Recruit Journal Mike 188 Week: 03

Recruit Journal Mike 188
Formed: June 18, 2013
Graduate: August 9, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike


Mike-188 had a pretty successful Sunday. We started off our early morning with divine hours. Divine hours start at 0800 and end at around 1230. This time period is one of the few instances when recruits have time to ourselves. Many shipmates went to chapel, and almost all of us took some time to write letters home. During divine hours we also ironed our uniforms, polished our boots, organized our racks and studied required knowledge. I am not sure exactly what went on in the male squad bay, but the female recruits had a helpful study session together. We all felt a little more relaxed after this time.
After divine hours we had a swim and cycle session at the gym. The swimming portion was a warm up, swim sprints, then a cool down. I think the swim is a majority favorite. Then after the swim we went straight to the stationary bikes for some cycling. It was another intense workout! Our own Company Commander, Petty Officer LaCharite led the class and he worked us. It was high intensity interval training and we were all sore, sweaty, and exhausted after… but the day was not over. We went to class with Petty Officer LaCharite to learn about Coast Guard values and how they correlate to our own personal Values. Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty are the three core values and every day we get a little closer to living those values in this military branch. It’s hard to believe week two has come and gone we will see what week three has in store and we will keep you posted!


Mike Company’s first day of week 03 of training was an eventful one. We started off our morning with an incentive training work out followed by a run with Petty Officer LaCharite. After morning chow we went to the Gym and had an awesome training session in the pool with our instructor. We got to put on our Coast Guard “Mustang” uniforms. These uniforms were ingeniously designed by the Coast Guard to keep in body heat and enable the wearer to float on the water. The Mike-188 recruits felt pretty special to try out such an official outfit.
Midday we had two classes the first being sexual assault prevention, and the second was about our Montgomery GI Bill and Post 9/11 GI Bill. Both classes were very informative and I feel like all the recruits learned some very valuable information. Most recruits were unaware of the statistics on sexual assault in the Coast Guard and now we feel empowered. Our instructor was very passionate about the subject and let us know there is a way to make it stop… us. The recruits and currently employed Coasties are the only ones who can make it stop. We also learned about the GI Bills available to us and most of us were particularly interested in the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Free school for us and a dependant if you chose not to use it. Awesome!
Our evening, however was not so awesome. We were inspected and quizzed by the Section Commander (Chief Johnson) and Petty Officer Cain. It was very nerve racking, and some of our fellow shipmates were sent to “RAMP.” Remember our entry four days ago? RAMP is Recruit Aptitude and Motivation Program for people who need a little, or a lot, of motivation. Hopefully they will prove their strength and commitment and join us again by Friday. We are bruised but not broken.
So until tomorrow, Mike-188 signing out!


Happy Tuesday from Mike-188! Today was another full day. It seemed like it went by quickly though. The majority of our day was spent in classes. The days are slowly getting easier, as we are learning to take responsibility for our actions and follow orders. Of course we still have our mess-up (we are still week 03 recruits, remember), but I think eventually we will learn our lesson!
We also had a long day of classes starting at 0810-1010 with Family Benefits, 1020-1200 was circuit training at the gym with Mr. Hingston. Our Lead Company Commander Chief Blackman even joined us making the workout that much more exciting. He told us after he was proud of how well we did and how hard we pushed. Go Mike Company! Then even more classes commenced, 1300-1530 was safety, and 1545-1700 was Coast Guard History and Traditions Part One. We also had a nice surprise when Chief Blackman brought us together to practice with our pieces. We learned some basic drill movements and it was fun to get our hands on some heavy machinery (don’t worry, they don’t work).
We also had a freak rain and lightning storm so we had to take it inside. We ended our night with showers, cleaning, chewy bars, and mail time; doesn’t get much better than that at boot camp. Some of the male shipmates did meet one of Chief Blackman’s good friends however… A huge PVC Pipe named Bo-Bo. I am sorry to say that they do not like Bo-Bo too much. Bo-Bo is heavy and unforgiving. Hopefully our need to interact with our new acquaintance will cease soon. Hoping for another good day tomorrow.
-Mike-188 signing out.


Today was rough. It started out with a 0600 one mile run with Chief Blackman. We ran in formation and were paced at a 10 minute mile. We all did well and it was motivating to have our Lead Copmany Commander running with us and routing us on. After that it went downhill fast we had another packed day of class starting with weights at the gym with Mr. Hingston. Then we proceeded to another class with our Company Commander Petty Officer Aulph about the Roles and Missions of the Coast Guard. We had a quick chow break and then it was back to business. We learned about advancements and how to “climb the military ladder” and also talked about the leave and liberty policy.
We experienced Cape May’s bipolar weather first hand today. One minute we were sweating in the sunshine, and the next we were drenched in a deluge! Mike Company was wearing our “go-fasters” (tennis shoes) at the time, so we swished our way back to James Hall in order to get in our proper Gore-tex rain gear. The time is currently 2223 and our go-fasters are still soaked.
A factor that probably attributed to our company’s sluggishness throughout the day no other than the infamous “Cape May Crud.” The Crud has most of our shipmates congested and coughing. We are hacking from sun up to sun down. This sickness is teaching us that the Coast Guard takes no days off; and that we must persevere even in difficult situations. That being said, we are all looking forward to some relaxing down time on August 10th!
Tomorrow is 04 of July! It is not only the first holiday we get to spend together. But it is a holiday now very close to our hearts. We will keep you posted on how it goes.


Happy Independence Day! Today was an okay day in terms of following order and being on time. We had some hits and we had some misses and we had a lot of classes. Almost all day was spent in class. We kicked off the day with a bike workout in the gym with our Company Commander Petty Officer LaCharite, it was so hard! But it felt good to go faster and work harder and push further. After our workout we had beautiful sunny weather and headed off to class with Petty Officer LaCharite to learn about the Code of Conduct in the military. It was pretty deep stuff. It basically talked about how you should react if ever taken prisoner in a time of war. The videos we watched were very emotional for us, one man was a prisoner of war for over 2,000 days. But it wasn’t all sad. It was very empowering to think people will be depending on us to protect their freedoms and we in turn, would fight and die to protect them. The class was truly motivating.
We celebrated our 04 of July with a special lunch time treat… and red, white, and blue cupcake! The Mike-188 recruits were positively ecstatic. Those scrumptious little cupcakes were the first dessert to hit our lips in 16 days. All of our shipmates were very grateful that the galley (cafeteria) staff so lovingly made them for us. Mike Company definitely needed the sugar boost to get through the remainder of our day. After midday chow, we started our seamanship class led by Petty Officer Buckley. He was a wonderful teacher, and we are excited to take his class for the next 03 weeks. Seamanship classes are a crucial part of recruit training. It combines lectures with hands-on experience, benefitting the more tactile learners of Mike-188.
Once Seamanship class ended we got back to a wrecked female squad bay because one shipmate left their rack (bed) unlocked. After we helped her put her bed back together we were punished with some good ole’ fashioned incentive training. We also had our 50 locks taken from us and locked together to teach us a lesson. We had to silently gather around and work as a team to figure out whose lock is whose, unlock them and then line back up. It took forever but we finally did it. Hopefully that never happens again.
We ended our night with our beloved chewy bars and Petty Officer Aulph read all of us an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence. It was inspiring to us because it served as a reminder of why we are here, away from our families sleep deprived, and sore. This holiday is a little more special today than it was before, and maybe we will see some fireworks before bed out of the portholes (windows) we’re not supposed to look out of.
Good night. Mike-188


Mike-188 Checking in! Our Friday was eventful, to say the least. It was full of hardship, sweat, and tears. It truly seemed like everything fell apart today. The worst part of it was that we let our Lead Company Commander, Chief Blackman, down. Mike Company knows we are capable of accomplishing what he asks of us; so our only option is to step up our game.
Chief Blackman always tells us we are a smart group but it will be the small things that bring us down, and he was right. It was the small things like missing our time objectives by a minute. But like they say a minute could be life or death. Sloppy marching and not paying attention to orders also got us in trouble. Our biggest issue by far today was when the Battalion Commander Master Chief Berry came into our squad bay to ask us about a fighting incident between to males and we lost all military bearing. ALL OF IT. We didn’t sound off, we didn’t respond properly, we didn’t recognize who he was when we first walked in. It was all bad. We embarrassed ourselves in front of the Battalion Commander, the Section Commander, and Chief Blackman.
We paid some dues with sweat and tears when we returned. We had to move our entire male and female squad bays to another building, mattresses, sea bags, linens, everything! It took forever and we were so exhausted. We also paid in incentive training and a nice long lecture. It gets frustrating when we know we can do better, we have done better, and today we couldn’t get it together. Sometimes it feels like we do well and take one step forward. Then we get a big head and mess it all up taking three steps back.
On the brighter side, we had a great seamanship class with Petty Officer Buckley, we learned about knot tying and the different vessels and aircraft that the Coast Guard utilizes. We are looking forward to tomorrow’s classes with him as well. Since yesterday was a holiday, we got double the mail today. It really means so much for us to hear from our loved ones. The letters helped make today a little easier to swallow… So keep them coming! We are looking forward to tomorrow, and a chance for redemption. We will keep you informed with the latest. Earth-shattering events from Cape May.
Mike-188 signing out.


Happy Saturday! Mike Company is pleased to say that we had a little bit of a better day than yesterday. We only had three incentive training sessions today; two were regular and one was with our pieces. The incentive trainings with our pieces are killer by the end of the exercises, our biceps are bulging our of our arms veins popping and everything. We end up drenched in sweat and pesky mosquitoes (that we aren’t allowed to swat since they are property of Cape May).
Our day was jam packed with classes today. We started seamanship classes a couple of days ago and today we were with Petty Officer Buckley from 0700-1600. We learned about steering the helm, we even got to practice on a simulator which was really confusing at first but so much fun. We learned about standing watch on a ship and how to properly scan the sky and ocean in the day or night. Our teacher is really funny and tells us stories about times he messed up and spilled orange paint down the side of the boat. Or getting thrown out of bed when the waves are high. And also, how we will most likely never get a full nights rest again… Hopefully he was exaggerating. We also learned how to tie five basic knots that was interesting. He had us compete against each other in an epic “knot off” which got very heated. In the end we had one winner, tons of fun, and we all know our five knots!
Mike-188 is now 53 recruits strong. We lost a few shipmates, but also gained some through reversions. Making 53 totally different individuals work together is no small feat; especially since the “honeymoon” phase has passed, but we are striving to keep our attitudes positive. As stress mounts, so do attitudes; however, we all know teamwork is the only way to push through basic training. “Fail one, fall all,” as Chief Blackman says. Although we are a dysfunctional family of shipmates, we are all valuable and each one of us has a part to play in Mike-188.
We ended our day by practicing marching with our pieces. We are going to be in a parade tomorrow, and we are all a bit nervous but excited to have a role in something important. We aren’t sure exactly the details, but we will keep you posted as always! We will leave you on that happy note.
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.