FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from the 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, participated in preliminary marksmanship instruction during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky., June 22, 2023, that taught them various lessons on marksmanship.

The different lessons at PMI include understanding the basic operations of the M4 Carbine, how to change magazines, proper body positions while firing and the correct way to squeeze the trigger.

Cadet Aaron Myles, Florida Southern College, 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, looks through the scope of the M4 Carbine during preliminary marksmanship instruction at Fort Knox, Ky., June 22, 2023. The purpose of PMI is to train Cadets in the fundamentals of marksmanship and proper maintenance of their weapons. | Photo by Madelyn Guinn, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

Cadet Aaron Myles from Florida Southern College explains how PMI is important for all Cadets, despite what they may or may not have already learned about marksmanship at their Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program before coming to CST.

“I know some students got to shoot more than others, so [PMI] is to get back to the basics and understand the trajectories of the bullets, how you need to stand and how to transition between your firing points,” Myles said. “We also have Cadre placed around who are giving us pointers.”

Myles has been a part of the ROTC program for three years now. Following CST, Myles will be given compensatory time off for travel to Fort Liberty, N.C., and dreams of becoming a military quartermaster to organize and bring more morale into the military.

Cadet Hilda Nalukwago from Bowie State University has been a part of the military for 10 years and advises other Cadets that will go through PMI to enjoy themselves but still be attentive.

“Listen to your instructors and have fun while at it,” Nalukwago said. “But at the same time, pay close attention to what’s being said, because your school’s told you different, and everyone here is from a different school, so try to have a common ground with everyone.”

Originally from Uganda, Nalukwago moved to the U.S. at 19 years old. She said that the Army has given her the ability to travel all over the world, meet life-long friends and experience a lot of opportunities that she would not have had if she had stayed in her hometown.

Cadet Hilda Nalukwago, Bowie State University, and Cadet Vanessa Appiah, Virginia Commonwealth University, practice changing the M4 Carbine magazines during the 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, preliminary marksmanship instruction at Fort Knox, Ky., June 22, 2023. | Photo by Madelyn Guinn, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

Cadet Vanessa Appiah of Virginia Commonwealth University said that the biggest takeaway Cadets should have from PMI is their breathing techniques to keep themselves calm.

“Just taking everything one step at a time and not feeling too flustered is important,” Appiah said. “Honestly, the amount of time that’s given at qualification is just enough if you have a level head, breathe and remember all of your fundamentals.”

Appiah was born in Ghana and moved to the U.S. as an infant. She was the first of her family to join the military while she was in high school, and she believes that the Army has made her a better person.

“I’ve really gotten to know myself on the inside and out with facing adversities, and seeing how I would really act in certain situations,” said Appiah. “Overall, [the Army] has made me more well-rounded.”

After PMI, 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadets start training with the engagement skills trainer, a virtual range, and then go on to practice with live ammunition later this week.