FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets in the 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, trekked in a four-mile march from Logistics Support Area Baker to Schroder Range at Fort Knox, Ky., June 21, 2023. Once Cadets arrived at Schroder Range, Cadre instructed them to shoot for two rounds at pop-up targets. This event is better known as battle march, and shoot.

Cadets from the 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, advance from Logistics Support Area Baker to Schroder Range during battle, march, and shoot training, at Fort Knox, Ky., June 21, 2023. Battle, march, and shoot training simulates a real-world combat scenario by having the Cadets elevate their heart rate before firing their weapons. | Hydia Jackson, Western Kentucky University, CST Public Affairs Office

The objective of battle march, and shoot is for Cadets to receive a simulated combat experience. Cadet Kaitlyn Sheridan from Ohio University stated how she felt during the training under such poor weather conditions.

“The road march here was pretty challenging due to the weather,” Sheridan said. “It was very hot, and then, having to go straight on to the range was a big adjustment.”

The march kept the Cadets’ heart rates up as they reached the range, with each platoon setting out in thirty-minute intervals to set the pace of the training.

Cadet Kirstin Bobbitt from Western Kentucky University shared her experience during the heart racing event.

“I really liked doing marksmanship stuff so getting to come out here and qual [qualify], and then, do this battle march, and shoot was really cool,” Bobbitt said. “I missed like three shots, so 3 out of 40, I’m okay with that.”

The Cadets switch from prone unsupported to prone supported shooting positions during each iteration. Capt. Rafael Vargas Matos, Campbell University, explained that this event is a competition between platoons, and the winner receives a red streamer for their guidon [flag]. 

“The target purpose, is to try to shoot the best you can, so your platoon can get a streamer,” said Vargas Matos, Army ROTC Cadre. 

A streamer is a decoration attached to military flags to recognize particular achievements of a military unit.

Cadets are permitted one magazine per round with 20 bullets for each of the two rounds of the competition. This helps the Cadets learn how to shoot under stressful conditions.

Cadets from the 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp, lift their right foot to indicate that they are ready to
be cleared to begin shooting at Schroder Range battle, march, and shoot training, at Fort Knox, Ky., June 21, 2023. Cadets are not allowed to shoot until they have been cleared. | Hydia Jackson, Western Kentucky University, CST Public Affairs Office

“The Cadets get a big motivation, not for the individual but for the platoon as a team, because here, we are building a team,” Vargas Matos said. “And yes, you will lead, you have to learn how to work with your peers, and that only appears when they have leadership.”

Bobbitt and Sheridan have similar motivations that led to their joining Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and taking part in the 2023 Cadet Summer Training. Their grandfathers heavily influenced their decision to join.

“So both of my grandpas, who are no longer with us, were both in the service and in the Army,” Bobbitt said. “So that had a big part of why I joined the Army.”

Bobbitt received the National Army ROTC Scholarship, and her brother followed in her footsteps in the pursuit to become an officer.

Sheridan explained that her grandfather inspired her to join the Army.

“My parents are very supportive and very proud of everything I’m doing,” Sheridan said. “And I think he [my grandfather] would be proud too.”

About the Author: Hydia Jackson
Hydia Jackson
Hydia Jackson is a photojournalism student at Western Kentucky University. She has experience working at WKU student publications, covering marketing and campus life. Moving forward, Jackson wishes to gain more experience in editorial work. Jackson is passionate about meeting new people and finding creative ways to tell their stories. As a public affairs intern for Cadet Summer Training, she hopes to expand her knowledge on the world of storytelling.