Last Updated: June 22nd, 2024By

FORT KNOX, Kentucky–  Cadet Ryan McGlaun, 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, from the University of North Georgia has practiced shooting since he was five years old. ROTC gives him the opportunity to practice what he loves while getting his degree.

“Me and my dad just love going to the range,” McGlaun said. “Anything from a little .22 to whatever you can think of, I’ve probably shot it.” 

McGlaun, along with 4th Regiment, Advanced Camp, completed their Group and Zero training on Fort Knox, June 22, 2024. Group and Zero training allows Cadets to ensure the accuracy of their M4 rifles. Zeroing is the process of aligning the point of aim of the rifle’s sighting system with the specific point of aim so that the rifle shoots where the scope is pointed. 

McGlaun approached Group and Zero training with confidence because of his extensive experience with shooting. Along with the years spent at the range with his dad, he felt well equipped with training from his home university. 

Growing up, McGlaun never considered himself great at school. Arguments and questionable decisions put McGlaun on a less than desirable path. Because of this, college was never on the forefront of his mind. 

“I wasn’t a great kid,” McGlaun said. “I mean, I was clever.” 

McGlaun originally wanted to enlist in the military. Since he was under 18, his parents would not provide the necessary consent for him to join. Instead, his parents sent him to military summer camp, which was a prerequisite agreement between McGlaun and his parents to enlist with the U.S. Army. 

After summer camp, he deviated from his original plan. Instead, he began to look into scholarships as attending military summer camp is what solidified his goal of becoming an officer. Like many, the scholarships provided by ROTC allowed McGlaun to pursue a college education. 

The structure of the military is what helped him get back on the right track.

“I love waking up at the same time every day,” McGlaun said. “It is the best feeling in the world…repetition is always good for me.” 

Before arriving at Cadet Summer Training, McGlaun developed his leadership skills as a member of his fraternity. He found himself navigating challenges through trial and error to meet the expectations of both the members of the organization and the university. Straying away from his clever roots, McGlaun developed a methodical leadership style. 

“I’m pretty much by the books and I’m looking out for my people,” McGlaun said. 

With events like Group and Zero, McGlaun brings his many years of experience to the table. But, in other training exercises where he is less confident, he leans on the experience of the prior service members in his platoon. 

His advice for future Cadets is simple.

“Study, stay in school.” McGlaun said.

About the Author: Kendall Kelly