During his career, Hathcock was a Marine sniper. His service record included 93 confirmed kills. Nicknamed “White Feather,” Hathcock even had a rifle named after him. During a family trip to Mississippi, Hathcock took up shooting and hunting, which ultimately helped feed his family. At an early age, Hathcock used a .22 caliber single shot rifle and pretended to be a soldier.
Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock III is a legend for a bunch of reasons.
Among them is a shot he took in 1967. In the book, “Inside the Crosshairs: Snipers in Vietnam,” Army Col. Michael Lee Lanning described it:
Firing from a hillside position using an Unertl 8X scope on a .50-caliber machine gun stabilized by a sandbag-supported M3 tripod, Hathcock engaged a Vietcong pushing a weapon-laden bicycle at 2,500 yards. Hathcock’s first round disabled the bicycle, the second struck the enemy soldier in the chest.
Despite his success as a sniper., Hathcock actually got his start as an MP. But after a leadership decision to incorporate snipers into every platoon, Hathcock was “discovered” by Capt. Edward Land. The rest, as they say, is history.