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FORT KNOX, KY.— Cadets from 9th Regiment, Advanced Camp stood ready with their weapons and their battle buddies for Buddy Team Live Fire training on July 17.

Cadet James Parker, from Texas A&M University, rushes forward toward with Cadre as his battle buddy provides cover for him during the blank fire iteration of Buddy Team Live Fire training at Fort Knox, July 17, 2019. This training teaches Cadets how to communicate with their battle buddy during high-stress situations. | Photo by Jodi Moffett, CST Public Affairs Office

During this training, Cadets are given blanks and must practice bounding between concealment while simultaneously providing cover for their battle buddy along the way. 

While advancing forward on the course, Cadets practice three movement techniques that include bounding, high crawl and low crawl. 

“Bounding is a three to five second rush, followed by dropping to the ground,” Cadet Ali Carroll, from Clark University said. “High crawl is crawling forward to your next cover using your elbows and low crawl, it’s exactly how it sounds. You’re low to the ground with your face almost in the mud, in order to avoid fire from the enemy.” 

While Cadets keep their own movement techniques and weapons training in mind, they also have to stay focused on another key element for their success — their battle buddy.

Cadet Renaldo Townes, from Winston Salem State University, takes cover and continues to fire downrange at the enemy so that his battle buddy can advance to cover safely during the blank fire iteration of Buddy Team Live Fire training at Fort Knox, July 17, 2019. This training teaches Cadets how to communicate with their battle buddy during high-stress situations. | Photo by Jodi Moffett, CST Public Affairs Office

“In the Army, we work as a team,” Cadet Renaldo Townes, from Winston Salem State University said. “Training with a battle buddy is crucial if you want to complete your mission in one piece. I look out for him, he looks out for me… that’s the only way we’ll return home safely.”

Despite high-stress conditions and a short amount of time with their platoons, Cadets are able to use the training they’ve received to connect with and trust their battle buddies in ways that many people may find difficult. 

“I’ve only known my battle buddy for only about 13 days,” Carroll said. “But we’ve been through some pretty hard training together. That’s what makes it easy to rely on her.” 

Placing trust in fellow Cadets may come easy to some, but for Cadet Dylan Barber, from the University of North Dakota, it was a little more difficult to do. 

“I won’t lie… I still to this day have a hard time relying on other people,” Barber said. “I’m the type of person who has to do everything myself, or else I feel like it won’t get done. The army has taught me how to trust in others, and I’m thankful for that.” 

Cadet Ryan Breiner, from Texas A&M University, advances forward as his battle buddy provides cover during the blank fire iteration of Buddy Team Live Fire training at Fort Knox, July 17, 2019. This training teaches Cadets how to communicate with their battle buddy during high-stress situations. | Photo by Jodi Moffett, CST Public Affairs Office

Following this training, Cadets will take on Buddy Team Live Fire with their battle buddies and live ammunition. Despite stress and nerves, Cadets express nothing but excitement to tackle the challenge.

“Buddy Team Live Fire wouldn’t be possible without determination, delegation and communication,” Barber said. 

“With this training we’re becoming better people and better soldiers… and hey, we’re having a blast while we’re doing it.”

 

 

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