Recruit Journal Golf 188 Week: 06

Recruit Company Golf 188 Week: 06

Formed: April 30, 2013

Graduate: June 21, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Golf

International Maritime Signal Flag Golf

 

03JUN13 Monday week 06
Day one of week six is in the books for Golf – 188. Four days of class, tests, uniform inspections and intense scrutiny separate us from the short sweet release of on base liberty. If Golf Company can retain the drive and togetherness we have showed over the weekend in the earning of our company colors, then we will have no problem blazing through the week ahead. Along with on base liberty, week 06 brings with it the firefighting element of our basic training. This will include both classroom-based and practical learning sessions to familiarize us with proper shipboard firefighting procedure. These classes are taught as part of the seamanship element of basic training. Along with fire school, Golf – 188 did several rounds of practice for our upcoming Manual of Arms test with Chief Johnson, our Section Commander. The company has vastly improved its Manual of Arms, and responds well to the commands, critiques and helpful reminders of shipmate Lozano, who will be leading us through the test. To add to the stress and pressure of having to maintain well-manicured Operation Dress Uniforms, Golf is preparing our tropical blue dress uniforms for a week 06 inspection. The inspection is to make sure we look sharp for the Change of Command Ceremony on Friday. This means is that evening routine will be even more packed with things we have to get squared away. If the last 5 weeks have shown us anything, it’s this, while Golf – 188 may not always be the smoothest operators, we power through the tough spots to get things done.

04JUN13 Tuesday week 06
Two days down for Golf Company in the uncertain waters of week 06. There has been a shifting of the wind so to speak, as Golf – 188 have begun to embody the spirit of senior company on the regiment. As a group, we have started to march with confidence, singing cadences led by Chief Hollenbeck, and showing the other companies what it means to be Golf – 188. We took that intensity and focus into the afternoon Manual of Arms test, and under the direction of Shipmate Lozano, scored a 10 from Chief Johnson. We received several acknowledgements of our military precision, crisp movement, and overall fluidity as a unit. Chief Johnson even went so far as saying that our display of Manual of Arms was one of the best he has had to judge. His admittance that it ‘gave him chills’ was quite a validation for the hard work and effort that Golf Company has been pouring in during the preparations for today’s test. Even Chief Hollenbeck showed his approval of our performance through his declaration that he knew we would do well based on how we have been carrying ourselves recently. Even with a perfect Manual of Arms score under our belt, every shipmate knows that Golf will have to work just as hard to maintain the level we are at, as it took to get us here. The afternoon was taken up by administrative time, and a class with the company’s assigned Yeoman, Petty Officer Ladson. In the evening Golf was given extra time for evening routine, and took full advantage to square away uniforms, racks and everything in between. The Da Vinci squad is hard at work, and turned in the completed Company T-shirt design to send off to the screen printer. All in all Golf – 188 is looking ahead with the knowledge that no task is too difficult for the great shipmates that make up this company.

05JUN13 Wednesday week 06
Not much can be said for Wednesday other than, “That sure was rough, and I’m glad that it’s over!” Today was a day where Golf – 188, in whole and in parts, was off our game. It was a disappointing day as the company lost two well-liked and hardworking shipmates to reversion, thanks to a lack of focus, and poor teamwork. The reversions knocked the company off the confident stride we had since earning our colors on Sunday. As week 06 recruits we know that how we act, and work as a team in basic training, is a reflection of what will happen out in the fleet. As the focus of training shifts from erasing the habits of our civilian selves, to preparing for first assignments in a few short weeks, the seriousness of all the little things has come into play. Due to the lack of focus, Golf Company received a healthy dose of incentive training exercises, interspersed with remedial training. It could be seen in the eyes of every shipmate during muster, that tomorrow, Golf Company will return to form and make up for today’s mistakes. No longer will we let shipmates racks go unmade, laundry unsorted, or locks unsecured. In 02 days Golf will be senior company on the regiment. We plan to shoulder that responsibility and wear that title with dignity and pride. Until then, we will rest up to show Chief Hollenbeck, Petty Officer Williams, and Petty Officer Ruff, today was an aberration, and the real Golf Company is back on track.

06JUN13 Thursday week 06
The words “Today is a new day” were never more welcoming for Golf -188 than they were this morning. After having what can only be described as, a complete lack of focus, Golf Company pulled an about face and righted the ship. Whether it was the fact that the company was kept busy around the regiment, or a conscious effort to put the past behind us, things were much improved. Throughout the day, shipmates spent time at the Identification Card Office getting their Common Access Cards (Military IDs) or at Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Hall for Career Counseling with Petty Officer Carire. Towards the middle of the day, all recruit companies, many permanent party members, and a large number of guests, headed to the Ida Lewis Auditorium. At the auditorium, we had the privilege of listening to a Navy veteran talk about his D-Day experience during the landing at Normandy, nearly 70 years ago to the day. As a soon to be Coast Guardsman, hearing a firsthand account of such a pivotal point in WWII was a powerful, transcendent experience. In the afternoon and into the evening, Golf Company practiced for the Change of Command Ceremony, as Captain Kelly will be leaving Tracen Cape May in the hands of Captain Prestige, following the graduation of Foxtrot – 188. This is a very important event for the Regiment, and will include the presence of newly appointed Force Readiness Commander, Rear Admiral Buschman. The event will also mark Golf -188s unofficial christening as senior company. Teamwork will be at a premium tomorrow because each shipmate will need to be ensuring that every one of us is in form, on point, and ready to go. Tomorrow is a day of great changes, and Golf Company will be at the ready.

07JUN13 Friday week 06
Golf – 188 does not like to consider ourselves trend setters, especially when it comes to negative trends. But today, in spite of the efforts of many, the missing efforts of some, sandwiched yesterday’s good vibes between two days of inexcusable mediocrity. The poor efforts began to show during Golf’s security watches for Foxtrot -188 graduation. Many shipmates were ill prepared and rendered incorrect greetings to important individuals. Others did not remember to relieve their watches and left their shipmates to soak in the downpour of rain. Things continued on a downward trajectory during the Change of Command Ceremony as a small group of shipmates allowed themselves to relax to the point where they were caught dozing off during the speeches of Admiral Buschman, Captain Kelly, and Captain Prestige. There were positive moments during Golf’s descent to madness (of Chief Hollenbeck). During the ceremony Golf was asked to recite (and by now you all know we were screaming) the Coast Guard Ethos. For those who do not know, it goes; I am a Coast Guardsman, I serve the people of the United States, I will protect them, I will defend them, I will save them, I am their shield, For them I am Semper Paratus, I live the Coast Guard Core Values, I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman, We are the United States Coast Guard! While this drew applause from the audience, a compliment from Admiral Buschman, and the approval of Captain Kelly, it was not enough to wash away our mistakes throughout the day. While each thing may on its own be small, in the fleet, small mistakes make a big difference. We know this and understand the reasoning behind our Company Commanders’ anger. After several rounds of recompense, and no evening routine (deservedly so), Golf was able to meet an 8 minute time objective (which would have been impossible a few weeks ago. With Kilo Company moving in next door, each member of Golf -188 needs to display the highest level of Coast Guard knowledge, professionalism, and attitude to demonstrate what it takes to make it in coast guard basic training. Something tells me, the possibility of losing on base liberty will force the company to pull its collective head out of the sand, to make a strong push on into week 07.

08Jun13 Saturday week 06
The way we started today was the Cape May Runway 5k (try saying that five times fast), which is a local fundraising event run on the tarmac of the airfield in Lower Township. This event would prove to be one with a rush of positive emotions and a mixed bag of results for Golf – 188. As we arrived at the airfield we were given time to explore the accompanying museum. It was filled with all manner of decommissioned aircraft and vessels from many branches of the armed forces (including quite a number from the Coast Guard). During this time many (if not all) shipmates were thanked by civilians and veterans alike, and drawn into interesting and informative conversations with them. At the start of the event, Golf – 188 received a generous applause as it was announced that we would be taking part. During the run, Chief Hollenbeck, Petty Officer Williams, and Petty Officer Ruff took turns leading the company in various cadences as we double timed (jogged). At the conclusion of the 5k, Golf received more appreciation from the crowd, accompanied by piercing looks from our Company Commanders for mistakes that week 06 companies should be avoiding. Once back on the regiment, the hours began to run together as we were ready for on base liberty to commence. At around 1430, after going on an extensive marching tour of parts of Tracen Cape May, yet unseen (Munro hall Museum, docked vessels, barracks) Chief Hollenbeck had us don our inspection ready uniforms to begin liberty. While the six hours were used differently by each recruit, we all spent generous portions of the time on our phones talking with family and friends. Most of us took a trip to the Coast Guard Exchange to purchase necessities and junk food alike. As a group, we headed over to the Harborview Club to eat some delicious greasy food, and look out upon the water. One thing each member of Golf -188 can agree on, is that the time went by far too quickly, the phone calls felt too short, and there was definitely something we didn’t get to do. Hopefully liberty, along with divine hours tomorrow, provides a much needed lift to the moral of Golf Company. As we have noticed, Monday marks the start of week 07, and if we all do our part to keep our fellow shipmates focused and level headed, 21JUNE will come upon us in a flash.

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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