Recruit Company Hotel 188: Week 03


 Recruit Company Hotel 188: Week 03


Formed: May 7, 2013


Graduate: June 28, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Hotel

International Maritime Signal Flag Hotel




Quick note from the Hotel-188 Historian: After a conversation with our Lead Company Commander last weekend I learned that the sweat, blood, and tears of boot camp are fair game too. I want to assure those following along at home that the first two weeks saw copious amounts of sweat. Several members of our company forgot to slash their zeroes. In the Coast Guard we slash our zeroes so that we don’t confuse them with the letter “O.” To help us always remember to slash our zeroes Petty Officer Milligan had everyone tape an 8×11.5 sheet of paper completely full of rows of twelve point font zeroes to the wall. We had to slash a single row of zeroes then run out of the squad bay around the quad (about a quarter of a mile) and back up to the second floor to slash another row of zeroes. We did this for about two miles: run a lap, slash a row, grab a sip of water, and repeat.


20MAY13 – The sweat continued on Monday. We had our survival float class where we learned about hypothermia and mustang survival suits – large orange and black suits designed to increase survival time in cold water. We put them on and practiced survival float positions. Unfortunately, we got a little too relaxed and forgot to call “Attention on Deck!” at the end of class. When we got back to the house, Petty Officer Milligan put us through some remedial training. We sat at desks, he blew the whistle once and we had to shout attention on deck and spring to our feet at attention. On the second whistle we sat back down. It sounds pretty easy, but doing it for twenty straight minutes is a bit more challenging. The tears also showed up today. We had rack inspections this evening and Week 02 knowledge quizzes conducted by Chiefs and Master Chiefs. They rolled into the squad bay, had us pop our racks, and started chucking any gear that wasn’t in its proper place. After looking over the rack they quizzed us (in very loud voices) on our chain of command and eleven general orders. At the end of inspection eight of our squad mates were bound for RAMP (Recruit Aptitude and Motivation Program): countless calisthenics, a change in squad bays, a red belt, and being required to shout “RAMP” everywhere they march. Today definitely was not one of the easier days for Hotel 188.


21MAY13 – We had a full day of classes today, keeping us out of the squad bay and partially out of trouble with our Company Commanders. We learned about work place safety from a relaxed and engaging teacher who managed to make OSHA interesting enough to keep the company awake even after chow and a hard core workout of leg lifts, burpees, planks, air squats, and suicides. Admittedly, we did have many heavy eyes since we just started standing watch, meaning that most of us are now getting between four and five and half hours of sleep per night. By the middle of the class, about half of Hotel was standing at the back to keep from falling asleep sitting up.


22MAY13- We missed an incredibly generous shower time objective (twenty minutes) and thoroughly irritated Petty Officer Milligan. After a Cybex workout, we had classes on the roles and missions of the Coast Guard. It’s exciting to start learning about the nuts and bolts of our next four plus years. After chow, we were given an hour to clean the squad bay with no supervision beyond the squad leader. We marched ourselves from the galley to the house, cleaned, and made it to class on time with five minutes to spare: a huge step for us. Unfortunately, we pretty much unraveled over the rest of the afternoon and evening. We did some piece incentive training and were sent outside for several fire drills. We hit the rack with a reset from Petty Officer Garver for the following day.

23MAY13 – Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to use our reset wisely. Most of us are dead tired and it’s showing. We are struggling to sound off (one of the easiest things we’re asked to do here). This deficiency, plus an inability to meet many of our time objectives is really starting to irritate our company commanders. This evening, Petty Officer Garver had us pack everything we own into our sea bags and bring the bags out to the quarterdeck. We had to take everything back in one piece at a time. We had forty-five seconds to speed walk (no running inside) a lap of the quarterdeck, hustle to our rack, stow our piece of gear, and make it back to the quarterdeck. We then had five seconds to pull out another piece of gear, and leave on our next lap counting down from forty-five at the top of our lungs. The two highlights of the day were seamanship class and mail call. We’re excited to learn the basic knowledge we will need in the fleet, and it’s always great to hear from home.


24MAY13 – We earned our first privilege today: we no longer have to square our meals in the galley! The morning started roughly with another missed time objective. However, our remedial fitness attendees started the day’s rally. Even though they weren’t woken up, they made it to their training on time – the only ones from our entire building. We spent most of the day in class learning how to recognize Coast Guard boats, cutters, and aircraft and about various types of line and knots.


25MAY13 – Hotel can’t seem to get the wheels moving in the morning. Time objectives seem still to be out of reach for recruits coming out of sleep deprived slumber. The majority of the day was really interesting we spent all day down at seamanship, learning some of our first hands on skills – we learned five basic knots and standard helm commands. We had a chance to take a crack at a helm simulator. We received directions from a virtual conning officer, responded, reacted, and reported our actions just as if we were at the helm of a real small boat.


26May13 – Sunday gave Hotel-188 four divine hours to shine our boots, iron our uniforms, and go to church if we wanted. In the evening, we had a chance to march in the Sunset Parade. Again, it felt really nice to be cheered for marching in a mediocre manner.   Unfortunately, the bugs were out again, and several Hotel recruits couldn’t keep themselves from moving around in formation to scratch an itch or two. Our lack of self discipline led to an evening of staring at the wall and shouting “Eyes in the boat!” at the top of our lungs.



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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