India 196 Recruit Journal Week 07

International Maritime Signal Flag

International Maritime Signal Flag India

 

India 196 Recruit Journal

Formed: Jul 10, 2018

Graduates: Aug 31, 2018

 

Graduation Program: Posted Thursday afternoon: Week 7 Blog

Go to:
http://www.forcecom.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/FORCECOM-UNITS/TraCen-Cape-May/

Under the “Graduation Date” Tab you will be able to find the Graduation Program

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To view the Graduation Live: Time: 1100 AM

The live stream of the graduations are viewed by going to the training center’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/uscoastguardbootcamp

 

*It should be noted that the live streams are a courtesy and not a guarantee. There could be technical issues or resource availability issues that would interfere with the stream. The live streams are not intended to be high definition productions of the graduation ceremonies.

 

If you are looking for higher quality video products from your loved one’s graduation, you should contact VTS at 609-365-8889

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INDIA – 196

Week 07 – Summary

(The Final Chapter)

 

          “The truth is…we need you. Out in the fleet, our ships our currently sailing shorthanded. However; they will continue to sail shorthanded before we place someone unqualified on-board.”

These words, spoken from the Commanding Officer of Training Center Cape May himself, are amongst the first things we heard upon arriving to training. This was a warning, rather, a promise that the Coast Guard will not accept mediocrity or personnel who are not fully invested and willing to give everything they have to be the best Coast Guardsman they can be. These words have stuck with us throughout our time here at Training Center Cape May, pushing us to run faster, scream louder, and aim higher, all in an attempt to grow and develop into the “qualified” Coast Guardsmen that currently protect, serve, and represent our nation. I start off today’s final summary with these words because…we have reached this point. We have faced every challenge, hurdle, and responsibility possible here at Cape May and have found the drive, desire, and will to push forward no matter what. In doing so, we have become stronger. We have become faster. And we have, most definitely, become louder. We. Are. Qualified.

Looking back on week 07, as we now enter our final week of training, so much happened that not only served to test our preparedness and show our chain of command how far we have come, but also demonstrated to ourselves the power of passion, pride, and perseverance. These three “P’s” carried us to the point we are at now; devoted and fully prepared Coast Guardsmen (and women) ready to step out into the fleet and immediately make a different to our fellow shipmates, our loved ones, and our nation for which we have sworn to protect.

This week marked a major shift in our training. There is no longer anything left for us to learn (regarding “testable” material/information at boot camp, because we are always learning throughout our lives, until the very end) and we are now expected to use the knowledge and information that we have been taught to act and perform like true members of the Coast Guard. This shift came about due to a variety of factors. First, on Sunday of last week, we took the reins as the top senior company on base by earning our colors! What does this mean you ask (I know, I too at first thought it meant we would get to carry crayons for the remaining of training and draw in our free time but, alas…no)? What “earning our colors” means is that instead of marching around the regiment with a plain white flag with an “I” on it, we now get to carry our yellow and black “India” company flag. This represents so much more than just being a visually appealing symbol (unless plain white is your thing). It represents our hard work, dedication, and achievements as a company, and tells the rest of the regiment that we are, and deserve to be, the senior company.

The best part about receiving our colors was the method by which our company commanders presented them to us. While we were stretching for our Battalion Cadence Run, our lead Company Commander (who had apparently just come to work after spending the night before watching the movie “300” on repeat) said, “About Face.” We turned, and stabbed into the grass like a Spartan’s battle spear, was our India flag, billowing gloriously in the wind! “You see something you want India? Go get it!!” That evening our screams and shouts for joy echoed across the regiment (and possibly all of Cape May) as we surrounded the flag, the words: “India! India! India!” reverberating off of the building’s walls. Ever since this point, we now march to the cadences of our company commanders, showing off our amazing voices (wink, wink) for all to hear, whether they choose to or not.

After receiving our colors, we felt that it was a bit lonely, flying by itself on our guide-on. So, naturally, being the caring and determined recruits that we are, we set out to earn every pennant (little streamers/ribbons that attach to our guide-on spear and are awarded for things like superior academics, marksmanship, etc.) that we could! A lofty goal, I know, but would you believe me if I told you that we have done just that?! Our flag now flies alongside not one, not two, but eight pennants awarded to our company for things including but not limited to: academics, marksmanship, physical fitness, etc. If we are able to earn one more, we receive the “Coast Guard Pennant,” which only 1/4th of all companies that come through boot camp receive! How’s that for some motivation to finish out strong?!

This week also consisted of some final challenges, including; our final exam, which consisted of 30 open book questions and 20 closed, and our manual of arms and close order drill tests (where we march like robots and then march like robots again but while holding rifles!). The manual of arms and close order drill tests were performed in front of our Section Commander, and we became his first company to receive a 10 out of 10 on both of the tests! Don’t ask me how because I am still asking myself the same question (it must be something to do with our new haircuts…yeah right! We’re back to being bald and having to lather our heads in sunscreen…Yes, I miss my hair…again). In regards to our final exam, our company has been secretly hiding a bunch of little Einstein’s that got broken out for this final hurdle of training, and we ended up earning a 92% average! 92!! This earned us the academics pennant and reminded each of us how anything is possible if you set your mind to it…and get to use an open book and notes!

Our week ended on an absolute high note, like above the clouds and over the moon high note, when, on Friday evening, we marched out beneath the regimental flagpole on base. At this point we were then yelled at to get into “pushup-position.” All we could think was: “Ugh, what did we do this time” (as I’m sure by now we have built up quite the list of choices from which our company commanders can choose from)! But as we began this incentive training session, something caught our attention out of the corner of our eyes. It was yellow. It had a big black circle in the middle. And it was magnificent!! As our voices grew louder and louder, so too did our India flag rise higher and higher, until it reached the top of the flag pole and assumed the position allotted for only the graduating company of the week: us!! At this time we also received our non-rate ball covers (baseball caps) that have since replaced our former “recruit” covers.

The reception of our colors, donning of our non-rate covers, and the raising of our flag each mark pivotal moments in our training, our schedule, and our lives, that embody the greatest sense of accomplishment, joy, and pride that one can feel. The respect and admiration felt towards our company commanders for getting us to this point (because, let’s be honest, no one was really sure we’d ever make it after some of the crazy stuff/mistakes we’ve made during our time here) cannot be over-stated or over-emphasized.

As we now enter our final week of training and prepare to graduate and move on from Training Center Cape May, we are left with a feeling of joy, accomplishment, and excitement, but we must never forget how we got here and what holds up the foundation we have just built for all of our next Coast Guard adventures/missions to build upon. It is this foundation that is rooted in the Coast Guard’s core values: Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.

 

INDIA 196. Signing off, sounding off, and staying true to the principles, morals, and ethics that make up every Coast Guardsmen.

 

 

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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