Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Designated Marksman?

2. What is a Designated Marksman Rifle?

3. How does someone become a designated marksman?





1. The designated marksman (DM) or squad designated marksman (SDM) is a military marksman role in an infantry squad. The term sniper was used in Soviet doctrine although the soldiers using the Dragunov SVD were the first to use a specifically designed designated marksman's rifle. The analogous role in the Israeli army is sharpshooter.

The DM's role is to supply rapid accurate fire on enemy targets at ranges up to 500 meters (550 yd) with a semi-automatic rifle equipped with a telescopic sight. Like snipers, DMs are trained in quick and precise shooting, but unlike the more specialized "true" sniper, they are also attached to an infantry fireteam and intended to lay down accurate rapid fire at valuable targets as needed, thus extending the reach of the Fireteam.

2. A designated marksman rifle (DMR) is the weapon used by soldiers in the designated marksman (DM) role. The DM's role fills the gap between a regular infantryman and a sniper (typically being deployed at ranges of 250–500 metres or 270–550 yards) and DMRs have been developed with this middle ground in mind. Generally speaking, a DMR is chambered in a caliber of at least 7.62mm or larger giving a greater chance of stopping the threat at longer distances.

3. In the US Marine Corps (from "Only a select few Marines are chosen by their command to be designated marksmen. Marines who maintain a high first-class physical fitness test score, a high rifle qualification score, and show potential to excel as a marksman, are chosen. During preparatory training, Marines are selected to become designated marksmen and receive a month-long school at 4th MEB (AT) Headquarters in Camp Lejeune, N.C."