Recruit Journal Golf 188 Week: 05

Golf 188 Week: 05
Formed: April 30, 2013
Graduate: June 21, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Golf

International Maritime Signal Flag Golf

27MAY13 Monday week 05

Monday started off rough as we were having trouble meeting time objectives, sounding off, and coming together as a company. This resulted in Petty Officer Williams and Petty Officer Ruff administering several rounds of incentive training and remedial throughout the day. To go along with the gallons of sweat pouring off of Golf – 188, the gears of search and rescue week have begun to turn. The requirements of search and rescue week include, all the recruits of Golf scrambling in less than 15 minutes to get dressed shaved, studied and ready to step off for morning chow. The scene is something out of a slapstick comedy as all the shipmates were climbing over, under and around one another, grasping for boondockers (boots), blousing straps, black socks and the rest of our operational dress uniforms. The parts of the day not spend on the quarterdeck screaming, or outside on the deck pushing, crunching, flutter kicking and squatting, were the few engrossing hours of instruction spent at seamanship class with Petty Officer Buckley. As for it being Memorial day, a day of great significance on the regiment and throughout the Coast Guard, Golf – 188 had the privilege of participating in the Memorial Day Colors Ceremony. The event included many active duty and retired military members from many branches of the armed forces. This is experience drove home the weight of the choice we have all made to be at Training Center Cape May, and served as a motivational tool for the whole of the company. Although today was a day in which Golf lost a bit of the groove we have been developing, the company took our licks with our heads held high, and finished day 01 of week 05 on somewhat of a positive upswing. Petty Officer Ruff decided against bringing down the hammer through evening muster (roll call) and allowed us the sweet serenity of evening routine to do some much needed personal hygiene and various other types of maintenance. With a day like this one behind us, the company has reconnoitered itself with the painful consequences of complacency, and looks to tomorrow with renewed focus.

28MAY13 Tuesday week 05

The themes of the day today were dress uniforms and Da Vinci as Golf – 188 learned two important lessons on day 02 of week 05. To start off the day, Golf was introduced to the concept dress uniforms make everyone feel like a million bucks. Today, those of us in Golf – 188 who had not already received them, made our way over to the Uniform Distribution Center for the remaining pieces of our Coast Guard ensembles. From the combination cover (black and white hat for males for dress uniforms and blue and white for females) down to our sleek and soon to be shiny low quarters (dress shoes), Golf had a morale boost in catching a preview of what we will be decked out come 21 June. The high morale carried over through noon chow (which oddly enough is now at 1120) and on to another round of seamanship class with our instructor Petty Officer Buckley. Today was a very hands on day at seamanship as each shipmate got into pairs and did radio communications practice. This served as an introduction on how to properly communicate over Coast Guard frequencies. The highlight of the class came after an evolution (section) on the different types of signal flares and emergency lights used in the Coast Guard. To demonstrate proper use of signaling devices, Petty Officer Buckley discharged a series of high flying, short burst signal flares. This of course would have been made more exciting if the recruits of Golf – 188 had gotten hands on experience. Alas, this was not to due to safety concerns of the training staff. The best part of Tuesday of week 05 came during Chief Hollenbeck’s turn as art critic in picking the recruits to be on the Da Vinci team (art design team) who will have the privilege of designing the company T – Shirts. Attempts ranged from half hearted to completely deranged, and Chief Hollenbeck took his time to explain in detail his opinions on each piece of “artwork”. Out of the pile, some promising designs arose, and the creators were picked as possible members of the art squad. All in all , the spirits of Golf company were much improved after Monday’s debacle, and as Petty Officer Williams put so eloquently at the Uniform Distribution Center “Only 3 more weeks until you people leave!” Very few of us have taken time to stop and count the days, and none of us are going to make the mistake of trying to coast our way through from here , but a reminder that we are closer to the end than the start seemed to put some wind in our sails. Even if the reminder came in Petty Officer Williams’ trademark fashion

29MAY13 Wednesday week 05

The midpoint of week 05 arrived for Golf with another morning fire drill, but the recruits of the company were at a loss due to the fact that it wasn’t accompanied by a customary Petty Officer Ruff sweat session. This gave us the extra energy to accomplish the task of dressing, stepping off and making it too chow under our 15 minute objective. Following breakfast, Golf – 188 took to the parade field to do a company run around the quad. During the 04 lap run, the company stayed mostly in step, and this served as a practice for our upcoming off-base run. Things became somewhat disjointed as we failed to get back in formation and grab the guide on ( the company flag) for our first class of the morning. This caused Petty Officer Ruff to leave us in his aggravated wake as we ambled like a gaggle of geese over to boat crew duties class. Things improved as we had our first experience with members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. For those unfamiliar, the Coast Guard Auxiliary is a volunteer organization created to aid the Coast Guard in many of its peace time operations. It is made up of thousands of individuals. At the conclusion of class Mr. Gillespie and Mr. Hahn had only good things to say about Golf’s classroom composure and Coast Guard knowledge, a message that Petty Officer Ruff took with inherent skepticism. From there the company took their talents on a long march to Goff Hall. Calling cadence was a newly familiar voice to Golf company, that of the imposingly tall Petty Officer Oakland. As with any time a new voice is calling a march, some shipmates had difficulty matching the pace and stride of our impromptu company commander. After reaching Goff Hall, were we had previously earned our marksmanship pennant, we got to work on earning another honor, that of the seamanship pennant. The seamanship midterm marked another good performance in the books for Golf as the average test score was 95%. After the nerve wracking atmosphere of the test, Petty Officer Buckley took the company into the “wet room” for hands on experience in donning Personal Flotation Devices (really beefed up life vests). After several minutes of practice, it was time for the head to head challenge. The goal was to discover who in the company could put on their personal flotation device the quickest (and correct way). The thrill of victory was felt by shipmate Goonan, who defeated shipmate Cloyd by a comfortable margin. Wednesday evening brought with it several rounds of “partying” Petty Officer Williams style. (We think he might be a bit foggy on the definition of party). The motivation for these incentive training parties covered a wide range of things. After Golf finished “partying”, Father Fronk (TRACEN Chaplain) came in for the weekly appointment. He shared with the company a wide range of news and current events, the latest updates on sports, stocks, movies and more. He also shared with us some really awful jokes. During the sitdown with Father Fronk, the recruits also asked many questions and voiced any concerns they had. That, along with evening routine has Golf energized for another day, one which is full of big news, important information, and (fingers crossed) as few rounds of incentive training as possible. Looking forward and never back, Golf Company is prepared to face any challenge thrown our way.

30MAY13 Thursday week 05

Thursday was a day of anticipation for Golf – 188. The lion’s share of the day was spent in nervous excitement for our afternoon class at the Learning Resource Center (computer lab). But it was not the technology that had our hearts pounding. Today was the day that all the shipmates of Golf would receive their first sets of orders. Now, if I were to say it were as simple as our Company Commanders reading our names off a list, that would be far from what actually occurred. In a way that Chief Hollenbeck, Petty Officer Williams and Petty Officer Ruff enjoyed immensely, they inflicted their own special brand of torture mixed in with heaping helpings of humorous jabs and commentary (which were hard not to laugh at). While there were recruits who couldn’t help but show disappointment in their billets (jobs), most of Golf seemed enthused to start to feel the culmination of all that hard work that we have been putting in. The orders ranged from the frigid waters of Alaska, to islands such as Guam and Puerto Rico, and every place imaginable in between. Who knew they had the Coast Guard in Nebraska? The vessels ranged even more so with people on gigantic Polar Class Icebreakers, new National Security Cutters, and even some small boat stations. The excitement of getting orders had all the shipmates in high spirits as we marched off to the company blood drive and manual of arms practice. The night included evening routine, and the first meeting of the Da Vinci Squad. With a good night of rest, here’s hoping golf storms into Friday to take some names and kick some rear.

31MAY13 Friday week 05

To call any day at Tracen Cape May normal entails quite the ability to rationalize and a healthy understanding of the word relativity. But by any measure we can think of, that is perhaps just the kind of day that Golf Company had on Friday of week 05. Instead of being filled with incentive training sessions, and waterlogged boondockers (hot heavy black boots), Golf experienced a day full of close order drill and manual of arms. This was a much need thing as the Company has a long road ahead to be prepared for either of our upcoming tests. Now even normal days cannot be perfect. Errors were made, consequences administered, and training reconvened. As it goes with anything, the smoother operation by Golf meant that the entirety of the day passed by at a much brisker pace. As anyone can attest, when you are up and active for 15 hours a day, quickly passing time is a prayer answered. In the afternoon, the Company met with our company Yeoman (smart people) Petty Officer Ladson. During this class, Golf learned important information about the various ways we will each be getting to our new duty stations, as well as how long we will have to get there. The planning and paperwork is starting to light a fire under Golf’s collective behind as we gear up for the last 3 weeks of training.

01JUN13 Saturday week 05

It started with Chief Hollenbeck looking for a volunteer to march the company to chow, and when no one came forward we had to march to the galley as a gaggle. Things took a turn for the better toward the middle of the day as we prepared for the confidence course. The confidence course is a military grade obstacle course in which participants must leap, flip, climb, and slide along a litany of objects. Chief Blackman who instructed us on how to successfully complete the course said that it was one of the best first attempts he had seen in a while. Golf company rode the wave of success through lunch and into the meeting with our company mentor, CWO3 Antonucci. The sit down let us feeling a little more at ease about the changes ahead. During Manual of Arms practice our focus became a little slack and we were given a sharp reminder that the next 03 weeks will be as good or bad as we make them. This warning by Petty Officer Ruff was followed by an incentive training session just to drill the point home. Seeing as how we have earned the privilege of coffee, due to either improved performance or a whim of generosity on the part of Chief Hollenbeck, Golf should have no trouble maintaining focus.

 

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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