JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- The smell of gunpowder fills the air as a line of Soldiers steadily advances toward the "enemy." The Soldiers await the command from their leader, at which point they will unleash a withering hail of firepower.

The scene would not be out of place in the Civil War, but it happened here on Oct. 5. The Soldiers were not armed with rifle muskets, but rather with M-4 carbines. The enemy was a line of paper targets.

The Soldiers of "Patriot" Battalion, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, were conducting close-quarters marksmanship training.

When the range noncommissioned officer gave the order, each Soldier fired two shots into the center mass of the human silhouette target.

In CQM training, Soldiers strive to achieve a proper firing stance and learn how to move their weapons from high and low ready positions into a firing position.

This training builds muscle memory and helps Soldiers to quickly acquire and engage targets.

Soldiers train in CQM in several stages, learning to engage targets straight ahead and at their sides at distances less than 25 meters.

"It's a good drill to do; the training helps Soldiers to build confidence in themselves," said Sgt. 1st Class Jaime Spencer, a native of Odessa, Texas, and mortar platoon sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-3 Inf. Reg.

CQM training is an important part of the Army's "crawl, walk, run" training philosophy. Under this philosophy, Soldiers must master basic techniques before they learn more advanced techniques, aiding the retention of training.

Having a solid foundation of basic techniques also contributes to the safety of Soldiers training in more advanced techniques.

"The most important part of any range is safety," said Cpl. Ryan Sparks, a Las Vegas, Nev. native, now a Stryker Mobile Gun System gunner in HHC, 2-3 Inf. Reg.

The 2-3 Inf. Reg. is conducting training to prepare for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.