Recruit Journal Kilo 199 Week: 04

Recruit Journal Kilo 188Week: 04
Formed: June 4, 2013
Graduate: July 26, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Kilo

International Maritime Signal Flag Kilo

With sore feet and sore arms, KILO-188 is marching with a little more spring in our step as we round the corner to week 05! First off, a big thank you to the parents who send inspirational letters, and those who left comments on the blog page! Our company commander read it to us. Many of us recruits were really thrilled by your words and we want you to know we’re all alive and kicking (and by that I mean 1 million flutter kicks).
Week 04 was one of noticeable transformation for us all. Some of us got pooped on by birds, or wore our shorts backwards to the gym, but we’re all starting to lock on and get in sync with one another. We still have a ways to go but starting next week we will be considered a senior company and as such, we are reaching the crescendo in our training.
One noticeable difference would obviously be our appearance. Gone are the smiling bushy-bearded and wild-haired faces of yesterday’s youth; replacing them are shaven heads and stone-somber eyes forever keeping locked on, with eyes in the boat. Physically, we are becoming much firmer (which I’m sure our respective loved ones will like) after all those push-ups, bike workouts, and swim trials. Our Company Commanders told us from day one that we were going to sweat because they liked to work out and they weren’t lying. We are finally starting to look the part!
Speaking of which, we took individual pictures this week and they will be ready come graduation to hand out to friends and family. For all the moms out there, you would be so proud to see everyone in their dress Bravo uniforms—but that’s only a few weeks away anyway, come to think of it.
Mentally we are changing as well. For all of us, this has proven to be the greatest challenge. We are stripped of all the weird things that make us human—touching our face (you don’t realize how often you do it until someone punishes you with incentive training), looking around, talking—and replace it with precision and self-discipline to maintain our military bearing.
For example (and many of the respectable Coasties reading this might remember fondly), there are a lot of annoying insects in Cape May, and they become much, much more annoying when you can’t do anything about them. The mosquitoes (a shipmate mentioned that they come here to vacation and feast on our blood because it’s easy pickings) are fat and unafraid as they buzz lazily from one recruit to another. One of the females had 4 tiny spiders dance up her neck and into her hair to commandeer a home on her face and she silently stood there in formation, not moving an inch or even batting an eyelid as one decided to land on her nose.
We also had to learn the hard way not to talk back, which forces us to own up to our mistakes. We’ve been moving faster and staying focused, so we’ve earned a few privileges like personal evening time and mail (so keep sending letters!!)
This week was chocked full of stuff like learning knots and seamanship, basic gun safety and shooting targets on the Sig Sauer P229 simulator, setting up our Coast Guard emails, and filling out our dream sheets. Dream sheets are a big deal as that is our only chance to tell the detailer (person who fills billets, job openings, with personnel) where we want to be stationed at. So, naturally, KILO got a little excited and out of control, and we spent some time getting locked back on with our Company Commander. We also had to pay for our silliness with a lot of piece (decommissioned M-1’s) exercises. Most of us will be okay if we never see those pieces again for the rest of time and space as we know it.
Although we miss basic things like music and eating whenever we want, or how even now we still miss our families and loved ones, we are beginning to adjust to military life. It’s going to get harder, but we are going to get better. And in less than a month, we’ll be able-bodied, stronger and more confident men and women, ready to take on the challenges and thrills of being a Coast Guardsman…Semper Paratus!
Recruit Journal written by Seaman Recruit 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.