November 196 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag November

International Maritime Signal Flag November

 

November 196 Recruit Journal

Formed: Aug 21, 2018

Graduates: Oct 12, 2018

 

As Company Historian, it has been brought to my attention via letters to my shipmates from family and friends that last week’s journal entry came off as gloomy and dismal. To this I say: I am only trying to capture the most candid grittiest and eventful moments in November’s experiences through basic training. In fact, I downplay the number of times the company gets punished by our Company Commanders. It happens so frequently that the memories blur into one. Picture it like this: When the company isn’t munching on chow, going to class or sleeping, we are sweating. Just today, the entire company was beat all because of 01 recruit. In a desperate attempt to make it into formation before our time objective, ran across the grass (a big no-no at training center cape may) and again I will stress this point, holding a M-16 in a sniper position for a few minutes may not sound bad. But now imagine the entire company of nearly 100 stuffed into a narrow hallway bellowing at the top of our lungs until we are purple in the face. Drop your rifle below 45 degrees and the Company Commanders add more time. Now it’s 20 minutes of keeping your rifle up. The quarter deck is rather humid from all the shrieking and sweating, your shoulders and muscles are burning. Your arms are shaking, your back feels like it’s about to give up, and your gut and throat are burning from screaming so loud. All you have to make you endure such a joyous occasion are your wits and the consolation that your shipmates are beside you, struggling through the same agony. It sucks, and will continue sucking until November “Gets their heads out of their carcasses” and works together to be quick, efficient, professional, loud and proud.

With all of that out of the way, there were indeed some extremely noteworthy events on this week’s agenda, all being positive. As I’m sure most mom’s and dad’s and spouses know by now, this past Friday, the company finally received their orders for where they will be stationed following graduation. And what other way to celebrate such a momentous occasion than that through a ceremonial rite of passage. Formed up outside, directly in front of the company stood a bell. One by one recruits were called up by their Company Commander and would dash to the bell, repeat the location of their orders aloud to the whole company and ring the bell twice. During this time, some highly amusing exchanges between the Company Commanders and recruits were made, with shipmates doing everything in their power to muffle any laughter. One recruit was so elated upon hearing his orders, that he made a beeline back to formation forgetting to ring the bell. One Company Commander would ask a recruit “Penguins or Palm Trees?” to signify the type of climate they prefer. Hearing shipmates nervously scream “Penguins!” in response was funny. But maybe the best part was getting the opportunity to phone home to share the glorious news. You knew when a recruit had finished calling home by the glassy redness in their eyes and the choked up voices. Even earlier that day, the company was busy have a blast. Our Company Commander informed us that some VIP’s were on board the Training Center and wanted to see various recruit activities. November Company was tasked with the Pugil Stick bouts. Imagine thick wooden rods about 3.5 feet long. Now picture using it to bludgeon your pitiless foes. That’s my understanding of it a least. Entering into this small, outdoor “Arena” the 02 competing recruits would cross sticks until given the whistle by the referee who in this case was our Lead Company Commander. Points were only given for every legal hit that was made toward an opponent: either a head or torso hit. The moment our Lead Company Commander gave us permission to cheer and route for our shipmates, the company erupted into boisterous fanfare. The recruits chanted, applauded and laughed as our shipmates cracked the sticks over each other’s heads. And speaking of cracking, we even saw our Company Commanders crack a few grins. It was that day that our Lead Company Commander said, “You still suck, but not as much”. Yesterday served as an example of how the company could be, if we only behaved well every day such as that one. It is indeed possible the only questions is: Does November Company want it?

 

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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