ST. LOUIS – Our Proud to Serve recipient for December is Officer Ramon Santana, who serves with the St. Louis County Police Department. He began his career in service after joining the Army when he was just 17 and would go on a become a sniper overseas in Kuwait and Qatar.
Less than 1% of the military qualifies to become snipers.
Officer Santana was nominated for our Proud to Serve award by his wife who tells us she is very proud of her husband, “for all he does and all he has done. He was active duty Army and a sniper for 3.5 years and now has done 4 years in the National Guard. He’s been deployed twice, once to Kuwait and the other to Qatar. Along with the Army, he has been a St. Louis County police officer for [4 years] and dedicates his life every day to serving his community along with being a husband and father of 3.”
But Officer Santana’s path to service was not easy. As one of 6 immigrant siblings, Officer Santana’s mother was deported back to Mexico when he was just 13 years old. He and his brothers were adopted by a local family who helped him make positive choices and at 17, he followed his older brother into the Army. Within a few months, he became a sniper like his older brother.
Snipers are military marksmen who engage the enemy from a distance. Snipers have special abilities, training, and equipment within the Army.
It’s a sniper’s job to deliver discriminatory, highly accurate rifle fire against enemy targets that cannot be engaged successfully by the regular rifleman because of range, size, location, fleeting nature, or visibility. Sniping requires the development of basic infantry skills to a high degree of perfection.
Although he completed his service with the Army, he remains in the National Guard while also working with the county police.
If you would like to nominate someone for our Proud to Serve Salute, click here.