A Ghillie Suit; a Sharpshooter's Most Essential Item

Everyone has heard of what camouflage is, but far fewer people have seen a ghillie suit. You might not see it at all unless you are looking hard. The ghillie suit dates back to Scotland when barons would pay men to patrol their properties to repel illegal hunters. Ghillies, as they came to be known, would get in the bushes and wait for poachers in outfits they would craft from rags and frayed materials.

Nowadays ghillie suits are used for a number of activities from the deadly act of sharpshooting to the much less deadly game of paintball. The materials used have changed but the concept behind the covering remains the same. Even when the enemy or mark comes within a really close range to them, the modern ghillie suit wearer can remain unseen and look like a pile of sticks in the forest.

Ghillie suits have been associated with sharpshooting because of their straightforward concept and high effectiveness. Around the time of the conclusion of the eighteenth century the art of sniping began. To destroy and break the spirits of the enemy, rebels would pick off targets from far-away areas. Snipers came about when weapons became more accurate and a shooter could be over one-hundred meters from their mark.

The use of snipers in military combat changed the the technique in which wars were fought. Officers would stand with troops and give commands during battle before the deployment of snipers. Infantry warfare went from direct engagements to covered, flanking techniques as more commanders were killed. Commanders had to try and mix in with the lower-ranking soldiers to avoid being shot. These tactics took engagements from an open field to locations that had more shelter for both forces such as forests or hills. As more ferocious and far-away techniques were implemented to fight, the code of conduct that military men in the past held onto was forgotten.

To kill high-ranking officers and to break the spirits of enemy armies during WWI, every side used ghillie suits and sniper techniques. The talent to stay unseen for sharpshooters lies within the ghillie suit; textiles hang down and give the sharpshooter unbelievable camouflage protection. No matter what climate they are in, there are so many styles of the suit that the wearer can blend in with their terrain everywhere. A desert ghillie suit, for example, would appear a lot different than a woodlands ghillie suit.

Modern day sharpshooters still continue to use the suit for protection and cover while on imperative missions. A sniper’s talent to remain hidden is essential for their safety and life since most of the time a shooter works alone or with one other man as the spotter. A well-made suit to cover the shooter is the most essential asset besides the gun. A sharpshooter’s safety would be extremely compromised if they didn’t have the skill to stay unseen until it was time to take the shot. The getaway after a shot was taken is just as essential to a sharpshooter as the actual shot. Several times during the escape the shooter will use the camouflage of the ghillie suit to get him out without harm.

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