Jack Coughlin (author)
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|Nickname(s)||"Gabriel" (Callsign during time in Somalia)|
January 12, 1966 |
Waltham, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Years of service||1985 - 2004|
|Unit||3rd Battalion 4th Marines|
|Battles/wars||Task Force Somalia
|Awards||Bronze Star (with V)|
Coughlin was born and raised in Waltham, Massachusetts, the youngest of five siblings. He had four older sisters. His father had been a painting contractor until he decided to change his career to one that included history and literature. At a young age, Jack was temporarily blinded in his right eye (his shooting eye) when a sharp rock hit his eye, which had ricocheted from a nearby fight between two older boys. His eye eventually healed and his sight in the eye was 20/10. At age 19, Coughlin decided to enlist in the Marine Corps.
Coughlin enlisted in the Marines in 1985 and completed his recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. His first experiences with operating firearms, including shooting a rifle, occurred during Marine Corps recruit training. He later attended Scout Sniper school. Coughlin was also stationed at the Subic Bay naval base in the Philippines with Alpha Company, Marine Barracks Starboard Security Platoon, and later the Jungle Operations Branch. Eventually, he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion 4th Marines, part of the 7th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division.
Coughlin was deployed with 1st Battalion, 7th Marines Weapons Company as a Scout Sniper during Operation Restore Hope. In an attack of an enemy compound north of Mogadishu, Somalia, Coughlin was assigned a hide position as a scout sniper to take out targets of opportunity and report enemy movement. Prior to the start of the attack the compound was known to have a ZPU-4 anti-air weapon and tanks. Coughlin engaged the manned ZPU-4 and successfully dispatched the enemy, permitting the attack to be effective. Coughlin was deployed with this unit to Iraq in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 2003 invasion of Iraq with Basra. He spent some time with British troops in Basra, then fought with his unit north of Baghdad, and was present at the destruction of Saddam Hussein's statue. In Iraq, he received his second Bronze Star with valor device. When he returned home from Iraq, he retired from the USMC.
Coughlin's autobiography, Shooter, which recounted his military experiences in Iraq, written with Captains Casey Kuhlman and Donald A. Davis, was published in 2005.
He has written seven other books with Davis:
- Kill Zone. St. Martin's Press. 2007. ISBN 978-0-312-94567-1.
- Dead Shot. St. Martin's Press. 2009. ISBN 978-0-312-37912-4.
- Clean Kill. St. Martin's Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0-312-35807-5.
- An Act of Treason. St. Martin's Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-312-61201-6.
- Running the Maze. St. Martin's Press. 2012. ISBN 978-0-312-55495-8.
- Time to Kill. St. Martin's Press. 2013. ISBN 978-1-250-01287-6.
- On Scope. St. Martin's Press. 2014. ISBN 978-1-250-03793-0.
- Carlos Hathcock†, United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant sniper with a service record of 93 confirmed kills
- Simo Häyhä†, Finnish sniper with the highest recorded number of confirmed sniper kills in any major war (505)
- Chris Kyle†, retired US Navy SEAL who holds the record for the most confirmed kills in U.S. military history, with 160 kills during the Iraq War
- Lyudmila Pavlichenko†, Soviet sniper; most successful female sniper in history, with 309 kills
- Coughlin, Jack; Kuhlman, Casey; Davis, Donald A. (2005). Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper. St. Martin's Press.
- "Jack Coughlin: Life Behind a Long-Range Rifle". Fresh Air from WHYY. NPR. June 16, 2005. Retrieved December 31, 2008.