FORT KNOX, Ky. — Cadets from 10th Regiment, Advanced Camp, conducted preliminary marksmanship instruction at Fort Knox, Ky. on July 22, 2023.

PMI teaches Cadets the fundamentals of marksmanship before qualification. Cadets rotate through five different stations that teach them skills, such as how to properly clear their weapons, load a magazine and aim their weapons.

Cadet Bethany Burke from The Pennsylvania State University, felt confident going into PMI, as she has prior shooting experience through her university’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program.

Cadet Bethany Burke from The Pennsylvania State University, 10th Regiment, Advanced Camp, practices aiming her weapon during preliminary marksmanship instruction at Fort Knox, Ky., July 22, 2023. PMI teaches Cadets the fundamentals of marksmanship before qualification. | Photo by Katie Catterall, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

“I’ve been shooting about three or four times at my university,” Burke said. “I’m definitely not a perfect shooter, but I feel ready to learn some more and get better.”

Even though Burke felt confident during the training, there have been challenges during Advanced Camp that she has had to navigate.

“The challenging thing is combating tiredness, because it’s pretty exhausting,” Burke said. “I like to rely on my friends in the room, because they can always put a smile on my face.”

Despite the challenges, Burke has been inspired to keep going in the Army by her family background.

“My dad went to the Naval Academy, and then my brother also does Navy,” Burke said. “My dad definitely gave me a positive light on the military.”

By continuing her journey with the Army, Burke hopes to go into the nursing field.

“I’m studying to be a nurse, so I want to be a nurse in the Army,” Burke said. “Even though a lot of the tactics and shooting may not pertain to a nursing job, I think it’s still training me well to deal with difficult situations, work with others and challenge myself.”

Similar to Burke, Cadet Amber Hardentt from Jacksonville State University, has been positively impacted by the Army.

Cadet Amber Hardentt from Jacksonville State University, 10th Regiment, Advanced Camp, practices aiming her weapon during preliminary marksmanship instruction at Fort Knox, Ky., July 22, 2023. PMI teaches Cadets the fundamentals of marksmanship before qualification. | Photo by Katie Catterall, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

“It has given me more discipline, public speaking skills and teamwork skills,” Hardentt said.

Hardentt has utilized these skills during the PMI and Advanced Camp.

“I’m prior service, so I’ve done qualifications before,” Hardentt said. “I’m familiar with it.”

Cadet Kayla Flores from Coastal Carolina University, also has prior shooting experience.

“I went through Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood last year, and I did all of this training during White Phase,” Flores said. “I had two weeks of nonstop shooting.”

Along with her prior shooting experience, Flores has brought other strengths to Advanced Camp.

Cadet Kayla Flores from Coastal Carolina University, 10th Regiment, Advanced Camp, practices aiming her weapon during preliminary marksmanship instruction at Fort Knox, Ky., July 22, 2023. PMI teaches Cadets the fundamentals of marksmanship before qualification. | Photo by Katie Catterall, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

“One of my biggest strengths is perfection,” Flores said. “I am someone that when I’m trying to shoot, I’m making sure that I go through all the steps that I have learned in the past two years, ensuring that I’m following each and every step and paying attention to strategic details that matter.”

Flores has utilized these strengths to push through the challenges of Advanced Camp.

“I think having to understand that people think differently and allowing myself to be open to criticism has been a big challenge,” Flores said. “Everybody comes from different programs and different schools, and I think it’s important to be open to see if somebody from a different program has a better idea that you.”