The Training Area For The Est ProgramRAPID CITY, S.D.– With the Golden Coyote exercise underway, soldiers from 10 different states will be part of training events from now through June 25, including the Engagement Skills Trainer program.

“It allows them to really get down and dial in their basic rifle marksmanship skills,” South Dakota Army National Guard Training Center and Command’s Sergeant Corey Ann Ellis said. “They are able to work on things like their sight picture, their breathing, their trigger pull. So that when they get out there to a live-fire range they can fall back on their basic skills.”

For over a decade, National Guardsmen and women have utilized the Engagement Skills Trainer as part of marksman training.

In a controlled environment, soldiers practice shooting targets on a simulator in different positions which prepares them for use in a live fire range.

To pass the training and move on to the live range, participants must receive a score of 23 or greater on the simulated activity.

In these training sessions, accuracy is key to mission success both in simulation and real-life situations.

“We don’t want any mishaps,” Sergeant Ellis said. “We want safety, and we also want to be effective.”

EST training is meant for annual completion, with National Guard camps nationwide equipped with the program.

However, factors such as instruction quality, distance, and availability differ.

“When they are here to participate in Golden Coyote, this is just one tool that enriches their experience,” Sgt Ellis explained. “It allows them to knock one more thing off of their requirement list, and get a little bit more training for their soldiers while they are already here and on their two-week annual training.”


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