HomeMilitaryMilitary HeroNicholas Irving is the Reaper - a deadliest Army Ranger in history

Nicholas Irving is the Reaper – a deadliest Army Ranger in history

Nicholas Irving for friends Irv and for all other Rangers, the Reaper is famous Army Ranger sniper who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a former member of the 3rd Ranger Batallion (75th Ranger Regiment). Through his career, he raised up to the rank of Sergeant and has become one of the most famous special operations snipers in the modern U.S. Military.

Military career

It looks like he was brought to this world to serve, because Nick Irving was born in Fort Meade, Maryland. His parents, both of them, were enlisted soldiers at the time. His first stop was at the Navy recruiting office where he comes with an intention to become a Navy SEAL, but he failed a colorblindness test and instead of Navy SEALS, he joined the United States Army Rangers.

You become a sniper; you want to shoot.” – so writes Special Operations Direct Action Sniper Nicholas Irving in “The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers”

During his active duty service, Nick Irving was deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan. He becomes widely know after his military record had 33 confirmed kills in a single deployment. He accomplished that while he was serving as a sniper and machine gunner in Afghanistan. He has become one of the deadliest Army Rangers in history.

Nicholas Irving – The Reaper (The Real Book Spy)

Confirmed kills and weapon of choice

His weapon of choice was an Mk 11 rifle a modified version of the  SR-25 sniper rifle, nicknamed Dirty Diana. SR-25 sniper rifle won US Army Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle (XM110 SASR) competition, and today it is being issued to US Army snipers as the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System.

Fellow Rangers nicknamed Irving “The Reaper” because of his proficiency for killing. He earned the nickname “The Reaper’ after killing 33 enemies is less than four months while deployed in Afghanistan. His unconfirmed kill total count could easily be into triple digits.

Civilian life

After leaving the Army, Nicholas Irving pursued an entertainment career. In 2016, Irving was one of four military leaders to serve as coaches on the reality show American Grit with John Cena. He also served as an on-set advisor for Doug Liman’s 2017 sniper film The Wall.

In 2015, he wrote and published with Gary Brozek The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers, a New York Times bestseller about his military career during the War on Terror. According to some sources, the movie and miniseries are in preproduction. Both, the movie and miniseries will feature Irving’s time as a sniper in 3rd Ranger Battalion.

After he retired from the military, Irving has been haunted by nightmares from the day of his first kill. Since then, his life has been a roller coaster of alcoholism, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts, including one failed attempt. Irving says there is light at the end of the tunnel now; in November of 2016, his wife gave birth to the couple’s first child and he has been clean and sober since.

Eric Sof
Eric Sofhttps://special-ops.org
Eric Sof holds a master's degree in Political Science, specializing in International Peacekeeping Studies. He has over a decade of experience as a former member of an elite counterterrorism unit. Additionally, he is a firearms instructor and currently serves as a member of the SWAT unit.


  1. I saw an hour-long interview with Sgt. Irving. He is a thoughtful, intelligent, deep in the best sense, individual. Nice to see in someone who meets all criteria for any ‘badass’ consideration who doesn’t wear it on his sleeve. Seems like a great guy, someone kids could definitely look up to.

  2. I still have a copy of the interview in ESQUIRE magazine in which says important things we are sometimes unsupportive of and would rather not accept or believe or hear. WAR is not that kind of give, take and/or receive!? My point is that DUTY was something I was very confused about when I withdrew from my recruitment after signing my life over to the MARINES in 1984. I did use my honesty, my instincts AND government help to withdraw (senator MOYNIHAN). I still have had familiar problems in my life that I guess might have then been acted out BUT AGAIN AT SOME POINT WE NEED HONESTY. ACTS of RACISM ARE A SERIOUS PROBLEM, ACTED OUT EVERY DAY AND THAT REMAINDER IS STILL DEVASTATING! A WAR EXISTS RIGHT HERE AT HOME!!!


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