Theodore's World: Staff Sgt. Steve Reichert Sniper 1 Mile Kill Shot

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January 25, 2010

Staff Sgt. Steve Reichert Sniper 1 Mile Kill Shot

A U.S. Marine, Staff Sgt. Steve Reichert, has scored a kill shot while engaging the enemy in Iraq, and the shot was over a mile away. For his actions, Staff Sgt. Reichert has been awarded the Bronze Star for Valor.

In the after-action report, the platoon leader made a remarkable account: that Reichert made the shot from 1,614 meters – about a mile away. His accuracy was the deciding factor in the outcome of the firefight.

1,614 meters translates in to 1765.0918662 yards. There are three feet in a yard, so that number times three yields 5,295.2755986 feet. Staff Sgt. Reichert scored a kill shot at fifteen feet beyond a mile.


This is from Steve Reichert's appearance on History Channel's sniper special, where he tells his story about his fights in Iraq. Part one above and Part Two below. .



In the early morning hours of April 9, 2004, a Marine sniper and his spotter crawled on top of an abandoned oil storage tank in Lutafiyah, Iraq. Their mission was routine as they covered their squad’s patrol movement through the small town during the Arba’een pilgrimage. As it turned out, it was also a mission that will go down in the volumes of Marine Corps history.

Staff Sgt. Steve Reichert, a 25-year-old scout sniper with Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, and Medfield, Mass., native, was recently awarded one of the Corps’ top medals, the Bronze Star with a combat ‘V’ for valorous action.

The 1998 Medfield High School graduate spends his off hours firing at targets with his M82A3 .50-caliber special application scoped rifle (SASR).

During this particular mission atop the oil tank, Reichert settled himself in a very exposed position -- though he was able to prop up a few steel plates on some sand bags. He and his spotter occupied that position knowing they were extremely vulnerable to enemy fire.

“I didn’t really think about it at the time,” said Reichert. “But when we heard the fifty cal rounds impacting the oil tank we took what little cover there was.”

As the patrol moved toward the town, Reichert observed a dead animal located in the patrol’s path. It was then when he recalled his training in enemy tactics, techniques and procedures for improvised explosive devices (IED) and made radio contact with the patrol leader to redirect. The patrol leader radioed back to Reichert and confirmed his suspicion that two wires were leading out of the dog carcass.

“We encountered IEDs daily,” said Reichert. “The IED that the squad came up on was in a dead animal, and with my spotting scope I could see the slight reflection of the wires coming out of the animal.

But despite the squad’s preventive measures, a routine situation turned treacherous.

A rocket-propelled grenade, or RPG, was fired at the Marine patrol and seconds later enemy machine gun and small-arms fire pinned them down, according to Reichert. The Marines couldn’t effectively engage the enemy machine gunner on the rooftop of a nearby building so they radioed to Reichert on the oil storage tank. He took one shot and missed, then made the proper wind and elevation calculations to make his mark. A moment and a trigger pull later, Reichert took out the gunner.

In the after action report, the platoon leader made a remarkable account, that Reichert made the shot from 1,614 meters – approximately a mile away. His accuracy was the deciding factor in the outcome of the firefight.

Soon after, a few insurgents began to climb a set of stairs on the backside of the building where the firefight was taking place. Reichert aimed into the brick wall where he thought the men were and fired.

All three of the men dropped. Reichert’s armor-piercing round penetrated the wall and killed one man -- possibly wounding the other two with bullet and brick fragmentation.

“I was concerned about my Marines making it out of there in one piece,” said Reichert. “And at the same time I was loving life. I was outside of the gunmen’s range, but they were within my weapon’s range. I guess I could compare it to shooting ducks in a barrel.”

But the parlor game atmosphere proved to be more difficult than he may have expected.

“I could see that the two Marines got separated (from the platoon) and saw that a small group of insurgents were maneuvering into position to ambush the Marines. Once they stopped moving I shot one; the other two ran.”

Reichert looks back at his mission as a learning experience – not only for him, but for others who follow in his footsteps.

“I’ve learned a few lessons in life that I think helped me along the way,” said Reichert. “Never quit, no matter how tough life can get.”


Wild Thing's comment.......

What a shot. Another Carlos Hathcock!!!! God Bless him and God Bless the Troops.

And this form Jack......
"I had the M2 on my tank stateside and fired it a lot, an awesome weapon, In Vietnam we mounted one on a swivel track mounted on the lead 5 ton it was our "gun truck", it was destroyed on highway 19 during one of those 'non battles' we doggies sometimes witnessed."

....Thank you Jack for sending this to me.

Army Combat Engineers
Quang Tri & Chu Lai '68 -'69
United States Army
Jack's blog is Conservative Insurgent

Posted by Wild Thing at January 25, 2010 05:48 AM


I know the feeling Jack, I had a Ma Duece on our track and it was totally awsome. It gave you a sense of invincibility when firing it but we all know that that was not the case. Regardless, I love the M@.

Posted by: Eddie (Enemy of the State) at January 25, 2010 10:30 AM

The .50 cal Barret that Reichert uses is an awesome weapon. He definitely used it to full advantage and pulled tat patrol out of a tight spot. I especially like his shot through the brick wall.

Posted by: TomR at January 25, 2010 11:51 AM

That round and the SLAP round are just Awesome. As old as the M-2 is they still find a use for it. The first time I visited the Marine Corps museum, they had some there, a SLAP round, it looked like a .50 cal but the bullet was small compared to regular ball ammo. It's made from depleted Uranium and that damn thing penetrates anything. The flat trajectory makes it the perfect sniper weapon on a tri-pod or as with this new one. Gunny Hatchcock would be proud.

That visit was old home week. Who says you can't go home again.

Posted by: Mark at January 25, 2010 01:33 PM

Thank you so much all of you.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 26, 2010 02:19 AM