By: Madison Thompson

FORT KNOX, Ky. – Advanced Camp Regiment 4 received their MILES (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems) gear at Assembly Area Baker at Fort Knox, Ky. on June 15 during Cadet Summer Training (CST). MILES gear is a three-part system consisting of a sensor vest, a helmet sensor called a halo and a laser system for rifles.

3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp MILES Issue
Advanced Camp 3rd Regiment receives MILES gear. Photo by Madison Thompson.

“There are sensors that detect lasers that are shot from the rifles and also a laser system that is attached to their rifle or the machine gun. When a blank round is fired from the weapon, it shoots a laser out,” said 2nd Lt. Caleb Law. “If that laser hits the vest or helmet being worn by the Cadet, it triggers the gear and begins to make a really loud siren sound that tells the individual wearing the vest that they’ve been struck by an enemy round. The only way the siren can be turned off is by one of the OCT’s or instructors.”

To most, this system sounds very familiar to another activity.

“It’s basically like laser tag,” said Cadet Austin Townsend, Purdue University, Kokomo, Ind.

The MILES gear serves multiple purposes for Cadets during CST.

“It helps us with accuracy. We know whether or not we hit our target instead of just shooting,” said Cadet Duran Thomas, University of the Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands.

MILES aids Cadets in another way as well.

“Most of the time, before you get into this situation and don’t have this gear, you’re just firing blanks and you don’t have any idea if you’re actually hitting anyone. It’s like playing Army as a kid. You’re like ‘pew pew, I shot you’ and the other guy can say ‘no you didn’t’,” explained Cadet John Horoho, College of Charleston, Fayetteville, N.C. “Now that we have this stuff, we actually have to be tactfully moving around with cover and concealment. If you don’t have the proper covering and concealment, one real good shot will make the gear go off and then your teammates have to react.”

For the purpose of CST, Cadets will be training with this equipment during several exercised including react to contact and tactical movements through wooded areas.

3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp MILES Issue
Advanced Camp 3rd Regiment receives MILES gear. Photo by Madison Thompson.

“I’m excited for the realism that’s going to come with this equipment … This takes it up from going and playing Army and ‘pew pewing’ around saying who shot who. This time, when you get shot, it’s going to identify who shot who,” said Horoho.

“This takes it to the next level so the Cadets aren’t just sitting in the woods pretending they’re shooting at somebody. It allows them to use blank rounds, which are almost as loud and impressive as real rounds, and it takes it to a level where you don’t want to get hit because everybody knows you’ve been hit,” said Law.

Cadets were heard talking eagerly about the training that comes with this new equipment. As this new bout of training approached Cadets, one took the time to invite others to experience the same thing.

“If anybody wants to join ROTC, it’s a great experience. You’ll have fun. There are going to be times where it’s going to be hard, but one thing you will take away from this is how to be a leader,” said Thomas.




Cadet Summer Training brings 8,200 Cadets through Basic and Advanced Camp this summer on Fort Knox. These camps are designed to help challenge, grow and improve various skills and leadership qualities within the Cadets. If you think you have what it takes to be a Cadet or if you are interested in a job after college click the following link: