Recruit Journal Hotel 188 Week: 04

Recruit Company Hotel 288: Week 04

 

Formed: May 7, 2013

 

Graduate: June 28, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Hotel

International Maritime Signal Flag Hotel

 27MAY13- On the whole a really, good day for Hotel company. We made our morning time objectives (barely), and then got to spend the entire day down at the firing range. We learned how to shoot, practiced on a virtual range, and learned how to field strip our pistols. The range provided a nice change of a pace, since the instructors insisted we relax while shooting. We may be turning a corner because we managed to lock back on, clean the range, and march ourselves to dinner. This evening we took formal portraits. We’ll get them graduation morning. Pretty crazy to think we are already a week 04 four company. We had a bit of a remedial training this evening (picking up and putting down a pen on command) for taking too long to eat in the galley, but we even managed to end that early by sounding off. Petty Officer Garver gave us time to fix our rack cards, since we have a squad bay inspection coming up sometime this week.

 28MAY13- Chief Johnson, our Section Commander, woke us up with “Fire! Fire! Fire!”this morning at 0520. Training under Chief Johnson was a bit terrifying for many of us. Chief Johnson has the authority to revert any one of us on the spot, and no one from Hotel wants to leave their shipmates or spend any more time than absolutely necessary at Training Center Cape May. We did a bunch of uniform change out drills and rack making drills with Chief Johnson since we have been having trouble making time objectives. We had 5 minutes to change from our physical fitness gear to our operational dress uniforms. While getting dressed isn’t particularly challenging, doing it with 35 other guys who all have identical gear and are changing as fast as possible is a bit harder. We had classes on commitment and colors today, and a bike work out in the evening. The first recruit to reach 500 calories won a 5 minute phone call home. We got a non-negative review from Chief Johnson, which at this point in training, we’re pretty happy about. We’re making progress, but we still have miles to go.

 29MAY13- Chief Johnson didn’t Incentively Train us this morning since we had our physical fitness assessment this afternoon. We had a really good morning. We made several time objectives. And Chief Johnson was happy enough with us to teach us a new marching maneuver, “Right Column”, which is used to compress four squads into one to enter buildings. We also heard him needle Foxtrot Company, telling them that they were no longer his favorite company. We felt, in the words of Chief Johnson “10 feet tall and bullet proof”. After lunch we had our push up, sit up and 1.5 mile run test. We had one recruit run it under 9 minutes and a couple do 70 push-ups. We had an hour of manual of arms practice with Petty Officer Milligan. The highlight/low point of the evening was packing everything we own in our sea bags, taking them outside and running them back upstairs one at a time. We did manage to come together as a team and ran all the items from one bag, while the owner sat by their rack and organized their things. The real highlight of the evening was Commander Fronk’s (one of the Chaplains) visit. He read us the news, sports scores, billboard hits, and the week’s worst jokes. On a sad note, we lost one of our most liked and respected recruits yesterday to a medical issue. We will miss you shipmate, and wish you and your family the best.

 30MAY13- Wish we could have held on to yesterday’s success for a little bit longer, but Hotel woke up pretty flat and very tired this morning. We were back to not all sounding off which infuriated Petty Officer Garver, understandably so. We also had to try several new marching squad leaders.  We ended up looking pretty foolish as our new marching squad leader shipmates attempted to figure out how to march the entire formation. We pulled it together a bit at Seamanship, where we had our Helmsman Practical Test and Knot Tying Practical. After midday chow we had a meeting with our company Yeoman to fill out our Dream sheet, which is a list of places and units where we would like to serve. We’ll find out where we’re going and what we’ll be doing next Friday. It looks like about 90% of our company will end up on a cutter. We have our midterm tomorrow, but we’re all so tired that we don’t even have the energy to be nervous.

 31MAY13 – Amazing day for Hotel Company! We’re feeling ten feet tall and bullet proof! After chow we hit the gym and cleaned for a bit since we were still waiting for our first squad bay inspection. Petty Officer Milligan noticed a few of us moving online so we had another Incentive Training Session. We also had to hold our rifles in sniper position – sitting cross-legged on the deck with the piece parallel to the deck and our back’s straight. After the gym, we had some time to look over our notes prior to our afternoon midterm. We weren’t particularly nervous since it was completely open book. After chow we headed over to the lab and had our first interaction with the internet that so many of us had missed for this past month.  Admittedly, it was just to access the Coast Guard exam web site, but it was still the internet. All but one shipmate passed the exam on the first try, and everyone had passed by the end of the day.  We did well enough to earn our midterm pennant, averaging 92% as a company. After chow, we learned a new dressing movement and went to the gym for a second time. It’s a great day when we go to the gym two times instead of sitting in sniper position for thirty minutes and then holding our Blue Jackets Manual straight out in front of us and screaming the definition of discipline for another fifteen. When we got back to the house we learned the reason for our second trip to the gym, a new marching maneuver. In addition to sounding off, we received the results of our first squad bay inspections. The boys earned 49/55 and the girls earned an incredible 53/55! Petty Officer Garver told us that these were the best scores he has ever gotten from a week four company! With this accomplishment, we earned our evening routine: an hour and a half of time for squad bay cleaning and personal time to square our uniforms and racks away and shower in a slightly more leisurely manner.

 01JUN13 – Rough, rough day for Hotel Company. The day started well: we made all of our time objectives and had our first Pugil Stick instructions and bouts. Pugil sticks are wooden poles padded on both ends. They are meant to safely simulate close quarter combat with a rifle. Many of us had been looking forward to this for the better part of the week. We started by learning basic offensive and defensive moves. Then it was time for the ring. We paired up and took turns going three rounds against our partners in the ring. We all got into it, and were able to blow off a ton of steam. Before and after chow we did a lot of manual of arms practice. We’re definitely progressing, but we have a long way to go before we reach the high standards set for us by our company commanders. By evening chow, the Pugil stick bouts and the long day in the sun had taken a toll on Hotel Company. Our focus slipped in the galley, and the bottom fell out after that. Several shipmates were not moving quickly enough and several others failed to sound off. As a result Petty Officer Garver revoked our evening routine. The whole company was disappointed and we didn’t sound off as loud as possible. As a result, when we got pack to the house we had to pack our sea bags with everything we own, take them outside, and run everything back in one item at a time. And we weren’t done nose diving yet. Some of us weren’t moving fast enough, and others weren’t stowing their covers properly. While these may sound like trivial things, they matter. Not necessarily because it is important where we keep our covers or how fast we move, but because they show whether or not we are able to pay attention to details and do the right thing even when nobody is looking. These things that will make the difference between life and death once we make it out into the fleet. Petty Officer Garver hammered this lesson home by having us run in and out of the building for an hour. Even after an hour, some people still weren’t doing the right thing. We bottomed out with ten minutes of “back, feet, face” –  moving from one position to the next on each successive whistle blast. As we stood in large pools of our own sweat, Petty Officer Garver explained why how doing the right thing when no one is looking when really matters in everyday life an especially the fleet. This lesson hit home with the company. We will move into the next week a little sorer and hopefully a little wiser.

 

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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