Sgt. Alberto Avila, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, uses the live virtual shooting simulation Engagement Skills Trainer at Fort Knox, Ky., June 18, 2023. | Photo by Madelyn Guinn, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

FORT KNOX, Ky. – 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadets participated in the engagement skills trainer during Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Ky., June 18, 2023. The EST is a virtual shooting simulator that allows Cadets to practice their shooting accuracy before qualifying their weapons later during CST.

During this training, Cadets participate in different exercises that help them practice changing M4 carbine magazines and moving between the four proper firing positions. The four firing positions are kneeling, standing and prone (supported and unsupported).

It is important for Cadets to know how to perform these positions before qualifying their weapons at the range.

Since he was a part of CST Basic Camp last summer, Cadet Zack Hendricks from Grand Canyon University is familiar with the EST. Hendricks explains how the EST is beneficial for Cadets before they qualify.

“The EST range actually lets us simulate the [qualification] range,” Henricks said. “While it’s not the same as live firing, it still has the [carbon dioxide] backfire, so it gives us a small taste of what it’s like to actually shoot.”

Cadet Tiffany Jones from Georgia Southern University has handled practice rifles before, but this is her first time trying the EST. Jones explains why the EST is important.

“I think [EST]’s important, because as a leader, your people are going to expect you to know the standard,” Jones said. “If you don’t know at least the bare minimum, how can you expect them to be qualified?”

Cadet Akiareia Wilkinson, University of Southern Mississippi, 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, practices changing the M4 carbine magazine during the Engagement Skills Trainer at Fort Knox, Ky., June 18, 2023. The EST allows Cadets to practice proper firing positions and changing magazines before qualifying their weapons later during Cadet Summer Training. | Photo by Madelyn Guinn, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

One of the Cadre, 2nd Lt. Anthony Nasharr, talks about what he thinks Cadets should take away from EST.

“I think the greatest take-away Cadets should have from today is that there’s a wealth of knowledge that they have amongst themselves.” Nasharr said. “Us Cadre, we’re here to help for sure, but they need to rely on their battle buddies to teach them lessons, but also to have the humility to learn lessons from others.”

CST Cadets look forward to qualifying at the range later this week.

About the Author: Madelyn Guinn
Madelyn Guinn
Madelyn Guinn is a CST PAO intern from Martinsville, Indiana that graduated from Ball State University in 2023 with a Photojournalism Major and Sociology Minor. Guinn first fell in love with photography in 2015 when they began taking photos for their high school yearbook and has always favored sports and action photography. While interning at Fort Knox, KY this summer, Guinn is eager to gain experience with military action photography and hopes to expand her knowledge on more videography work by the end of this internship.