Last Updated: October 16th, 2020By

By Lindsey Crown

FORT KNOX, Ky – “You train as you fight,” said Cadet Joseph Rodenay of Orlando, Florida. “If you don’t group and zero, you won’t be able to hit anything.”

Rodenay explained the importance of group and zero for Cadets of 6th Regiment Advanced Camp, Bravo Company, based on his deployments in the past.

Cadets from 6th Regiment, Advanced Camp fire M4 rifles during group and zero on Ft. Knox, Kentucky, July 2. Photo by Lindsey Crown

The purpose of grouping and zeroing is to prepare your weapon and make sure that your weapon function properly without any deficiencies, and so you know what to correct, he said.

You make the arrangement to properly pinpoint your bullet. This is something that’s done everyday, so group and zero for weapons is as basic as it gets, Rodenay said.

Cadet Phillip Anderson, Virginia Tech, and Cadet John Callahan, Rutgers University, pose after an intervew during group and zero on Ft. Knox, Kentucky, July 2. Photo by Lindsey Crown

“Group and zero allows you to cite the rifle to the individual so that way when you’re on the battlefield you’re much more efficient when placing your rounds,” said Cadet Phillip Anderson, Virginia Tech.

Cadets group and zero in preparation for rifle qualification, which they will face tomorrow, said Sergeant Conor Mcbride.

“Qualification is an army standard,” Mcbride said. “It’s an entry level thing you have to pass. If you don’t pass the qualification range, you can’t be in the army.”

Rodenay advises that whether Cadets are incoming with prior service or as a progression Cadet, to always come with a mindset of learning.

“People from all over the country are here, thousands of them, everybody got something you can learn from, and everybody can learn from you,” he said. “There’s always room so you can improve, take this and embrace it.”