Last Updated: June 14th, 2024By

FORT KNOX, KY.- After successfully completing the group and zero exercise, Cadets

from 2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp, move on to the George Blair Weapon Range for

their marksmanship practice qualification. Cadets apply the techniques of taking their

time and controlling their breathing when taking aim, understanding that patience is a

virtue when aiming with an M4 carbine.


Marksmanship practice qualification is an important part of Cadet Summer Training. It

prepares Cadets for the actual qualification, enhancing the overall effectiveness and

safety of their training. A practice round is highly beneficial, as passing the marksmanship qualification is essential for completing Cadet Summer Training.


Cadet Derica Junior, from Alcorn State University, joined ROTC in her sophomore year

of college. “I wanted to meet new people and broaden my horizons,” says Junior. “I was

interested in trying new things that I didn’t think I was capable of.” After struggling with

the group and zero exercise the day before, Cadet Junior approached the practice

qualification with some nervousness but left feeling more confident in her marksmanship

skills. Taking away from her group and zero exercise Junior learned that “no matter how

rushed you feel, or you feel like you can’t do it in the moment, give yourself a breather.”

says Junior. “And know that you can.”


Cadet Junior acknowledges the importance of the practice session, noting that shooting

at props similar to those used in the actual qualification was very beneficial. During

group and zero exercises, Cadets shoot at paper targets, while in the practice

qualification, they shoot at real targets.


Not only is shooting at targets beneficial for Cadets, but it also helps them experience

real pressure. Cadet Emily Brown from Alabama University finished the practice

qualification strong, thanks to the support of her Cadre and teammates. “It helps Cadets

get used to the movements and timing,” says Brown. “It also helps you refocus on what

we’ve learned and get back to the basics.”


Overall, the marksmanship practice qualification at the George Blair Weapon Range is

an essential component of Cadet Summer Training. It allows Cadets to refine their skills,

build confidence and prepare for the challenges of the actual qualification. With the

support of their Cadre and peers, Cadets like Derica Junior and Emily Brown

demonstrate resilience and adaptability, learning valuable lessons that extend beyond

the range. This hands-on experience not only hones their technical abilities but also

fosters a mindset of patience, focus, and perseverance—key qualities for their future

roles as leaders in the military.

About the Author: Ayiana Andrella