FORT KNOX, KY – Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) 5TH Regiment Cadets train at Group Zero, or Basic Rifle Marksmanship (BRM) where Cadets learn to shoot from 25-300 meters for the last portion of Weapons Immersion during their summer training.
Sgt. Nathan Hudspeth, Ft. Carson, Colo., is the lead Preliminary Marksmanship Instructor at Group Zero and assists in instructing Cadets on how to become comfortable with shooting.
“This allows Cadets to get familiar with their weapon, as they are fresh out of high school and still trying to figure out if they want to go into the military or not,” Hudspeth said, “They are about halfway through their training, they have only had these weapons for about two weeks and have been carrying them around with them to learn how to handle them.”
Cadets are given five magazines, allowing them to shoot five rounds per magazine. The purpose of the training is to perfectly zero their weapon in order to qualify and pass the training.
Cdt. Jonavan Huggins, Wheaton College, native of Chicago Ill., discussed the difficulty the Cadets face when firing their weapon for the first time.
“To zero in means to make sure you weapon is on target and not too high or pointing too far to the left or the right. You have to check your breathing and make sure everything is in order. It can be pretty difficult because if you don’t know how to measure the meters then you won’t know how to make adjustments, and you’re breathing could throw it off.”
Hudspeth believes that confidence is important when learning to fire a weapon.
“This is the first time handling a weapon for many of these Cadets. The weapons can have a negative connotation to them, so this is why we train with them. The more comfortable the Cadets are with the weapons, the more confident they will be as soldier,” Hudspeth said.
Huggins advises Cadets who are new to shooting to remain calm during the training at Group Zero.
“Make sure you stay calm and breathe, and make sure you squeeze the trigger slowly. Make sure you aren’t anticipating the recoil of the weapon.”
All training at Group Zero is necessary for the Cadets who will become future Army leaders.
“At the end of the day, we’re training these future soldiers of America to fight in combat, we train to fight. If we have to go against any insurgence group, we need to make sure these Cadets are able to protect the people to the right and left of them,” Hudspeth said.