Last Updated: February 8th, 2024By

U.S. Army Soldiers spent a day training on the Schroeder Range at Fort Knox, Ky., May 26, 2022. These Soldiers were grouping and zeroing M4A1 carbines as part of their training in preparation for Cadet Summer Training (CST).  They will be the Cadre instructing the Cadets over the summer.

Maj. Steve Paniati is an instructor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. At the university he teaches Military Science to Cadets in their junior year. He said the instructors spend all year getting the Cadets ready for CST.  

“One example is coming to the range, so we do live fire with them throughout the year, but it’s hard to teach something you can’t do yourself,” Paniati said. “So, it’s good to come out here and re-familiarize.”

Master Sgt. Brian Boyt was one of the safety instructors on the range where they learned training and coaching techniques to help prepare the Cadre for their time at CST. This will help the Cadre work with Cadets on the range. 

Boyt said he thought the training went great. He said the important part of the training was each team coming together and identifying their individual strengths and weaknesses. 

“So, as a team collectively come together and develop strength within their team,” Boyt said. “Then also working on the fundamentals of marksmanship for them to assist the Cadets throughout their training.”

2nd Lt. Chance Fine will be a member of the Cadre at CST for the first time this year. 

“I’m excited,” Fine said. “Last year I was a Cadet at CST, and this year I get to be a Cadre. So, I think it will be a fun experience to be on the other side of that.”

Fine said he thought the training went well; they were able to build as a team and have fun doing it. 

“Today we were at the range getting training on different ways to fire our weapons, hold them and that way we can prepare for the Cadets who are going to get here,” Fine said. “That way we’re more flexible with the way they shoot, and how we coach them and teach them.”

The rifle range is only part of the Cadre’s seven-day training as they prepare for CST. 

Doug Kadatz is the administrator for the OC/T (Observer, Coach, Trainer) Academy. His department runs the seven-day academy for the regimental Cadre for all 11 regiments of CST. These Cadre will be with the Cadets for the entire 35-day training. 

This Cadre training includes written tests, team competitions, briefings from the various training committees and more. 

Kadatz said the competitions develop self-awareness in the Cadre and teach them to see strengths and weaknesses within their teams. 

The teams consist of four Soldiers, who will be the platoon trainers and observers. 

Kadatz said the Cadre training starts with the Army’s leadership requirements model (ALRM). This is what the Army uses to assess the top leadership qualities and traits that they want in their military. 

Kadatz said they also train the Cadre how to write scorecards for the Cadets and do evaluations throughout the course of the Cadets’ 35 day training. He said they train the Cadre to view every Cadet through the same lens and give them an equal playing field, so that every Cadet gets the same opportunities in CST.

“It’s not always about mission success or mission completion,” Kadatz said. “It’s about did the Cadet do the right troop leading procedures? Did the Cadet demonstrate the right qualities of leadership?” 

Kadatz said part of the training on the rifle range was to help the Cadre learn how to coach, teach and mentor the Cadets when they are out doing their Basic Rifle Marksmanship (BRM). 

“A BRM committee that actually runs the qualification for Cadets, but these guys as regimental Cadre will be in support of the BRM committee, so we’re showing them at least the fundamentals of how to make adjustments,” Kadatz said.

The training on the rifle range is one, small part of the overall training the Cadre completes to prepare for CST. 

About the Author: Erinn Finley
Erinn Finley
Erinn Finley is a senior at Murray State University majoring in journalism. She enjoys writing, reading, travel and photography. She worked for the student newspaper at her campus to further her writing skills outside of the classroom. During the Cadet Summer Training internship, she hopes to further her photography and writing skills.