FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from Advanced Camp 9th Regiment headed to George Blair Shooting Range for weapon qualification, July 17, during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky.

The day before qualification the Cadets go through Preliminary Marksmanship Instruction (PMI) to help them hold the weapon, know the parts of the weapon, and the different positions they will be shooting from. “I do believe that PMI prepared me for today, it just goes over the basic fundamentals that every shooter needs to become a great shooter, said Cadet Jared Neeb, University of Louisiana in Lafayette, from New Orleans, La

Weapon qualification is a test for Cadets to see how well they shoot at pop up targets from varying distances.

Cadet Baker aims for the pop up taregts in hopes to pass his qualification, July 17, at Fort Knox, Ky. (Photo By: Jordyn McCulley)

“The targets pop up at different intervals an example would be some targets pop up at 25 meters and others pop up at a 100 plus meters away,” said Cadet Thomas Moroney, Virginia Military Institute, St. Augustine, Fl.

“Each target has a certain amount of time they are up, they closer they are they shorter the time and the further they are the more time they have.”

Cadets not only have to shoot a certain amount but in a certain position. Those positions are Prone supported, prone unsupported and kneeling. Prone supported is lying down on the stomach with the weapon supported by the hand and sandbags.

“The prone supported position, the one lying down on your stomach and your able to rest your rifle on the sandbags, that’s the easiest position to shoot from,” said Neeb. Prone unsupported is the same as prone supported but with out sandbags supporting your weapon; and kneeling, when qualify the Cadets kneel in a fox hole and shoot from there.

Cadets must shoot a certain amount of target for them to pass. A passing grade is 23 targets hit out of 40. Cadets have four chances to qualify.

“Weapon qualification is to see how well you can shoot while adjusting to the different target distances,” said Neeb

Cadet Neeb aims at the targets in prone supported position, July 17, Fort Knox, Ky. (Photo By; Jordyn McCulley)

For some Cadets they are aiming for RECONDO badge, which makes things more challenging for the Cadets who are after the RECONDO status. One of those Cadets trying or RECONDO is Jared Neeb, “For RECONDO you had to qualify as an expert marksman which is to get 36 targets out of 40,” said Neeb.

Neeb then touched on the nerves he had before shooting earlier today.

“I was nervous the first time I shot but once I got through it and saw how everything operates, that’s when I started to settle down and shot a lot better,” said Neeb. “One of the big things you realize in order to shoot well is to stay calm, slow your heart rate and ease your breathing.”

Neeb then gave some advise for future Cadets that will soon be in the same boots as he is now.

“Any practice you can get on any range will help as your doing everything correctly,” said Neeb.

Cadet Summer Training will bring 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: