designated marksmen are encouraged to work through their own supply systems and to make their needs known to their superiors to maintain continuity and flow of information. However, that failing, AmericanSnipers.org has the ability to provide gear that goes directly from an AmericanSnipers.org shipping point, to the exact military address of the sniper himself. When the sniper’s deployment ends, he either gives the equipment to his replacement (if it is serviceable) or keeps it if he re-enlists and plans to return to overseas duty in a sniper billet.
The AmericanSnipers program is entirely funded by civic donations and currently staffed by both operational and retired US police and military snipers (or members of their families). All monies donated go directly back into the organization and no person ever has, or ever will draw a salary from the efforts of the organization.
Monetary donations are used for purchasing gear, shipping charges and for purchasing fund raising items to be sold for profit. The operating costs of the .org are minimal and consist primarily of the costs to keep the website operational and travel to high profile venues where donations are taken. The donations vastly exceed the cost of the travel incurred to obtain them and are what primarily sustain operations throughout the year.
Donations are tax deductible. Receipts for donations are sent upon request, no person receives a salary or kickback in any form whatsoever and the entire effort is conducted on the staff’s own time. Business owners often donate perfectly serviceable, albeit blemished products, due to the non-profit status of the .org.
As we begin 2014, AmericanSnipers.org has supported snipers and designated marksmen in over 1100 different PLATOONS of the United States military and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds and gear for US snipers in all branches of the armed forces. The program has received positive mention in major newspapers in the US and abroad, on several national television news networks and on countless radio broadcasts and internet blog sites. The National Defense Industrial Association awarded AmericanSnipers.org the Carlos N. Hathcock II Award for 2007. To our knowledge, we are THE ONLY non-profit organization actively helping to kill our enemies by proxy.
www.AmericanSnipers.org operates as a project under the 501C3 non-profit status of the organization Snipersonline UA.
Anyone wishing to assist the program with monetary or gear donations or for further information is invited to visit the website at www.AmericanSnipers.org