Fort Knox, Ky., — For Basic Camp Cadets, part of Cadet Summer Training (CST) includes learning basic squad formations and maneuvers before they can head to the field.
1ST Regiment Basic Camp Alpha Company participated in drill and ceremony training on May 31st, a two-day training period where platoons work one-on-one with drill sergeants to master squad maneuvers.
Cadet Jordan Gill, student at Hampton University, native of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was one of the Cadets training hard at drill and ceremony.
“We’re practicing different movements: left face, right face, different formations, and how to move a platoon on a larger level,” said Gill. “This is important for our training because when we move as a squad its important to know where to move, to know exactly where to go and how to execute each element.”
Cadet Gabriela Caudel, student at University of Illinois Chicago, native of Chicago, recognizes the importance of teamwork during drill and ceremony.
“Drill and ceremony helps us work together as a team and develops discipline within each of us,” said Caudel. “It is a team effort, because we have to all stay on the same step and move together. The hardest part for me is staying in step when other members of the platoon miss a step.”
Gill recognizes that understanding the reasons behind each formation is important in order to properly execute them.
“The hardest part of drill and ceremony is staying in line and staying in step. We also need to know what foot to step on and why we are even executing the specific movement in the first place,” said Gill.
The drill sergeants assigned to each platoon go over each step with the Cadets, drilling them over and over until they can move as one.
“The drill sergeants are the most knowledgeable people we can have access to right now, they are amazing. They can be tough at times, but they keep us sharp,” said Gill.
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Fluker, native of Lexington, Kentucky, is one of the drill sergeants working with the Basic Camp Cadets.
“Drill and ceremony teaches discipline and order. So far the Cadets are doing well, we have a few that have participated in Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), which really helps the rest of the Cadets who are new to this. The Cadets just need to work on staying disciplined moving forward,” said Fluker.
The Cadets will spend two days learning drill and ceremony, afterwards, they will take what they have learned and apply the maneuvers to other field training exercises.