FORT KNOX, Ky. – 2nd Regiment Advanced Camp starts their first day at the George Blair weapon range June 5 in Fort Knox, Ky.
In order to pass Advanced Camp, Cadets must qualify at marksmanship.
“The purpose of knowing how to shoot your (rifle) is mainly about being able to protect yourself and your brothers and sisters around you. Be able to accurately acquire a target that’s down range, being able to lock onto it, and be able to pull the trigger to take down the target,” said Cadet Christian Burke, University of Akron, Cleveland, OH.
Prior to going past the firing line, Cadets received ear protection and three 20-round magazines (ammunition storage); Cadre members check their weapon to make sure it’s on safe.
A Cadre enforces safety protocol at George Blair Rifle Range on Ft. Knox, KY Monday June 5. Photo by Lindsey Crown
Once checked, Cadets are told which lane to shoot on. If there isn’t a Cadet already shooting there the Cadet needs to prep his/her station. There is one firing point for each lane; this facilitates two different firing positions, prone and kneeling.
The Cadre overseeing the range asks the Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) to show that the Cadets are ready by raising a red and white paddle. Once the Cadre in the tower sees they are ready, they raise the targets for the Cadets to shoot at.
NCOs are nearby to help Cadets if they have any malfunctions with their weapon.
“There are some rocky bumps, some people have trouble but overall people seemed to be persistent. People seemed to keep on going and pushing forward,” said Burke.
Although this was just a practice qualifying as marksman, some have qualified. Within the first hour, 83 qualified and 69 were unqualified and had to shoot more. Once qualified, the Cadet can either sit off to the side or they could continue to fire to earn a higher classification of the marksmanship badge.
By the second hour, 100 had qualified and 52 remained unqualified.
Cadet Ragsdale fires rounds at Practice Qualification on Ft. Knox, KY Monday June 5. Photo by Lindsey Crown
“They Practice one full round, see what it’s like and then they have four additional rounds where they can qualify. If they get qualified on their first time, after their practice qualification or even on their practice qualification, then they are complete,” said Sgt.1st Class Chaney, Fort Hood, TX.
Once the first group of Cadets is finished shooting their rounds, then the next group of Cadets goes and starts the process over.
Knowing how to shoot in the Army is key when it comes to the enemy. It’s prudent that the Soldier knows how to aim and hit the target.
Cadet Summer Training will bring in 8,200 Cadets through Basic and Advanced Camp this summer on Fort Knox. These camps are designed to help challenge, grow, and improve various skills and leadership qualities within the Cadets. If you think you have what it takes to be a Cadet or if you are interested in a job after college click the following link: https://my.goarmy.com/info/rotc1/index.jsp?iom=IP08-AUTO-R1NA-BR-XXX-XX-XXX-MO-XX-X-BRCMAC:IP08