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Cadet Akua Adu who attends Western Michigan University had never trained with grenades before coming to Fort Knox, Ky. Because this was a new experience for her, she was ready to take part in the training event. 

“I am very excited. I have never done it [hand grenade training] before, so it was really nice to be able to have the experience,” said Adu.

Cadet Akua Adu from Western Michigan University throws a practice hand grenade into the pit during Hand Grenade Familiarization Training at the Eagles Nest in Fort Knox, KY. June 4, 2021. | Photo by Rachael Kocour, CST Public Affairs Office.

Adu will be graduating and commissioning in December 2021, and she is very motivated to learn all that she can at Advanced Camp this summer. She has enjoyed her experience at Fort Knox thus far and is prepared to confront the challenges and learning experiences that lie ahead. 

Her enthusiasm to succeed at Advanced Camp is only a glimmer of the indelible longing she has for serving in the United States Military. Adu was originally born in Ghana, a country in West Africa, and moved to the US at a young age. Adu said, “Growing up, I just always wanted to be a soldier. I knew what had happened in Ghana so, when I got the opportunity to come here, I did the work and I joined JROTC in high school… I heard about the Army ROTC program and I just joined and went through it like that. I am really looking forward to being an officer someday.”

Every Cadet who attends Advanced Camp must complete the practice exercises at Hand Grenade Familiarization Training to graduate and continue on their path to becoming an officer in the US Army.

Cadre teach the Cadets about different types of grenades employed by the US Military while at the Hand Grenade Familiarization Training and demonstrate the proper positions for handling and throwing hand grenades. The Cadets must use these techniques during their practice exercises, when they throw practice hand grenades at the throwing pit and mock bay. 

Cadets receive instruction from Cadre during Hand Grenade Familiarization Training at the Eagles Nest in Fort Knox, KY. June 4, 2021. | Photo by Rachael Kocour, CST Public Affairs Office.

Adu not only learned from the Cadre, but she found that her peers and fellow Cadets taught her a lot of helpful information and offered guidance during this whole experience. She says, “Now that I am here [Advanced Camp], I’m learning a lot from individuals… It’s really amazing because things that I haven’t heard before or learned in my program– some people have [in their Army ROTC program] and they go through it little by little so you can actually get it.”

The two practice exercises that Cadets must complete are throwing their practice hand grenades from a low, covered position and throwing them from the mock bay in a standing-up position from behind a wooden wall cover. Each Cadet must throw the grenade within the blast radius of the target for each exercise. 

With the help of her peers and Cadre, Adu completed the training and is grateful for the support of this family she has made.

Adu said, “I have never met a group of people this nice before. I love it here. Everybody is just so nice and willing to help… The more you motivate a person, the more they feel confident… The more your peers trust that you can do it, the more you will start trusting yourself… The more they push you, the more you want to make them proud.”