Last Updated: June 10th, 2024By

FORT KNOX, Ky., – Cadets from 2nd Regiment, Advanced Camp, spent the afternoon completing the Engagement Skills Trainer exercise, Fort Knox, Ky., June 10, 2024. EST is a laser-based, indoor, multipurpose arms trainer used to simulate live weapon training events. The training serves as an affordable and efficient way to teach Cadets how to aim and fire a variety of Army weapons before going live.

“First and foremost, this is to set them [Cadets] up for the real range,” Spc. Manuel Corpus, 4th Infantry Division, primary operator of an EST room at Cadet Summer Training. “When they go over there, we want them to have good habits, like positions and safety.”

Taking the time to conduct effective virtual training will facilitate a more efficient training on the live range.

Prior to attending Advanced Camp, many Cadets may have limited experience using weapons. EST serves as a fundamental exercise, providing them with time to practice and gain confidence before the real thing.

“For people who have never handled a weapon before, it’s not as daunting,” said Cadet Maximilian Jordan, The Citadel, “You can get as many rounds as you need and it’s not taxing on the body.”

After qualifying in the practice round, Cadets will move onto a live range where they will put all their practice into use.

Cadet Jordan said, “This is definitely a great intro to the ground zero exercise, and anyone will 100% benefit from doing this first.”

As for those planning to attend CST in the future, there are plenty of ways to prepare.

“I would say definitely talk to those that have done it before, just to familiarize yourself with the general process,” Cadet Jordan. “Obviously we aren’t shooting live bullets right now so it’s not really scary but just a general familiarization with how a weapon works.”

Regardless of ones experience with marksmanship prior to CST, The Engagement Skills Trainer exercise will provide Cadet’s the proper training and confidence to qualify with their weapon.

About the Author: Sophia Hughes