Last Updated: January 10th, 2018By

Fort Knox, Ky., — Basic Camp 1st Regiment Cadets conducted the Alternate Course Qualification where Cadets are tested on basic marksmanship abilities using M-16 rifles.

Cadets practice firing their weapons during Alternate Course Qualification during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky, on June 7. (Photo by Savoury Jacobson.)

Many of the Cadets have not shot a gun before, and are instructed on breathing techniques, proper form, and general safety procedures. Cadets are also expected to receive a score of at least 23 based on the targets they hit in order to qualify in marksmanship.

Cadet Jennifer Rivera, native of Puerto Rico, student at University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, was one of the Cadets who were tested at Alt C.

“We are at Alt C Qualification, with M-16 rifles, practicing shooting. We are using targets and the minimum score we have to get to pass is 23, and I passed with a 30,” said Rivera. “I feel very excited about that, I was really nervous because I thought I was not going to pass but I did. It is easier than I thought, so I think that everybody can do it.”

Rivera had never fired a gun before training at Cadet Summer Training.

“This is my first time shooting, but I did it and it went well and I passed,” said Rivera. “The hardest part was to breathe. It is very important, if you do not know how to breathe, you are going to shoot any other place besides the target. My favorite part was shooting and having the opportunity to do it.”

1st Regiment Cadets wait to test their skills at the range during Alternate Course Qualification during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky, on June 7. (Photo by Savoury Jacobson.)

Cadet Jose Vega, student at Inter American University of Puerto Rico, native of Puerto Rico, also had never fired a gun before CST.

“I scored a 26,” said Vega. “This is my first time shooting, and I was really nervous. The hardest part was [holding the correct] posture, you have to get ready to shoot and hold yourself right.”

The basic skills used at Alt C will be the foundation of further marksmanship training, skills potentially needed should they commission as Army Officers.

“This is important to know because when we are in combat we have to know how to defend our self and our friends. We have to imagine that we are infantry, so we are preparing ourselves and have to be prepared for combat,” said Rivera.

Basic Camp Cadets will continue developing different tactical skills and foundations throughout the remainder of Cadet Summer Training.