Last Updated: February 7th, 2024By Tags: , , , , ,

Cadets from 2nd Regiment, Basic Camp completed the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST), which allows them to practice firing their weapons in a simulation environment before they attempt a live qualification at the shooting range. For many of these Cadets, this will be the very first time they are firing a weapon.

Cadet Madison Howard from Clemson University practices her form before entering the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky., July 13, 2022. With the guidance she received from cadre, Howard felt ready to complete her training. | Photo by Cristina Betz, CST Public Affairs Office

“I’ve never really shot a weapon before, but now that I’ve had my cadre helping me out with trying to perfect my shooting I feel a lot more confident,” Cadet Madison Howard from Clemson University said. 

Howard recently transferred from the Air Force to Army ROTC where she is experiencing Basic Camp for the first time.

“I made so many friends here and it’s awesome having that family by my side and having the same goal as someone and we all help each other out,” Howard said. 

While Howard is grateful for all the friendships she is creating, she also has personal goals she plans to achieve through her time at CST.

“At the end, I’m hoping to honestly be able to look in the mirror and see a different and more improved person,” Howard said. 

Howard believes she has already learned several new skills and advises future Cadets to arrive with a purpose. 

“One piece of advice I would say is have a reason. Have a reason as to why you want to be here because if you don’t have a reason as to why you want to be here, as to why you wake up in the morning, then it’s going to be hard to even get through day one,” Howard said. 

Cadets participate in simulation training through the use of the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) at Fort Knox, Ky., July 13, 2022. This training exercise allowed Cadets to practice for their qualification test where they must score a 23 out of 40 to pass. | Photo by Cristina Betz, CST Public Affairs Office

Similar to Howard, Cadet Kalen Mohamed from the University of Central Florida has very little experience with firing a weapon.

“I don’t actually have any relevant experience with firearms. So being able to be put into a simulation and essentially it’s a realistic simulation so it’s nothing as you think of something like the Wii,” Mohamed said. 

The simulation allows Cadets to see where they need to improve and what they should be working on.

From the University of Guam, Cadet Sean Japor, who recently graduated with 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp is an MS3 Leader assisting Basic Camp Cadets with EST. Japor said that working on trigger squeeze, form and breathing are very important. 

“First is your form, you want to be as relaxed as possible. Your heels are on the floor, your legs are spread out a bit so you can balance. For your breathing part, you know you inhale and exhale, then you get like that breathing pause, and then once you get that breathing pause that’s the time to shoot, ” Japor said. 

The EST training is important for Cadets to partake in because it gives them the time to learn what shooting skills they need to improve on before they must take their final qualification test.

About the Author: Cristina Betz
Cristina Betz