Cadets are coming in, some with experience and some without. They are not expected to know how to properly do this training prior to their arrival said Sgt. Robert Douglas, 1st Squadron, Third Calvary Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.
“It does help if they do know it, but no, it is not required because we do teach them everything as if it was basic training,” said Douglas.
After Cadet Enrique Caballero Marin, a cadet at the University of North Carolina from Charlotte, North Carolina, completed the training he said the training is all about familiarization.
“Helping us to get familiar with grenades and being able to effectively throw it,” said Caballero. “Some people might think it’s really easy, but you know, it takes technique and it takes getting use to how much the grenade weighs and doing this will help when going to the live range.”
Cadets are expected to take what they learn and put it into action.
“The Cadets are expected to learn how to properly grip the grenade depending on if they are left or right handed,” said Douglas. “Correctly employ the grenade in the correct form. Today we went over prone to kneeling and kneeling to standing.”
The first half of the training the Cadets practice prone position, laying on the ground, to kneeling with throws for practice. They get two throws each and there is usually an option for the Cadets to go through again. The Cadets are then sent over to a second area to practice kneeling to standing.
After their familiarization, the Cadets are scored on the event. This is the part where the passing criteria happens and the Cadets get a “go or no go”. The grenade must land in the boundaries and stay within the boundaries or the grenade may bounce outside and roll into the boundary. If the grenade bounces in and rolls out it is a “no go”.
Throwing grenades is a part of the skill sets needed to pass advanced camp – it is one of the must complete events during camp. Though all Cadets come in with different amounts of experience the training is designed to get every Cadet familiar enough to successfully complete the event.
“No, never, I’ve never thrown a grenade. Never seen a grenade. Never experienced any of the procedures that we’ve been doing,” said Cadet Robert Galligan from the University of Mary Hardin Baylor. “So, this is completely new to me.”
Then there are Cadets like Caballero, who is also a Soldier in the National Guard, with 1454 Transportation Company, who already completed this training during Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood.
Or Cadet Nicole Comercureton, student at Bennett College from Virgnia, that said, “I have 10 years of prior service, so what we are actually doing today I actually did it for the first time when I joined the military and I’ve done it a few times after for my company training.”
New Cadets might be challenged but be given the necessary tools to complete the training.