FORT KNOX, KY. – Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, conducted grouping and zeroing at the rifle range on Fort Knox, June 16, 2024. This event ensures Cadet’s effectively adjust their weapons to their personal sight pictures and prepare for Individual Weapons Qualification.

During this training, grouping consists of Cadets shooting a cluster of five rounds on a target close together and adjusting their weapons sight picture to move this group closer to the center of the target known as zeroing.

Advanced Camp is full of Cadet’s from different schools and backgrounds. Some of which may not have access to the equipment needed to conduct training exercises to prepare them for shooting. Many Cadets that come through Advanced Camp have never shot a weapon before and must prepare for weapon’s qualification in a span of three days.

Cadet Christiane Elle from University of North Texas elaborates on how this group and zero is her first time firing live rounds. She emphasizes how vital it is to apply the fundamentals learned and ask questions. “Remember to take in those deep breaths,” said Elle. “Making sure you’re a sponge, listening and asking any questions.”

Although this is her first time getting any hands-on Army training, Elle keeps “a cool head” and remains motivated during her time at Advanced Camp. “I come from a line of military service,” said Elle. She explains that her siblings served in the United States Army and her father served in the Cameroon Armed Forces which influenced her decision to continue the military path. “It was just my time next!”

Elle harps on the camaraderie amongst her squad, even during individual events such as grouping and zeroing. Cadet Andrew Partyka, from Wheaton College, who also has no shooting experience, gave advice to Elle during training. “I don’t know a lot, but I was kind of reiterating what I’ve been told,” said Partyka.

Camaraderie is a foundation that binds units and personnel together. This comes from sharing hardships, knowledge and building trust amongst each other. Partyka explains that all the Cadets in Advanced Camp are from different backgrounds and have different expertise. The differences are how they come together to help each other overcome their own weaknesses. “Maybe I help her today and then we go out to Land Navigation and she’s better than me, so she helps me out,” said Partyka.

While Group and Zero is an individual event, Cadets still work together through motivating and advising each other based on personal strengths and weaknesses. They will use the fundamentals learned and experience from this training towards their Individual Weapons Qualification.

Checkout the photos from grouping and zeroing:

About the Author: Jordan Chism