FORT KNOX, Ky. – Through the rain and muddy terrain, Cadets from Advanced Camp, 1st Regiment swam their way through the buddy team live fire range this morning during Cadet Summer Training.
Buddy team live fire training is a two-day event; the first day is a dry run through with their battle buddy. The second day is when they shoot real rounds. The overall goal of this training is for the Cadets to be able to work with their battle buddy and communicate with them while in a stressful environment.
“The focus is to have full control of your movements to bound in buddy pairs while engaging targets while maintaining cover and appropriate individual movement techniques,” said Cadet James Crosby, Washington University in St. Louis.
2nd Lt. Eduardo Gracia went into depth about the Cadets training. He explained that Cadets negotiate the lane in buddy teams; lining up at the starting barriers. Once they have the go ahead, one provides covering fire while the other bounds to the next barrier. One Cadet will continue to cover their partner as their partner moves ahead.
Communication is key to ensure one Cadet provides cover while the other bounds. “Bounding is when you run for three to five seconds then you will drop to the ground and you keep doing that until you meet your destination,” said Gracia.
Cadets are with their buddy through the entire process. When Cadets first start they must communicate who covers and who bounds.
The training of the Cadets is important but safety is even more important.
“It’s really important because the whole Army makes sure we are partnered with somebody and to keep each other accountable and to keep each other safe,” said Cadet Katelyn Bailey attending University of Pittsburgh.
For some Cadets this pushed them out side of their comfort level. For Cadet Nicholas
Armeni from Youngstown State University, he is confident in his shooting outside the program but he has never shot with a battle buddy before; this experience brought confidence to him that he would be able to trust his battle buddy.
For others it brought confidence to their skills in handling a weapon. “ I think one thing was I haven’t handled a rifle much before this training experience, so just being aware of something that is so powerful in your hands,” said Bailey.
What many Cadets are finding is that the Army sets them up for success in all of the training they do here. Success built through teamwork, either as a large group or as a pair on the Buddy Team Live Fire Range.
“Everything in the Army is about teamwork. If you can’t work together as a team you will fall apart,” said Crosby.