FORT KNOX Ky., – Cadets in 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, completed preliminary marksmanship instruction, June 17, 2023, Fort Knox, Ky. On initial arrivement to PMI, Cadets received 40 minutes of classroom instruction that covered the functionality aspects of weapons ammunition and skills to correctly and safely employ the M4 carbine

“The safety tenants for weapons apply to any weapons system, whether in their military career or civilian life, so knowing how to properly handle the weapons is a very important skill,” said Sgt.1st Class Garry Drake, Cadre member. “Being able to employ their weapon as Soldiers is a very key aspect to being a Soldier.” 

Later during PMI, Cadets became more familiar with marksmanship skills through hands-on-learning.They were able to ask for assistance and receive detailed oriented practice that ensured that they walked away with confidence in their marksmanship skills. 

Cadet Ivana Ogunbor from the Southern Methodist University stands in line to wait for her turn to practice her stance during preliminary marksmanship instruction at the 1 Mile Track, June 17, 2023, Fort Knox, Ky. PMI offers the groundwork for Cadets to advance their marksmanship skills. “PMI will benefit me moving forward in my military career by helping me to become a better shooter and just be able to have very accurate shots,” said Ogunbor. | Hydia Jackson, Western Kentucky University, CST Public Affairs Office

“We’re doing PMI today, and I’m just excited to kind of practice some of my stances and learn from the specialists they have here,” said Ivana Ogunbor from Southern Methodist University. It’s my first time, you know, practicing with a weapon and practicing my stances, so I think this will be a very resourceful training for me.”

The Cadets were split into five stations that cover good steady and fighting down positions, how to fight up using the barriers to be able to engage targets, to clear malfunctions, how to properly carry out magazine changes, and how to practice trigger squeeze doing diamond washer drills. 

“It’s been fun, we get in a lot of hands on experience with the 1st Infantry Division here teaching us PMI rifle marksmanship,” said Cadet Marquize Woodson, from 3rd Regiment.

One of the challenges for Cadets during PMI is their varying levels of experience and weapons handling knowledge. PMI is used to get all the Cadets on the same level to ensure that Cades perform with high numbers. 

Cadet Marquize Woodson from 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, practices his shooting stance against the double range wall during preliminary marksmanship instruction, at the 1 Mile Track, Fort Knox, Ky., June 17, 2023. “I’m excited to qualify hopefully shoot 40 out of 40,” said Woodson.

Following PMI, Cadets use their marksmanship skills as they complete engagement skills trainer, group and zero, and ending with weapon’s qualifications.

“To future Cadets, I would tell them that its all about mindset,” said Ivana Ogunbor. “ A lot of the Cadre here are very encouraging, and honestly even just like the other Cadets, my platoon, and squad have a pretty good relationship so just know, to come in, be positive, and know that you got to work hard, but you’re gonna get through it.”