Recruit Journal Mike 188 Week: 04

Formed: June 18, 2013
Graduate: August 9, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

08JUL13

Another day down the tubes for Mike 188. Day 01 of week 04 was started off just like every other day… FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! We jumped to a start with a 0530 incentive training session and lucky for us, we got two new exercises added on as well. The plank and the dead cockroach. Most of us have skinned elbows and a sore core, but just like before, our bodies will be experts in no time.

We also had an early morning firearms training course that lasted from 0700-1600. It was by far one of the most hands on classes we’ve taken and everyone enjoyed it. We learned firearm safety, nomenclature, proper procedures of firing and disassembling, and also had a chance to use the simulator! That was fun because we had a chance to see who the classes sharpshooters were. The simulator was very realistic and is the closest we will come to firing a weapon since Cape May shutdown their firing range.

In the evening, Mike 188 gathered together to make our individual photographs. Mr. Prince was our photographer and the picture-taking process was set up like when one would take a high-school yearbook picture. The recruits put on dress uniform jackets, blouses, and covers. The transformation was amazing… We did not even look like the same people anymore! The male shipmates turned into handsome Coast Guardsman, and the females looked like cool professionals. After that, we had all received a confidence boost! The rest of the day we successfully made our time objectives, and it was smooth sailing. We will report in again tomorrow. –MIKE 188 Signing off.

09JUL13

Today was stressful. It started off in a rut, and ended up in an even deeper one. We had an early morning class entitled “Commitment”. It was an emotional lesson about Coast Guardsman who have gone beyond the call of duty to complete their mission. These exceptional heroines leave their own lives and families behind in order to complete the mission at hand. After that class, we met Mrs. Evelyn. She helps us out in the learning resource classroom (it was a computer lab). We were instructed about how to log-on to our official Coast Guard email account. That was pretty much the high of our day.

After chow, we made our way to yet another classroom. This time we learned about colors. Colors is the ensign (flag) ceremony that happens at 0800 and at sunset daily here at Cape May. Mike 188’s colors teams were chosen. They will have the honor of participating in colors starting on Monday.

It saddens us to report the Mike Companies evening hours were spent in torture (note: This torture was self-inflicted.) We had incentive training sessions followed by extreme verbal lashings, wrapped up in sweat and pain. Most shipmates have blisters… and mosquito bites on top of old, crusted mosquito bites! Next time we will hopefully get it into our thick skulls to follow orders. Oh, and also to wear more bug spray! We will keep you posted. –Mike 188

10JUL13

Mike 188 reporting in! Today was another hard day in the life of a recruit at Cape May. It was a scorcher! It started like any other with “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE” and chow, but the we went off to some enthralling classes. We started with a career course that explained all the enlisted careers we can choose from. It’s wild to think only 22 days ago we shipped here without a clue where to go, what to, or how to do it. Now we know and we are on our way out. Okay, I guess we have quite a way to go, but tomorrow we put in our dream sheet and that is very exciting. A dream sheet is where you pick where you want to go and hope they send you there. We will know in a week where we will be stationed. Our other class was about our housing option at our new station. It is good to know the Coast Guard helps you every step of the way.

We also had our physical fitness test. It went well; most of us recruits improved our scores and the ones who did not will have four more weeks to pass. It looks like more gym, swim and incentive training is in store for Mike 188. Speaking of incentive training, our Company Commander Petty Officer Aulph had us complete one of the most intensive drills so far. It was called “The Fort Dix” and we pretended we were being evacuated… so we literally packed up our entire racks, rucksacks, and all personal gear, carried it (in one trip) to the quarterdeck then had to race back and put it all back correctly, neatly and quickly one by one. One sock, the other sock, one t-shirt, another t-shirt, so on and so forth. By the end of the hour we had mostly finished and everyone wanted to collapse. We definitely got our cardio in today! Today was rough and we are all exhausted. It’s another day down and as we go to sleep we think of our friends and family back home and hope for a good tomorrow. Sending you love –Mike 188

11JUL13

Today sucked (and that is putting it nicely). We were like little kids who kept getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Mike Company royally messed up the watch last night; among the plethora of other errors. We also paid for our mistakes dearly. It is frustrating because our company knows what to do and how to do it, but we keep falling short of goals. Chief Blackman always says that we are going to leave Cape May either smart or strong. As of now, it looks as if we are leaving here very strong. Mike 188 went through multiple back-to-back trainings and discipline drills… and we deserved every single one of them.

On a happier note, we had some seamanship classes and everyone in our company passed their verbal helm test and the practical knowledge test! Go us! The best part of our day was our opportunity to fill out and submit our “Dream Sheet”. It was very exciting and we came to the realization that next week we will get our orders for our first station. Things are starting to sink in. Some people chose places close to home while others wanted to go as far away as possible, from Alaska, to New York, to Guam our choices were unlimited. They also told us most of the open billets were on cutters, so it looks like a lot of us will be underway for our first Coast Guard adventure.

Another positive part of our Thursday came as a surprise to us near the end of our day. Chief Blackman allowed us to have evening routine. This is where we have a little more time to shower, clean and get squared away before taps. So, looking back on this entry, maybe the whole day did not suck (just the majority of it). Mike 188 remains as eager and hopeful as ever… we will pull through this. After all, we have a lot of people rooting for us. –Mike 188

12 JUL13

Mike 188 is pleased to report that we actually had a good, solid day. From reveille to taps, things ran pretty smoothly. Our Friday had a lot of events packed in it; from gym, to taking our mid-terms, to practicing manual of arms, Mike was on the move.

Starting at the gym bright and early kicked us into gear. We had an opportunity to use the weight machines and do a range of exercises from leg lifts, arm curls, back extensions, hamstring curls, shoulder press… We did it all. After the gym the classic bipolar Cape May weather returned. We had sunshine when we went in and torrential downpour on the way out. The rain didn’t really let up until later in the evening. Our mid-term was shortly after lunch and I think everyone was a bit nervous. Luckily, it was opened books so that relieved a lot of the pressure. Afterwards we were able to say for the most part we did pretty well. Some recruits scored 100%!

Yesterday we wrote that it looked like Mike company would leave Cape May a lot stronger; at this pace it looks like we will leave smarter too. I would call us ‘the whole package”. Also today, they boys received their week 04 haircuts and now once again we can’t tell them apart. Joking aside, it seems like a new leaf has turned motivationally for Mike. After four weeks of our Company Commanders telling us about teamwork, dedication and commitment, its finally starting to stick. We are slowly earning more privileges and earning time on our own. What. Yes. WE have a few recruits taking charge to lead in study groups, drills, manual of arms and other required knowledge.

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