Fort Knox, Ky. – Cadets from 6th Regiment, Basic Camp spent the early morning hours at Morgan Riley Range zeroing their sights and practicing their marksmanship skills.
Prior to today, the Cadets were in the classroom studying marksmanship basics and how to safely use their M4 Carbines during their primary marksmanship training (PMI). However, for many of the Cadets in Basic Camp this was the first time they had ever handled an M4 Carbine or shot a weapon at all.
“It was all just brand new to me,” Cadet Daryl Urbina, a student at the University of Central Florida, said. “I’ve never felt the recoil of a weapon before, so everything from going to the range, getting handed a magazine, all of it was over stimulating.”
The Cadets received their M4 Carbines about two weeks before getting the chance to shoot their first live rounds.
A student at Stetson University, Cadet John Bowen, who aspires to become an infantry officer, said he enjoyed his time on the range and was relieved to put into practice what he had recently learned.
“When you’re holding it (M4 Carbine) for two weeks, everyone is just saying they really want to get out on the range and shoot,” Bowen said. “Now, you get to release all that stress leading up to this and it’s pretty laid back after you finally get used to it.”
The Cadets that do have prior marksmanship experience know it isn’t easy for the first-time shooters.
Cadet Umar Boone, a student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, explained what he told his peers that were a bit nervous about heading out to the range.
“Just be calm about it,” Boone said. “Don’t be afraid of the weapon, it’s a tool, you control it and it doesn’t control you. Make sure you’re conscious of what you’re shooting and be safe at all times, that’s the most paramount thing out here.”