FORT KNOX, Ky. – Instructors taught new Army standards on Primary Marksmanship Instruction (PMI) to Cadets of 7th Regiment, Alpha Company, Cadet Leaders Course on July 7.
“We’ve changed our previous methodology to rifle marksmanship, a combat application style of shooting. We’ve learned that we have to do this better when it comes to targets on the range, fleeting targets, especially in a counterinsurgency environment,” said Master Sgt. James Kelley, Non-Commissioned Officer-In-Charge. “For the vast majority of the Cadets and former non-commissioned officers, they’ve never experienced this before, so we have to address that, spark some interest in them and develop their domain knowledge.”
The Cadets cycled through five classes, 40 minutes each, covering PMI ballistics, minute of angle, disassembly, assembly and basics of rifle marksmanship.
“Unfortunately, because the timeline on both CIET and CLC is limited, what we do is about an inch deep and a mile wide. We’re throwing a lot of information at them,” Kelley added. “The live fire exercise they will do tomorrow is how we assess their progress and make sure they’re retaining and understanding that information. Our percentages so far have been relatively good and we’re happy with it because what we’re teaching, although condensed, is sticking with the Cadets.”
Cdt. Austin Ross, Virginia Military Institute, spoke about the new standards they are learning.
“The positions we used were different, so I had to adjust but that’s part of my training, adapting and overcoming. It was interesting to learn the new techniques the Army is implementing and I’m excited to go to the live fire range and shoot tomorrow.”
Cdt. Alex Garvin, Georgia Military College, believes his instructors have helped him grasp the technique.
“I was previously in basic training where we learned prone supported, in which we shot on sandbags so the stability of this technique is more difficult, but we have some great instructors teaching us these standards. They really broke down the techniques to make sure we had a complete understanding.”
The cadre teaching the Cadets had to undergo a three-week training regiment to prepare.
“During that three-week period, we stripped away everything they had previously learned and taught them the ‘new way’ to shoot. We wanted people that were comfortable in front of a group, had a higher-level understanding, could teach a class and answer the hard questions the Cadets ask,” Kelley said.
The training outcome for the instructors, Kelley imparted, is for the Cadets to have an understanding of the new methodology.
“We want them to understand the Army doctrine changes. This is the new Army doctrine and they, as future Army officers, should dig into that doctrine to understand what the future is, what the standard is now, and represent it.”