Last Updated: June 18th, 2018By

FORT KNOX Ky.- Today the first regiment for Advanced Camp participated in qualification on Robert Blair Range.

The Cadets were brought to test out their basic marksmanship on the pop-up range, the pop-up is a little different from what some of the Cadets are used to because they are dealing with targets that pop up at different distances. “It was a little bit of a learning process, this was my first pop up range, so just making sure I switch from target to target” explained Cadet Michael Henao from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Staff Sergeant Alex Hernandez oversees ammunition distribution to Cadets in the 1st Regiment of Advance Camp on June 10 at George Blair Range. Photo by Scarlet VanMeter

The qualification is for Cadets competing for the Recondo badge and which helps them for future progression. “The Recondo badge will put them at an elite status so as their career advances they will have a better chance to choose the field that they want to get into’ said Staff Sgt Alex Hernandez.

In order to earn the badge, they must qualify expert which involves a few different things when shooting. The Cadets need to have good breath control, trigger squeeze, good aim, and have a steady position. “you have to make sure you’re comfortable or you are just gonna tense up and it makes it harder”, expressed Cadet Jared Johnson from the University of Hawaii.

Cadet Lindenne Soto from The University of San Fransisco in 1st Regiment, Advance Camp leaves the firing lane after shooting for qualification on June 10. Photo by Scarlet VanMeter

There was a lot of confidence out on the range from some of the Cadets because many of them have prior shooting experience. “I’m most confident about the fact that I know how to shoot, I shoot on my own time back home, it’s one of my more enjoyable hobbies’, said Henao. While there were others that were on the range as first time shooters, they didn’t let their lack of knowledge stop them from being successful. “I was actually really confident about hitting my targets this time around because yesterday we had so much time… in zero that I got so used to it, so like today it became second nature”, explained Cadet Lindenne Soto of San Francisco University.


1st Regiment, Advance Camp qualifies on M4 rifles at George Blair Range on June 10. Photo by Scarlet VanMeter

Henao left off with some sound advice for future Cadets that would be going through this process, “I would say relax because this isn’t anything that should be overthought, all the instructors and Cadre are going to instruct you on how to shoot and operate your rifle and so they will make sure that you know what you need to know. “As long as you are paying attention to that you should be fine because that’s how I received some of my first instructions and they did a phenomenal job teaching me” He added.