Fort Knox, Ky., — Live fire could be heard throughout the morning as Advanced Camp 3rd Regiment Cadets qualified at George Blair range, part of their marksmans
hip education for Cadet Summer Training.
Cadet Abby Kingery, student at University of South Florida, native of Cape Coral, Florida, was one of the Cadets qualifying at the range.
“Today we are at the range and we are qualifying. We had to practice and zero our weapons yesterday, and today we actually get the opportunity to qualify. You shoot 40 rounds and you have to hit at least 23 of the pop-up targets. There are three different positions you have to shoot in: prone-supported, prone-unsupported, and the kneeling position,” said Kingery.
Cadets must pass marksmanship training to graduate from Advanced Camp. Cadets competing for the Recondo Badge are also striving for a specific score in order to advance.
“The minimum score you have to get is a 23 out of 40 to qualify as a marksman, but to qualify for the Recondo [badge] you have to hit 36 out of the 40,” said Kingery. “I scored 28 unfortunately. I was trying, I was still in the running for the Recondo up until a few minutes ago, but it’s alright.”
Cadet Devante Kilpatrick, student at Armstrong State University, native of Savannah, Georgia, was another Cadet qualifying with his rifle.
“The hardest part is that when you are here, you are really competitive with yourself and want to be the best you can be, and that can be kind of hard,” said Kilpatrick. “If you don’t get the score that you wanted to get the first time, that can be kind of a let down, but that is what we are here at camp for, so we can keep pushing on and continuing to be motivated.”
Kilpatrick prepared for his time during qualification on and off the range.
“I took the time out to actually study. We have a Cadet handbook, and usually when we are relaxing or have nothing to do for the time being, we have to pull out our Cadet handbook and read all the stuff for the future so we can be more prepared,” said Kilpatrick.
Kingery believes that marksmanship training is not only important for preparing for the future as Army officers, but also serves as a confidence booster for Cadets.
“This training is extremely important. How are you going to fight and win a war if you can’t properly use your rifle? Not only that, when it comes to actual fire-power, it’s a confidence thing for many Cadets,” said Kingery. “You have a lot of power in your hands when you have a rifle, and being able to use it properly and feel confident with it, holding it with a firm grip and knowing that you are in control of something that has the capability, that’s a huge factor for the Cadets out here.”
The Advanced Camp Cadets will continue moving forward in their summer training, some still striving for the hard-won Recondo Badge.