Last Updated: June 13th, 2024By Tags: , ,

Fort Knox, KY – “Sweep, twist, pull, strike a pose.”

Cadets from 1st Regiment, Advanced Camp, were required to master this preparation sequence today as they took on the hand grenade assault course for Cadet Summer Training on Fort Knox, Ky, June 6, 2024. After ruck marching onto Christenson Range, Cadets were broken down into their platoons and briefed on the exercise before taking the course on themselves.

During the course, Cadets made their way through different obstacles and throwing points. Each station requires a different approach. Some stations have Cadets kneeling and throwing, while others have them throw while laying on their back or standing up, calling for adaptability from Cadets.

2nd Lt. Stuart Arnold was an instructor and a grader for the course.

“It’s not necessarily the fact that they’re throwing grenades,” said Arnold, “but it’s rather that they’re getting used to doing something new and getting out of that comfort zone.”

2nd Lt. Stuart Arnold gives Cadets instruction on the hand grenade assault course for Cadet Summer Training on Fort Knox, June 9, 2024. Arnold is a head instructor and grader for the course. | Photo by Andrew Berger, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

A trend in Army training is ‘crawl, walk, run’. This model allows trainees like Cadets to watch as an instructor like Arnold does a task, then to do the task themselves. The goal is that the Cadets will end by doing the task efficiently on their own.

While many Cadets expressed that they had no experience throwing grenades, Cadre placed increased importance on being diligent in their instructions. Before the Cadets were allowed to begin, instructors performed a demonstration walk-through of the obstacles and what would be required.

Cadets from 1st Regiment receive instructions from Cadre about the proper way to complete the hand grenade assault course on Fort Knox, Ky, June 6, 2024. Cadets had an hour to practice running through each obstacle before having to qualify. | Photo by Andrew Berger, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs

Cadet Ashley Fahey, 1st Regiment Advanced Camp from University of Tennessee, expressed excitement for the course due to her background in softball.

“I love competition and making myself better by being around others with the same mindset.” said Fahey.

Although the first in her family to join, Fahey was drawn to ROTC’s leadership development opportunities during college.

“It was a good way to do college while also scratching that itch for competition I have.” said Fahey.

Fahey believes that the hand grenade assault course improves Cadets agility in more ways than one. Cadets improve not only physically but also in their ability to incorporate feedback into improved performance.

The most difficult aspect of the exercise for Fahey was the pressure to perform each component perfectly with limited attempts. Despite a few mistakes, Fahey remains calm and committed to improving her skills.

Cadet Nathanial Bloomfield, 1st Regiment Advanced Camp from Liberty University, discussed learning resilience through physically demanding training exercises such as the hand grenade assault course. Bloomfield, whose family has a history of military service, joined the ROTC to challenge himself. He said the program has taught him the importance of having a positive attitude and focusing on others despite fatigue.

Cadet Nathaniel Bloomfield, Liberty University, poses for a photo after completing the hand grenade assault course for Cadet Summer Training on Fort Knox, Ky, June 9, 2024. Bloomfield says that ROTC has taught him the importance of resilience. | Photo by Andrew Berger, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs Office

“If you’re worried about you, and being selfish,” said Bloomfield, “You’re not going to do very well.”

Bloomfield said this experience taught him the importance of being positive and leading by example. Overall, Cadets learned how to adapt and stay calm under pressure: a skill they can take with them into their future in the Army.

Cadets from 1st Regiment sit and watch their platoon members practice the hand grenade assault course on Fort Knox, Ky, June 6, 2024. Cadets were given breaks between practice to get water, food and visit the medic. | Photo by Andrew Berger, Ball State University, CST Public Affairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Andrew Berger
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Andrew Berger is a senior at Ball State University majoring in Photojournalism. He is the Photo Editor of the Ball State Daily News and a member of the NPPA.