Navy SEAL Chris Kyle – 255 Confirmed Kills, Deadliest Sniper in History

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chris-kyleChris Kyle hesitated the first time he killed a person at long range with a rifle. It was a woman who was about to attack a group of US Marines with a hand grenade.

The US Navy SEAL was overlooking an Iraqi town from a shabby building as US forces were still invading the country, before Saddam Hussein had been ousted. The Marines didn’t see the woman coming.

‘Take a shot,’ Mr Kyle’s chief told him.

Mr Kyle stammered: ‘But…’

‘Shoot!’ the chief told him again.

When Mr Kyle finally pulled the trigger, the woman dropped the grenade. He shot her again as it exploded.

But after four deployments to Iraq, he learned to stop hesitating and start shooting straight.

With 255 kills, 160 of them officially confirmed by the Pentagon, the retired Navy Seal sniper is the deadliest marksman in US military history.

During the Second Battle of Fallujah alone, when US Marines fought running battles in the streets with several thousand insurgents, he killed 40 people.

His feat blows away the previous American record of 109, set by Army Staff Sgt. Adelbert F. Waldron during the Vietnam war.

Carlos Hathcock, the famed Marine sniper who was the subject of the book ‘One Shot, One Kill,’ killed 93 people as a long-range sniper in Vietnam.

Despite the incredible number, Mr Kyle is still far from being the deadliest marksman in the world. That distinction goes to Simo Häyhä, a Finnish soldier who killed 542 Soviet soldiers during World War II.

Mr Kyle is a cowboy from Odessa, Texas, who was a professional bronco rodeo rider before he joined the Navy. He grew up hunting deer and pheasant with a rifle and a shotgun his dad bought him.

He never realized he was a good shot until he joined the Navy and got into the prestigious SEAL special operations unit.

For his deadly track record as a marksman during his deployment to Ramadi, the insurgents named him ‘Al-Shaitan Ramad’ — the Devil of Rahmadi — and put a $20,000 bounty on his head.

‘I thought to myself, “Oh, yeah!” It was an honor,’ he told Texas Monthly magazine when Army intelligence told him about his infamy.

But his Navy SEAL companions gave him a different name ‘the Legend.’

His most legendary shot came outside Sadr City in 2008 when he spotted an insurgent with a rocket launcher near an Army convoy — 2,100 yards away.

At that distance, 1.2 miles, he fired a shot from his .338 Lapua Magnum rifle. It struck home, knocking the man over dead.

‘God blew that bullet and hit him,’ Mr Kyle told the New York Post.

Mr Kyle’s preferred weapon, though, was a custom-built bolt action rifle with a powerful scope. It was chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum, a cartridge originally developed for hunting North American big game.

However, Mr Kyle said he has found a new use for it — making long range, highly accurate shots.

‘I could hit a target from 1,800 yards, and it would shoot like a laser,’ he told Texas Monthly.

Mr Kyle, who retired from the Navy after 10 years of service, is telling his remarkable story as a deadly marksman in his new book, ‘American Sniper,’ which hits shelves Tuesday.

For his valor, he received three Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars with Valor, according to his book publisher, Harper Collins.

Additionally, he was shot twice and was in six separate IED explosions as his unit, Charlie company of SEAL Team Three, saw significant combat across the country.

They painted the symbol on their body armor, their vehicles and even their weapons. The action was enough that the members of the unit adopted the white skull of the gun-wielding comic book vigilante The Punisher.

Despite the astonishing number of people he has shot, Mr Kyle says he has never second-guessed himself since the first time he had to pull the trigger on the grenade-wielding woman in Iraq.

For him, the enemy is a ‘savage,’ he told the Post.

‘It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don’t regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn’t save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I’m not naive, and I don’t romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job,’ he told Texas Monthly.

He left the service in 2009, deciding not to enlist in order to ‘save his marriage’ he told his publisher.

Mr Kyle has two children and lives in Dallas.

Since leaving the Navy, he has started his own military contracting firm, Craft International. It provides military and law enforcement sniper training, as well as private security and protection.

{Daily Mail/ Newscenter}


  1. “G-d blew that bullet”- kol hakavod, after all the accolades and medals, he admits it was not “kochi ve’otzem yadi”!

  2. Im not sure what to gain from this story.
    other than when something is bad youshould have no Rachmanus on it because if not it will Chas V’shalom get you.

    Thank You that is actually a very good lesson.

  3. #3 –
    All Hahshem does is for your good. What can happen to you bad?

    Dont ever decide on someone else “bad,” and emulate “Bayshunis, Rachmonis, Gomlei Chasodim.” As that way this world would be a good place.

  4. I think the point of this story is to test readers’ skills in reading comprehension.

    Note the discrepancy between the headline and the body of the article as to the number of confirmed hits.

  5. This is very important information. Every Jewish person should read this article instead of doing something useful.
    Thanks, Matzav. Three perfectly useful minutes I will never get back.

  6. I don’t know why people complain this is a waste and shouldn’t be on this site. I found the article pretty interesting and if not on such a frum site, I would never get to read about this.
    Thanks for this article!

  7. Doody….you wouldn’t be getting back a single moment that you spend on any website reading any article. If you are so bothered by this article for wasting your time…you should not be here at all……….insteading learning a blatt gemara will do you an awful lot more…
    Me…not bitul torah…I’m a woman and my babies are married…just in case….

  8. As a sniper who went to Scranton yeshiva in late ’70’s I believe we need as many of us to learn how to protect more Jews at greater distances. Tzai u’limad sheffelehs…

  9. Interesting article. All I have to say to Doody, the great Masmid, is: ” I’m sure that you have wasted a lot more then three minutes in your life time. Stop being holier than thou.”

  10. #9 – Don’t blame Blama Matzav for your bittul Torah! Get off the internet and open up a sefer. It is useful to read about Romney and Gingrich which will surely be glorious moments saved for you in Olam Ha’Emes? Take responsibility for how you use your time and don’t blame “the matzav.”

  11. #6,

    #3 is right. Very correct. Chazal teach us, “kol hamerachem al ha’achzarim, sofo l’hisachzer al harachmanim”. Misplaced rachmanus leads to/is achzarious

  12. Why is this something to be proud about? He says he can stand before God? He did his job (so, he was a sniper) and he did it well. Many soldiers who are not snipers have shot and killed the enemy and do not gloat about it. A life is a life, he seems almost proud. I would prefer he keep his “confirmed kills” to himself. I understand he took out bad people and he saved many lives, so have many hundreds of thousands of soldiers.


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