Recruit Journal Kilo 188 Week: 03

Recruit Journal Kilo 188 Week: 03
Formed: June 4, 2013
Graduate: July 26, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Kilo

International Maritime Signal Flag Kilo

Week 03 proved to be a much more difficult challenge than many of us expected. The Helmsman is a small booklet we were given to memorize before coming to boot camp. I mention that for two reasons: the first is many shipmates did not study before, or at boot camp and some of the ones that did are folding under the pressure. That leads to many of our sufferings this week. The other reason I brought the booklet up is because there is a stress level index in there, and according to that we shouldn’t be as stressed anymore, but I know myself and many shipmates are more stressed now than ever before.
The fear of reversion and RAMP is rapidly creeping in, similar to the plague that we are all coming down with. Most of us are trying our hardest through each and every evolution of every day, but it still isn’t enough. People have gone from “Whew, glad that’s not getting me in trouble” to “Ugh, I’m next!”
The week started out by finding out our first list of recruits that were selected for RAMP. Only one made it through successfully, the others didn’t make it or are on probation. We have also gained about half a dozen shipmates that were reverted from their old companies. This made reversion even scarier; it’s real. Some have been wondering if there is a reversion quota, to keep the fear.
On a positive note the company has started to receive mail from our loved ones more frequently. This is a very big morale booster for everyone. Some days feel like we have been sparring with Mike Tyson all day. Not only does he have a jackhammer for fists, but he can bite your ear off at any moment.
Another positive is we have started learning practical fleet knowledge. We learned about lines, helm commands, emergency plans, and other basic seamanship, along with some Coast Guard history. Petty Officer Bauz taught the history, and if you aren’t ready to kick major butt after that, go to sick call because you have no pulse.
Back to the negative–more of that these days. May people had a major issue “locking it up” at our first seamanship class and our racks and squad bays were a mess. Our Company Commanders were so livid they didn’t even march us. We paid for it with what felt like torture all night long. It was five straight hours of us all saying, “Why did I volunteer for this?”
On Friday we got to witness, and play a minor role in, GOLF-188’s graduation ceremony. It was a proud moment filled with many emotions. For most it was a major motivation and a reminder that what we are going through is temporary and we have begun to see the light.
Recruit Journal written by Seaman Recruit Bommer
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This week flew by and our blisters have begun to harden into calluses now. As recruits, we’re starting to get the hang of life at Cape May and we’re not nearly as bad at marching as we were when we first landed here. Our Company Commanders are strengthening our arms and preparing us for the fitness evaluation next week through piece incentive training. A personal favorite of many recruits in KILO-188 is “self-discipline”, where we all sit cross-legged (and sometimes find ourselves not limber enough) and hold our pieces up for a duration of time until the Company Commander says to do otherwise. You would be surprised how heavy your arms are after a while if you hold them straight up.
I would say the biggest challenge for week 03 (besides the obvious artificial stresses) was staying awake. There were times where many of us were bobbing and weaving as we drifted between consciousnesses simply standing in formation outside of chow. And at certain parts of the day more than half the company would stand at the back of the class trying to stay awake. We are KILO, the sleep-deprived.
After all of this is over, I believe we at least stand to gain sleep immunity and a productivity boost since we will have been accustomed to functioning on 4-5 hours. It’s been serious learning mode all of this week as we’ve learned to tie knots, make our racks (we learned that the hard way), make our hair inspection ready in 03 minutes, how the Coast Guard started, how to stand watch, fold our clothes, and shave our faces. We’ve been reborn into a military lifestyle, and now that we have started to embrace it as a company, the time here is getting just a little better.
Recruit Journal written by Seaman McElligott

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, so as to ensure authenticity of the content and messages.

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