FORT KNOX, Ky. – Black silhouettes peeked out across the pop-up range. The challenge is not where they are going to appear, but when. 5th Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadets shot M-4s in the prone supported, prone unsupported, and kneeling positions, changing aim to keep the target in sight.
Cadre use this exercise to familiarize Cadets with the pop-up mechanism and enhance their basic marksmanship skills. They will encounter the pop-up range often as Lieutenants.
Between using blanks in Field Training Exercises and live-rounds on the pop-up range, Cadets have come as close as possible to understanding organized combat tactics thanks to these exercise.
Bullets issued the silhouettes a temporary KO as shockwaves made the breeze stutter, and dirt clouds floated up from ground-impact points.
This military-grade whack-a-mole pressures Cadets to find areas of improvement in their form.
“For me, I have to focus on my breathing,” Cadet Cassandra Fangio from Towson University explained. Marksmen know uncontrolled breath ruins aim. “Your rifle moves with you, and that affects your shot,” Fangio added.
Cadets are taught the proper firing positions, but sometimes, adjustments are needed for comfort.
“When I’m in the Kneeling Position, I’m not flexible enough to sit on my ankle,” Cadet Jonathan White from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga shared. “So, [Cadre] showed me a modified position where you do a forward lunge, and tuck your elbow into the inside of your knee to minimize sway.”
White proved that one does not need a flexible ankle to score “Expert” on the pop-up range.
Cadets preparing for Advanced Camp should know that not everyone needs prior weapons experience. Cadre and peers will rally with them, helping them surpass their training goals. If a Cadet has the willingness to learn, Cadre aim to teach them.