Fort Knox, Ky., — Fourth Regiment Advanced Camp Cadets train during Group Zero at Schroeder Range, practicing zeroing and sighting their rifle in preparation for weapons qualification at George Blair range the next day.
Cadets will move from the prone position and kneeling, firing at paper targets and working with Cadre and fellow Cadets until they feel confident and comfortable with their rifles.
Cadet Paige Herbst, student at the Citadel, native of Inman, South Carolina, was one of the Cadets training at Group Zero.
“Today we are at the zero range, this is primarily so we can get our weapons ready for tomorrow when we go to the qualification range. We have to get 23 out of 40 targets, and the targets are silhouettes so they pop up and pop down and you only have so many seconds to shoot. It’s essential to get your zero and group here so you know your weapon is going to function correctly,” said Herbst.
Group Zero is an important day for Cadets, as it allows them to prepare for the more challenging qualification range the next day.
“A lot of the fundamentals you need to learn and practice while you are zeroing and qualifying. Honestly, you have to work on those fundamentals, if you don’t know those, then you are probably going to struggle at the qualification range,” said Herbst.
Herbst says it is important to learn the fundamentals in order to be successful in the future.
“These are basic skills, warrior task number one skills. Every Soldier in our units and platoons are going to have to know these things as well,” said Herbst. “We can help them be better as well and lead by example.”
Cadet Jake White, student at Purdue University, native of Indianapolis, was also zeroing his weapon at Schroeder Range.
“We are trying to get our shot groups correct and our sighting correct that way we can make it tomorrow,” said White. “Today is essential, it’s the only thing that matters. It’s what going to make you successful tomorrow. You need to get your sights in line, every weapon is different for everyone, so you need to make sure it is good for you.”
White recommends remaining patient during the down time in between shooting.
“Be patient. It’s a long day, it’s a hot day, so we’re being patient and just waiting our turn. Be ready to shoot and be ready to focus,” said White. “You’ll be able to zero as many rounds and you need to.”
Cadets will move forward to qualification at George Blair tomorrow, where they are all expected to qualify as a marksman, but a few Cadets will qualify expert, part of the criteria toward the Recondo Badge.