Recruit Company Golf 188: Week 04

Recruit Company Golf 188: Week 04

Formed: April 30, 2013
Graduate: June 21, 2013


To the readers, today’s entry is going to start with more clear explanation of some of the terms

International Maritime Signal Flag Golf

International Maritime Signal Flag Golf

that GOLF-188 has come to accept as standard speech. Terms like incentive training and remedial refer to physical and vocal exercises that the company must do when it fails to perform at its upmost potential, and yes, in the last 03 weeks, we have done our fair share. The company commanders, our assigned “life coaches” as it were are Petty Officer Ruff, Petty Officer Williams and our lead company commander, Chief Hollenbeck. Anyway, on with the day’s events. Week 04 started out with some early morning sweat, followed by some mental sweat at chow while we were quizzed by our company commanders about required knowledge. Required knowledge covers a wide range of subjects each recruit must know in order to graduate from basic training. After chow, GOLF-188 was marched over to Goff Hall to the cadence of one our shipmates. Although rocky in some places, close order drill (marching) is starting to show signs of life for the company. Goff Hall marked the beginning of our firearms training and the company was wrapped with intrigue as we received lessons from several active duty instructors on firearms handling, safety and even proper firing technique. After the lessons came to an end, the part that GOLF-188 was excited for, the opportunity to shoot at a simulated firing range. For the most part, GOLF-188 did a good job hitting their targets. Some of our shipmates being very good marksmen. The success on the range is a positive step for GOLF-188 in attempting to earn one of several pennants (honorable performance rewards) that companies can earn to be flown at graduation. GOLF-188 also had several individual pictures taken. Another glimpse of the possibilities that the next 30 days may bring. As long as the company can keep our heads up, our voices loud, our effort at a maximum level and our heads held high, GOLF-188 has success well within our sights. Until then, we march on…and lately most of us our keeping in step with the cadence.


To start off the day, we went to the learning resource center in Munro Hall to set up our Coast Guard e-mail accounts. This made GOLF-188 feel one step closer to being a seaman or fireman instead of recruit. With this e-mail account, we will be able to contact our future sponsor before arriving to our first unit after boot camp. We not only setup our e-mail, we also did a little research about what the different Coast Guard District options we can choose from. This will be useful since we will be filling out our “dream sheets” this coming week. Dream sheets are a list of places that are available that you may be stationed at. Later on, we started practicing manual of arms. We did not do this well at all, so we did some incentive training instead. After we were done incentively training, our company commander let us practice our manual of arms while he dealt with one of our shipmates that is on probation.  If a person is on probation, they have been deficient in one or more areas of recruit training and are tested daily for 05 days. If you fail probation, there is a strong possibility you will be reverted from the company. Some of the requirements to pass probation are rack inspections, uniform inspections, required knowledge, etc… During this time, GOLF-188 really pulled it together. Shipmates who know manual of arms took the time to work with others that were not as good. We all felt part of a team. After evening muster, we were told to change into our physical fitness clothing and get out to the track for a company run. We ran a few miles while our lead company commander called cadence. We all stuck together during the run. This gave us a feeling that is rare in bootcamp, pride.



To put it lightly, Wednesday was a rough day for GOLF-188. As we have come to know over the past few weeks, when we fail to meet objectives, our debt is paid in sweat. The high we felt from last night’s run and our first glimpse of evening routine vanished at around 0545 before morning chow. The day only got more difficult as many of our shipmates were not sounding off again. For a large portion of the day, GOLF-188 was in the classroom learning about the possibilities we will have in our enlisted careers as well as the way that housing works as a Coast Guard member. After a short reprieve from sweating, GOLF-188 headed to the gym for our week 04 physical fitness assessment. As a unit GOLF-188’s physical performance took a huge upswing as the majority of GOLF-188 passed their physical requirements. This was yet another short lived high for Golf-188 as we underwent several more rounds of incentive training sessions. We are at the half way point, but the company still has a long way to go before graduation. Golf-188 needs to start brining optimal effort to every task to avoid engaging the wrath of our company commanders.


GOLF-188 was riding a wave of positive energy into Friday of week 04 from our first experience with evening routine on Thursday night. Our voices were louder, our exercises crisper and our brains primed and ready for the week 04 mid-term exam. Adequately fed, but not rested, GOLF-188 went into the learning resource center ready to drop some knowledge. Today also marked the day that we got to access our pay accounts to see how and what we get paid. The conclusion of our midterm marked GOLF-188’s halfway point in training. With high notes also come some low points as the company lost 04 shipmates today to reversion (sent back to an earlier week of training for disciplinary reasons). What many of us in GOLF-188 have come to realize is that the doors to each company never close and if you don’t work hard and learn what you need to know, you will find yourself flying through it. On the upside of this rollercoaster called basic training, GOLF-188 is batting a thousand in regards to earning pennants to fly with our company colors. The results from our midterm exam showed that GOLF-188 averages a 95%. That score was good enough to earn the midterm exam pennant. The remainder of Friday stayed pretty upbeat, although some hard earned sweat was thrown into the mix. The makes then took another trip the barber shop for haircuts. After haircuts, some squad bay cleaning and a stint with our Coast Guard Manuals. We then work on manual of arms with Chief Hollenbeck. In manual of arms, and for the test, the company must, in unison, execute a laundry list of close order drill movements with our pieces (non-firing rifles). Though as a group we are not completely in tune, we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were 01 week ago. As a whole we are starting to recognize the value of evening routine, which gives us time to get our rack, uniforms and required knowledge up to speed. I do not see GOLF-188 taking its foot off the gas pedal anytime soon as we charge into the weekend of week 04 and to week 05.




The closing of week 04 is upon us as the weekend has arrived here at Training Center Cape May. Though “weekend” has a different meaning here than in the civilian world. There was little relaxing to be had for GOLF-188 as our weekend began with an early morning pugil stick session. In the class we learned the basic positions and maneuvers with the pugil sticks, which  are basically a 4 foot long, 2 inch diameter wooden pole. The purpose of the class was to learndifferent defense and strike movements against one of our shipmates. Both us and the sticks are heavily padded which encourages us to try even harder to win the match. The cheering was raucous, the hits were punishing and even the company commanders were getting into the action as they were coaching and giving pointers to the fighters. The bouts gave GOLF-188 a much needed release from the tension and boost of camaraderie as a company. The rest of the day, while not what one would call relaxed, was populated with less activity than we are used to and led to GOLF-188 letting down its guard and losing our military bearing. This was quickly remedied as Petty Officer Ruff administered an incentive training session to remind us that when we perform, we reap the benefits and when we don’t, we sweat. The day as a whole was another good day one for GOLF-188. As we continue to improve upon many facets of our military training. Another night of evening routine signaled to the company that we are starting to consistently do “a little” better and gave some recruits a chance to hone in on their inspection ready uniform in preparation for the week ahead.


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 to ensure authenticity of the content and messages.


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