FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadet Leaders Course (CLC), 9th Regiment Cadets started their first field 25-meter zero range with the M4 carbine rifle at Canby Hill Range, July 19.
The zero range is for Cadets to get used to handle weapons, gain confidence to shoot, and get used to the sounds of weapons firing.
“The 169 Cadets come in at roughly 5:30 or 6 o’clock in the morning,” 2nd Lt. Michael Amico, stationed at Fort Carson, Officer in Charge (OIC) at Canby Hill Range said. “I give the Cadets an initial brief and the Range Safety Officer (RSO) gives them a safety brief.”
Lt. Michelle Bunkers, Company Tech Officer, professor at University of South Dakota, oversees the whole sequence.
“After the briefing, the Cadets will get ammo from the range cadre. Then they go to the standing line, to be guided to the range line and firing line. Each group at the firing line has two or three instructors who give all of the commands,” Bunkers said. “Cadre here to teach are subject matter experts. With their guidance, the Cadets will do just fine.”
Once the Cadets finish firing, they put their weapons back on safe to make sure they are clear. Then the Cadets check their targets, and the instructors coach them on how to zero their rifles. They have to have about a tight shot group of three shoots.
Cdt. Dorrington Myers, Franklin NY., Virginia Commonwealth University, improved his weapon marksmanship skills with the instructions during the training.
“Marksmanship to me is one of those things that I take a lot of pride in. I started off not so good of a shooter, but now I’ve improved a lot,” Myers said. “The instructors are top class. Without the instructions, we would pretty much be lost.”
Once the Cadets are done with zeroing, they come off the range and turn in all of their brass. Then they go to the shakedown area.
The shakedown area is for cadre to go through and check Cadets’ pockets and gear to make sure they have no ammo that could be taken off of the range.
“With the combination of cadre and program of instruction, the Cadets will definitely improve. They will learn some skills and take them back to their school to be able to help junior Cadets,” Bunkers said.