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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Cadets sharpen weapons skills

By Pamela Jackson | | November 8, 2012

Cadets participating in weapons training at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Nov. 1, described the M16 as very heavy, but easier to disassemble; versus the M4, which is easier to control, but harder to disassemble.
Dozens of Army Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets from Albany State University participated in weapons familiarization training at Building 7120.
According to both ASU military instructors, participating in weapons familiarization training prior to firing at the actual range is critical to the cadets’ development as future officers.
Capt. Jerald Ferguson, department chair, Military Science Department, ASU, said the cadets were given the basic fundamentals of marksmanship before qualifying with the M4 and M16 rifles.
“They are taught how to properly hold the weapons, acquire a good sight picture and steady aim as well as assembled and disassembled them,” he said. “Select cadets will be qualifying while some are preparing for the ranger challenge competition at Fort Benning, Georgia.”
Ferguson explained the cadets were broken down into two groups. Freshmen and sophomores were grouped together while the juniors and seniors were training in another area.
“All of the cadets are learning the basics of getting into a good firing position, breaking the weapons down and conducting function checks, but the junior class is focused on how to zero the weapon so it can hit the target they want it to hit,” he said. “The classes are led by senior cadets who actually (found the resources), researched, prepared and are now executing the training.
“During the year, other hands-on training we conduct uses infantry tactics to evaluate the cadets’ leadership abilities and is a tool to gauge how they will control a squad or group of people to accomplish a mission,” he continued. “The majority of our training is done on the campus of ASU, Fort Gordon, Georgia, or Fort Benning, but some of it, such as weapons training, the obstacle course and land navigation is done here at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. The base has been really helpful to us as we train the next generation of Army officers.”
Krystal Parrish, a cadet from Brodnax, Va., said she joined ROTC because she wanted something new and challenging. She found the weapons training to be just that, but admitted she was catching on fast.
Master Sgt. Robert McCall, senior military instructor, ASU, was responsible for observing the advanced course and training with the juniors, who are preparing to attend leadership camp next summer.
“We are getting them ready for the range, Friday, so preparing them for the fundamentals today will help them qualify with both rifles,” he said. “The seniors will be graduating next year, so since the program is cadet leadership driven, the seniors are teaching the course with our assistance.”
Cadet Trabria Williams, a sophomore from Geneva, Ga., said she joined ROTC after participating in JROTC for four years of high school, and knew she wanted to make the military a career.
“I fired a weapon when I was much younger with my grandfather, but it is good to be familiar with this type of weapon prior to qualification tomorrow,” she said. “The M16 is very heavy and the M4 is easier to control. I’m just trying to get used to disassembling the weapon. I had a difficult time learning the different components, but I will get it. I’m excited about beginning my career in the Army after graduating with my degree in forensic science.”