Ft. Knox, Ky. – A Company, 6th Regiment, Basic Camp (CIET) headed to Canby Hill Range in order to put their marksmanship skills to the test on July 16. Cadets were expected to group their shots and zero their weapons in this training event.
Master Sgt. Robert Ballard, Non-Commission Officer-in-Charge (NCOIC) of Canby Hill, explains what it means when the Cadets group and zero.
“We want them to practice the fundamentals of marksmanship. The “shot group” are rounds consistently in one small tight area. Then we take that shot group, make adjustments to the weapon and move the group to the “zero target”, inside the circle on the target sheet. They have to achieve 5 rounds inside the circle to
be considered zeroed,” Ballard said.
This was the third progression step of being able to shoot. First, Cadets went through primary marksmanship instruction where they become familiarized with their weapons and the basics of marksmanship. The next step was electronic system training, where the Cadets go to an indoor simulation shooting range. Lastly, the Cadets put all their previous training into action and shot live ammunition during group and zero.
The Cadets use M16 Series Rifles during their training. Cdt. Deandre Jennings, Claflin University, was apprehensive about using such a powerful weapon for the first time.
“We learned how to shoot an M16 Rifle. I’ve never shot a weapon of this caliber before and I was honestly a little nervous about it.
The instructors really helped and reminded me to slow down, breath and concentrate,” Jennings said. “I finally zeroed in on my
target and was excited about the chance to qualify.”
After successfully zeroing their shots Cadets move on to the right side of the range for the Alternate Course “C” Record Fire
Qualification. Cadets must hit a minimum of 26 out of 40 targets in order to qualify with their weapon.
“These sheets present different targets at different ranges to scale on the target sheet. The Cadets are given two 20 round
magazines for 40 rounds total. Then they have to put four rounds in each target; the targets range from 50 meters to 300 meters,”
When going from group and zero to actually qualifying the pressure is turned up for Cadets. Cdt. Amber Rose, University of New Hampshire, felt that pressure.
“The pressure of having to get an exact number and not wasting rounds was hard. You have to be able to get four rounds in each target, but I’m going to try and not think about it to much so the pressure doesn’t get to me because it would be awesome to say I qualified on an M4,” Rose said.