Recruit Journal Kilo 188 Week: 06

Recruit Journal Kilo 188 Week: 06
Formed: June 4, 2013
Graduate: July 26, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Kilo

International Maritime Signal Flag Kilo

          KILO-188 is officially the senior company on campus, OH YEAH! This week was as exciting as one can get between squaring each meal every day. Plans to our first units are officially underway, wisdom teeth are being ripped from our mouths, and ugly mug shots don our crisp new military ID cards (many of us vow to never show our loved ones those pictures—they might be turned to stone). The Company Commander school, on top of the normal commuting Company Commanders, are on the scene and are an added source of potential jack ups for recruits. KILO is starting to feel like a senior company as other permanent party members have addressed us as their “shipmates” (and not sarcastically this time) and our Company Commanders are acting more as stern mentors rather than frightening harbingers (announcers) of pain. We’re working on setting an example for the junior companies to follow once we walk across that golden stage in two weeks, but it’s a larger size of shoe than we expected.
          We attended fire school during week 06, which was really quite entertaining. After learning about extinguishers, fire gear and safety tips, and fire types, our first exercise was using a fire extinguisher in a demonstration trailer, during which a few shipmates tripped up the stairs and head-butted the wall instead of putting the fire out (everyone’s okay, but the lack of grace resulted in much laughter). The next order of business involved sliding into those giant flame-retardant fire suits, complete with oxygen tanks and face masks. If you’ve never drawn breath while hooked up to an oxygen tank, let me tell you how oddly refreshing of a sensation that was—like breathing with your mouth in front of an air conditioner. Add some smoke, a bunch of giant hoses to trip over and a dark room with a sparkly mock fire and chains of fire suit clad shipmates and you’ve got a recipe for fire school adrenaline.
         Week 06 also marked the beginning of the administration portion of recruit training; paperwork and phone calls are a part of every employee’s balanced diet. We’ve begun to get in contact with our unit sponsors and Yeomen and make travel plans with our families, which helps to accentuate the realities of the upcoming two weeks. We also went aboard the 210’ Coast Guard Cutter Diligence and received a grand tour of the innards and deck of the ship. That revved up a lot of shipmates who were unsure about being stationed on a cutter; sure, everyone says it is awesome, but now after seeing the deck structures and feeling the gentle sway of the vessel being rocked by small waves made us all ready to join the fleet that instant. We still have a little ways to go, though.
          Saturday was on-base liberty and a breath of fresh air for us all. KILO gaggled for at least an hour around the candy and junk food aisles of the Exchange and remained glued to our phones for most of the time. Family members would be appalled at the combination of food we consumed in a matter of minutes: whole tubs of Birthday Blast ice cream, Nutella by the spoonful, gummy worms, nuts, Doritos and cheese, baskets of fries, gallons of Arizona iced tea, hoards of energy drinks and chocolate chips by the pound…eating for the pure sake and sensation of it. It was good (perhaps not for the digestion system however) to eat and be merry—for and of those who have seen or read The Hobbit, off-base liberty can be essentially summed up in the dinner scene where the dwarves storm into Bilbo Baggins’ house and start tossing food and drinks and plates around in a joyous occasion.
Something that really impressed me personally about my shipmates is that after we left each place, we made absolutely sure to leave it better than we found it. Work detail crews set about scurrying around to shine, sweep, and wipe the Harborview and the pavilion, and we even made it back to the squad bay a half an hour early to make sure we were squared away before evening muster. It might have been a product of the tornado drill that came through a few days prior, but I’d like to think that it’s us acting out what has been impressed upon us these 06 weeks.
          As all good times must roll to a stop, we were welcomed back into recruit training with a regiment-wide incentive training session by our Section Commander. It was a great big motivational roast to stay on track, except without the laughing. There waere just a lot of grunts, sweat, and dancing around our pieces, giving tribute to our place on the totem pole.
          It’s a crazy rock n’ roll train ride from here on out, and KILO company has to find it in themselves to represent the yellow and blue colors of our company with pride. Be it singing cadences about Chuck Norris, scrubbing toilets with questionable sponges, teaching the junior shipmates tools of the trade, or perfecting our dress blues for a personnel inspection, each of these tasks we must execute with the utmost professionalism.
           We are so close to the end, and we’re ready to take on the challenge of serving in the Coast Guard, regardless of the dues we pay in boot camp. There’s no greater honor than joining the fleet, and until that day, we’ll focus on getting better and better. See you all in a few weeks, hope you look as spiffy as we do in our dress blues.

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.

Tags: ,