FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from 3rd Battalion Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division conducted night and day basic marksmanship training, June 23-24, in order to improve their basic Soldier skills and become re-familiar with their weapons.

The two-day training, which took place at Fort Hood's Cowhouse Demolition Range, included zeroing weapons and M-68 optics; and aligning those optics with their AN/PEQ-15, an advanced target pointer illuminator aiming light.

"We are instilling confidence in the Soldier and improving their weapons skills, which will in turn increase their survivability on the battlefield," said Sgt. 1st Class Paul Boutte, a platoon sergeant assigned to Headquarter and Headquarters Company.

Soldiers turned off their optics later that night, and used the PEQ-15 and infrared night vision goggles to engage their targets from various positions, to get use to firing at night.

The next day, Soldiers conducted reflexive fire training. Here, Soldiers fired on command from 25 meters.

"This allows the Soldiers to get away from the usually stationary position and into a mobile fighting position," said Boutte.

Soldiers said the training was outstanding.

"It helps to build motivation. You take the fundamentals that you learned in basic training and realize that you can use them to engage targets from farther away," said Pfc. Williams McGuigan, from Elgin, Ill.

The training prepared Soldiers to be tactically proficient.

"It doesn't matter if you're chemical, military intelligence, signal or any other 'soft skinned' (military occupational specialties), you never know what situation you might find yourself in. That's when this kind of training comes in handy."