Albany, Ga - Dozens of Army Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets from Albany State Universityrecently participated in weapons familiarization training at Building 7120 located at the Marine Corps Logistics Base.
According to ASU military instructors, Capt. Jerald Ferguson and Master Sgt. Robert McCall participating in weapons familiarization training prior to firing at the actual range is critical to the cadets’ development as future officers.
Ferguson, chair of ASU’s Military Science Department said the cadets received the basic fundamentals of marksmanship before qualifying to use M4 and M16 rifles.
“They are taught how to properly hold the weapons, acquire a good sight picture and steady aim, as well as assembling and disassembling them,” he said. “Select cadets will be qualifying while some are preparing for the ranger challenge competition at Fort Benning, Georgia.”
Cadets were divided into two groups. Freshmen and sophomores were grouped together; while juniors and seniors were trained in another area.
“During the year, other hands-on training we conduct use infantry tactics to evaluate the cadets’ leadership abilities and are 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 junior ROTC 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, ASU senior military instructor 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, 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 in high school, and knew she wanted to make the military a career.
“I have fired a weapon before 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.”
For more information about the ROTC program at ASU contact the Office of University Communications at (229) 430-4671.