FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets with the 4th Regiment Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) learned and practiced how to react to enemy contact as a squad July 12. They started the day with a class to help them prepare for the react to contact training.
“We know that Cadets are all on different levels as far as their knowledge base goes. We teach the class to mitigate the mistakes up front,” said Sgt. 1st Class Erik Graf, react to contact instructor.
After the class, Cadets were given a mission to assault an objective in which there might be enemy combatants.
“We want to set them up for success. I don’t want them to go out there running around and banging off trees and not know how to execute the mission,” Graf said.
The Cadets went through three sets of scenarios, each harder than the last. “It’s to keep the challenge going throughout the day,” Graf added.
Pvt. Raymond Hoffmann led the team of enemy personnel that opened fire on the Cadets to make them react.
“We know how react to contact training works so we usually plan against friendly forces and try to throw a wrench in their plan and make them think a little,” Hoffmann stated.
Hoffmann had a team of four against the Cadets who had a Squad of 13.
“Sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned, and sometimes you have to think on the spot to account for something you haven’t seen before,” Hoffmann added.
Enemy personnel made training more challenging for Cadets as the day progressed.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see if they threw a grenade at us because that sounds like something they would take great joy in doing,” said Cdt. Eleanor Czerwinski, DePaul University Chicago.
Cadets like Czerwinski also learned how to become a better leader.
“We are told that we need to be well-rounded. While I’m not really planning on going into infantry, it’s good for me to know the basics to help me understand conversations and the mission and help me to be better prepared,” she said.
“It doesn’t really matter what you branch. You just need to learn to be a leader,” said Cdt. Christian McDermott, High Point University.
Cadets are finishing their 19th day of training and have 11 days left before graduation at Fort Knox, Ky.