Duty First: Counterinsurgency

Briefly defined as “finding and confronting enemies hidden in a population,” counterinsurgency can look like traditional combat, as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers fight to clear villages, secure roads and kill or capture enemies. But insurgents are unknown enemies—they attack and then fade back into the population. Soldiers must find and defeat these enemies, while also winning the trust of local people.

The Role of Snipers in Counterinsurgency

In order to defeat insurgents, some soldiers must operate as snipers. In this theme-section learn how elements, including snipers, of the 1 ID deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq multiple times conducting counterinsurgency operations. Key aspects of a sniper’s mission are surprise and stealth. At the FDM you can view a camouflage suit—known as a Ghillie Suit—a sniper made that allowed him to blend into his surroundings while serving in Afghanistan. Snipers know their craft and the environment so well that they generally make their own camouflage suits. See if you can spot the Ghillie Suit on your next visit to the First Division Museum.