Uniform 195 Recruit Journal Week 06

International Maritime Signal Flag Uniform

 

Uniform 195 Recruit Journal

Formed: Feb 27, 2018

Graduates: April 20, 2018

 

With week 06 finally coming to a close, the recruits of Uniform 195 can all agree that while the days are long here at Cape May, the weeks are short. Week 06 has flown by, bringing with it a flurry of excitement and anticipation as we near the end of our boot camp journey. Putting learning into practice was placed front and center when U-195 was indoctrinated into firearms training at an off-base firing range on Tuesday and Thursday. For the past few weeks we had been drilled in M-16 piece nomenclature (parts of the gun), firearms safety rules, and the proper technique for shooting a Sig Sauer P229R, so when it finally came to live shooting, Uniform Company was ready to go. Under the guidance of Gunner’s Mates, both firearm experienced and new shipmates found success and confidence in loading, aiming, and firing a gun. In most cases, we really surprised ourselves in how well we could shoot! Jokingly, we awarded the never ending sessions of holding our canteens straight out in front of us with giving us the ability to hold the pistols up so steadily. In addition to firearms training, week 06 also brought the chance for many of Uniform 195 to make first contact with their newly assigned units. At the other end of what seemed to many to be a nerve-racking phone call, were answers to questions about what our units were like, where we could live, who’d we be working with, and what we’d be doing as a non-rate. Whether recruits are living on a cutter, in barracks, or finding an apartment, for many of us living on our own and working a job is a big step into adulthood. Probably the most stressful part of learning about our assignments is all the logistics and planning that just getting to our new locations brings. We have recruits needing to drive from one side of the country to the other, ones who need to pack up all their things and ship them to Alaska or Hawaii, and others who will be living on cutters and have no idea what to do with their belongings. The biggest event of week 06 however, was U-195’s 06 hours of on-base liberty, where shipmates excitedly bought loads of junk food at the exchange, marched over to the Harborview, and huddled together as they called family and friends. As we stuffed our faces full of our favorite treats from the “outside world” and spent hours on our phones calling loved ones and reading messages, Uniform felt even more bonded as a company as we saw the smiling faces of our shipmates. For the past 06 weeks we’ve shared so many experiences and so much time together that not even a rare connection to the world outside of our bubble made us feel any less unified. Feeling rejuvenated from our liberty and a productive week, Sunday really kicked us back into recruit mode when we experienced an IT session like no other. Never ending rounds of fire drills, push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, sniper position, canteen holding, and mattress lifting brought back the reality of where we were; boot camp. As fatigue set in and arms began to shake, we looked to each other thinking this all was a punishment and that we weren’t ready for what was to come in week 07. In reality however, we were being taught that we’ve never felt the helplessness of the lives we’re training to save. Yes our arms feel tired and it’s painful as we lift our canteens straight up into the air, but we still can lift them up. Yes our legs feel sore and our bodies slow as we rush to put our jackets on and run outside, but we still can do it. No we’ve never felt what it’s like to be unable to go on, to have your body tell you that it can’t bring you to the surface to gulp just another breath of air as you drown. But that’s the point. We go through this pain now so we can be prepared to go through it later as we help those who can’t. As this lesson was learned on the last day of week 06, we earned our colors.

 

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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