Sgt. 1st Class Dillard Johnson is one of the most decorated soldiers in the history of the 3rd Infantry Division and has been named the deadliest American soldier, with 2746 confirmed kills. Johnson served as a commander of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, nicknamed ¨Carnivore, ¨ and helped lead a group assault during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Johnson was raised in Island, Kentucky, and developed his skills as a boy hunting deer with his father; his first kill was a six-point buck; he was 13. When Johnson was in high school, he joined the ROTC, and in 1986 he joined the army, a childhood dream.
During his first tour, known as Carnivore, part of his job was to report confirmed kills to his supervisors. The dead were counted by tallying rifles and heads. He recorded all casualties in a journal, and it wasn't until he was researching for his memoir, ¨Carnivore¨ that he realized the number of confirmed kills.
Johnson's first confirmed kill was in March 2003, at the battle of As Samawah, when he took out a truckload of Iraqis. It was on his second tour in 2005 that Johnson became a sharpshooter.
Instead of the commander of a fighting vehicle, Johnson was a marksman. He had 121 confirmed kills, and the longest was from 821 yards. Johnson's sniper record is only second to the late Navy Seal Chris Kyle, who had 160 kills.
Even though Johnson was deployed as a sharpshooter, he did not use a sniper rifle. Instead, he relied on his marksmanship skills and the firepower of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Johnson states in his memoir that he is not a trained sniper and does not claim to be a sniper.
Nevertheless, the kills he had as a sniper, plus those from his first tour, earned him the title of the deadliest soldier in US military history. After completing two tours in the Iraqi war, Johnson earned 37 medals, a Silver Star for valor, and four Purple Hearts.
However, he credits his success to his troop known as ¨Crazy Horse¨. Unfortunately, when Johnson returned home from the war, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma; he also had a bullet permanently lodged in his leg.
In 2013 Johnson co-authored a memoir ¨Carnivore One of the Deadliest American Soldiers of All Time¨.
However, some have called this into question, which he claims is 500 more than recorded on the official website. Some commenters state that he is a liar, encourages people not to buy the book, and is a disgrace to the military.
Some stated that most of his kills occurred during a wave of suicide attacks on Johnson's Bradley vehicle, and to come up with the kill total, he counted ¨heads and rifles¨.
When Johnson was questioned about his numbers, he stated that in the book jack, the claim is that he killed 2746 enemy kills and 121 sniper kills. However, that is not within the book text.
Johnson also stated he is not responsible for the publisher's writings. He said that 2746 is the number for his battlefield estimate of those killed by both him and the men he was fighting with. However, his sniper count 121 is correct, and he chose the word sniper vs. marksman because most do not understand the term marksman.
"As far as the kills go ... I’m not really proud of those numbers being out there, it was part of the battle damage assessment that we did. My gunner actually did, you know, most of those or over half of those in the vehicle there and I was just present on the vehicle ... which I was the commander of."
Either way, he still earned four Purple Hearts and served his country.