FORT KNOX, KY.- Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) 1st regiment, Alpha Company, reported for Engagement Skills Training (EST) in the Virtual Training Center (VTC) June 8, 2016.
The purpose of EST is to familiarize and provide Cadets experience with the M16 series rifle, while reinforcing the five fundamentals of marksmanship (steady body position, natural point of aim, breathing, trigger manipulation and follow-through).
“This is the beginning of teaching them expertise, confidence in their weapons system and their ability to be disciplined,” stated Master Sgt. James Kelley, Preliminary Marksmanship Instructor and VTC Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge.
Cdt. practices proper trigger squeeze as part of basic rifle marksmanship training at U.S. Army Cadet Command’s Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) on June 8. To ensure Cadets use proper techniques for firing their weapons, a coin is placed on the end of the barrel of the weapon. If the coin remains on the barrel when the Cadet pulls the trigger they have immediate feed-back that their technique is proper. Photo by Wenqing Yan.
The Cadets were divided into groups and cycled through four different areas: Warrior Skill Trainer, where Cadets practiced aiming the laser on their rifles and hitting their target; Disassembly/Reassembly Area, where Cadets took apart and put together their rifles; Primary Marksmanship Instruction, where Cadets practiced drills to help them properly assume shooting positions and aim their weapons; and EST Rooms, where Cadets simulated shooting on a range.
“I came in here thinking that ‘I got this and that I’m going to have it in the bag,’ but I was really anxious and nervous before I got up there,” Cdt.
Engagement Skills Training (EST) instructor Zachary Kennedy gives safety brief before the Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) Regiment 1 Alpha during their EST training in the Virtual Training Center June 8. Photo by Wenqing Yan.
Sarah Perry, a sophomore at Norwich University, from Boston, Massachusetts, said, “This is my first time aiming and shooting at a target. Now, I feel a lot more confident.”
While the Cadets are practicing with simulations, their instructors remind them the importance of treating simulations as reality.
“Even though it is simulated and it looks cool, it looks like a video game, take it seriously. How you do in here will effect how you shoot at the live range,” Sergeant Zachary Causey, EST Instructor, stressed.
With their instructors impressing the gravity of their training and walking them step-by-step through the process of shooting, the Cadets will be prepared for the live range.