Uniform 195 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Uniform

Uniform 195 Recruit Journal

Formed: Feb 27, 2018

Graduates: April 20, 2018

 

With week 05 coming to a close, the recruits of Uniform 195 can finally take a step back and reflect on yet another busy week. Known as Search and Rescue Week, meeting time objectives and moving quickly as a company has become more important than ever. Beginning with a 0530 wake up call, shipmates have only 15 minutes to take muster, get dressed in our operational dress uniforms, and march off to the galley for morning chow. The rush we feel in the first few minutes of a new long day is a stark reminder that in order to save lives, being ready and exact are key. The first two days of this new morning routine left some of us with blouse buttons missed and boots untied as we clustered out the building, but by midweek the company could get it accomplished. Monday brought the dreaded uniform inspection, one of the most stressful events recruits will experience during their time at Cape May. All prepped and preened, U-195 stood at parade rest to show off carefully shined boots and freshly pressed uniforms as section commanders walked up and down the rows of recruits, studying every inch of fabric and leather to find flaws. While loose threads, wrinkles, and unshaven faces were searched for, our hearts beat rapidly as we tried to prepare ourselves to answer any questions that might be thrown at as. Our fourth general order? Our chain of command? The collar device of an O-6? The answers raced through our minds, no matter right or wrong, as we listened to the shouts of shipmates answering questions that we hoped were more difficult than the ones we’d receive. On Tuesday, we were fitted for our dress uniforms, always an exciting time for recruits. Smiles beamed across the worn faces of Uniform company as we saw each other in what we’d be wearing at graduation in just a few weeks’ time. The classes we took this week focused on the practical side of search and rescue: radio communications, personal flotation devices, survival gear, and the roles of boat crew members while on a mission. We also learned about the rich history of the Coast Guard, such as its creation, its role in important world events, and its heroes and pioneers like Joshua James and Elmer Stone. On Friday, U-195 was able to finally catch a small glimpse of the mysterious graduation ceremony as we stood watch, directed traffic, and greeted visitors. To know that a senior company we have seen once marching through the regiment as week 05 recruits like ourselves now, was motivation enough to tell ourselves and persevere until the end like they have. One highlight of the week though was finally receiving our orders and learning where we will be stationed after boot camp. Locations from Guam to Alaska were received, and recruits learned whether they would be stationed ashore or on cutters or other sea going vessels. It is clear to see that Uniform 195 has become a tight knit company because everyone was as eager to hear about their shipmate’s assignments as they were their own. The news was a dream come true for most, but those who weren’t so pleased can be rest assured that adventure into the unfamiliar can often lead to amazing life changing experiences. Another highlight of the week was running through what is known as the Confidence Course, an obstacle course consisting of beams, bars, walls and ropes. As we gave our best attempts to complete each obstacle while being guided by our company commanders, we were allowed to ease our military bearing as we cheered each other on and laughed at our mistakes. It’s incredible that something so physical such as climbing a rope or vaulting over a wall can be turned into something so emotional when you’re putting your trust into your company commanders to show you how to do it, and having your shipmates tell you that you can do it. With week 06 just around the corner, U-195 knows that we can make it through another grueling seven days because we not only have the skills and mindset to make it happen, but also each other when it gets tough.

 

Editor’s Note: This blog post was written by a recruit currently involved in Coast Guard basic training. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this Journal do not necessarily reflect those of Training Center Cape May, the U.S. Coast Guard or the federal government and are the sole opinion of the author. Recruit Journals are written by personnel in a high-stress environment with little time, so please excuse grammar and punctuation in the above article. The staff at Training Center Cape May do not edit the journals in any way, so as to ensure authenticity of the content and messages.

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