By Katrinia McGuire
Rain didn’t stop the Cadet Initial Entry Training Third Regiment yesterday in their next step in training at the Christensen Hand Grenade Assault Course.
The cadets faced the rain and began the day with an orientation on how the training would unfold. Cadets were then split up in to platoons and went to four stations to learn the basics of hand grenade training.
Station One was called Hand Grenade Practice and cadets learned the three positions of throwing a grenade: prone to kneeling, kneeling, and standing. Here, cadre showed them how to handle and throw an M69, or, training grenade, in to the open field. These grenades are not charged, however they do flash and blow minimal smoke to simulate a real grenade in the field.
According to the officer in charge of the course, Captain Broc Barnes, this simulation is close to the real deal. “They actually go through the motions of the operation of an actual live grenade, where they have to pull the safety off of the actual body” he said.
In this station were dummies set up to represent the enemy and ropes outlined the radiuses of the impact these particular grenades have. Cadets practiced throwing techniques and observed later where their grenades landed, only to correct the techniques later.
The next station was called IMT practice. Here, the cadets learned the proper way to do a low and high crawl, and a three-second rush against the enemy. Cadre, as well as MSIIIs prompted them in proper crawling and calling technique. Due to the rain, cadets were reminded if they aren’t dirty, they aren’t crawling right. After the activity was done there wasn’t a clean uniform, or face, in the regiment.
Cadets then moved on to hand grenade identification. Here, they were introduced to six different types of grenades used by the United States Army. They were taught the sort of impact the grenades have, the smoke and the color identification in order to choose the correct way to handle a grenade situation. By the end of training, cadets were tested and had to know at least four to successfully complete this course.
In the final station, Knock Out Bunker, cadets learned the right way to throw a grenade in to a bunker and steer clear of the smoke.
The day was filled with many learning experiences, and Cadet Thomas Garcy from McDaniel College in Maryland, believes it is important to their training at CST. “All of us need to know how to use the equipment because we are all riflemen,” he said.
Captain Barnes agrees. “It’s a basic-level Army task that everybody has to encounter. You never know when you are going to use it.”
The cadets then put their knowledge to the test by running an assault course. This lane was filled with obstacles and dummies to represent both the enemy– and civilians that weren’t supposed to be harmed. Because of the time constraint imposed by the weather, only a handful of cadets were chosen to go through the course to get a feel for a more realistic situation.
“You have to know a very broad spectrum of military basics. You need to know what all the equipment can do, what it’s capable of. The individual movement tasks especially because that’s something everyone will have to use at some point in time, whether it’s in basic training, PT you’re going to have to be able to coach somebody,” said Captain Barnes.