Recruit Journal Mike 188 Week: 05

RECRUIT JOURNAL MIKE 188
FORMED: JUNE 18, 2013
GRADUATE: AUGUST 9, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

14JUL13
MIKE COMPANY SLEPT SOUNDLY THROUGH LAST NIGHT’S SORENESS, AND AWOKE TO A BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY MORNING. WHILE WE WERE STILL HURTING FROM SATURDAY, WE PUSHED HARD TO START OUR SUNDAY OFF RIGHT…AND I AM GLAD TO SAY THAT MIKE-188 DID A BETTER JOB TODAY.

OUR DIVINE HOURS WERE REALLY SPENT WELL TODAY. SHIPMATES WERE STUDYING REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, IRONING, WRITING LETTERS HOME, AND GETTING OUR LAUNDRY AND RACKS SQUARED AWAY. SOME RECRUITS ATTENDED THE CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT SERVICES; WHICH ALLOWED THEM SOME TIME TO SHAKE OFF THE STRESS OF BASIC TRAINING.

AT 1300, PETTY OFFICER AULPH AND CHIEF BLACKMAN TOOK THE COMPANY FOR A WORK-OUT IN THE POOL. IT HAD BEEN A LITTLE WHILE SINCE WE HAD SWAM, AND WE WERE BONE TIRED WHEN WE FINISHED. OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS HAD US SWIMMING SPRINTS IN GROUPS AND DOING FLUTTER KICKS ON THE EDGE OF THE POOL.

IT IS PRETTY CRAZY TO SEE THAT MIKE-188 IS PHYSICALLY STRONGER NOW THEN WE WERE WAY BACK IN INDOCRINATION WEEKEND. OUR COMPANY IS ABLE TO COMPLETE WORK-OUTS AT A MUCH HIGHER STANDARD THAN BEFORE. EVEN THOUGH IT STINKS TO GET OUR BEHINDS WHIPPED, THE PAY-OFF IS WORTH IT.

THIS EVENING MIKE-188 WENT ON IT’S FIRST OFF-BASE RUN…AND IT WAS AWESOME! EVERYONE PUSHED THEMSELVES, WE RAN IN STEP TOGETHER, AND NO ONE QUIT! THERE WERE PEOPLE ON THE SIDES OF THE ROAD TO CHEER US ON. IT WAS A SOLID MORALE-BOOSTER (AND A FEW OF US RECRUITS EVEN GOT A LITTLE TEARY EYED). THE RUN ALSO MADE US FEEL LIKE WE WERE REALLY STARTING TO COME TOGETHER AS A UNITED TEAM.

TOMORROW WE HAVE A UNIFORM/GENERAL INSPECTION FROM MASTER CHIEF BERRY. EVERYONE IS NERVOUS ABOUT IT! PLEASE WISH US LUCK! WE’LL KEEPO YOU INFORMED.

-MIKE-188 SIGNING OUT.

15JUL13
DAY ONE OF WEEK FIVE DOWN! MONDAY MORNING STARTED OFF WITH NO INCENTIVE TRAINING, BUT PETTY OFFICER AULPH MADE SURE WE RECEIVED OUR EARLY MORNING WORK-OUT WITH A QUAD RUN. WE SPRINTED DOWN ONE SIDE, JOGGED BACK, AND SPRINTED BACK. IT WAS DEFINITELY JUST AS EXHAUSTING AS FIRE, FIRE, FIRE! THIS WEEK WE START A TRANSITIONAL PERIOD.

BEFORE WE WERE BEGINNERS, AND NOW WE KNOW ALL WE NEED TO KNOW AND WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR APPLYING IT. IT’S EXCITING TO BE ON OUR WAY OUT, CLOSER TO THE END THAN THE START; BUT THE PRESSURE IS MOUNTING AND WE CAN ALL FEEL IT.

OUR PHYSICAL FITNESS HAS IMPROVED IN FIVE WEEKS AND NOW THE TIME HAS COME TO GET OUR MENTAL GAME ON POINT. WE HAVE A VERY SMART SROUP OF PEOPLE IN OUR COMPANY AND WE ALL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO GO FAR, WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY NOW TO PROVE IT. TODAY WE HAD SEAMANSHIP CLASSES WHICH WE ALL ENJOY. WE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT RADIO COMMUNICATIONS AND SIGNALING DEVICES LIKE FLARES, SMOKE SIGNALS, AND DIFFERENT KINDS OF LIGHTS.

OUR TEACHER, PETTY OFFICER BUCKLEY, TOLD US WE MIGHT GET TO LIGHT THEM TOMORROW (HE WILL, NOT US) TO GET THE FULL EFFECT. WE ALSO LEARNED ABOUT FLAGS AND PENNANTS, WHICH WAS INTERESTING. OUR TEACHER, MR. LINCOLN, TOLD US SOME SEA STORIES OF HIS OWN WHICH MADE THE CLASS FLY BY.

THE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION WE ARE GETTING BOMBARDED WITH IS A BIT OVERWHELMING AT TIMES, BUT THE SUBJECT MATTER IS RELEVENT AND CRUCIAL FOR RECRUITS.

LASTLY, WE HAD OUR DREADED PERSONNEL UNIFOIRM INSPECTION, AND WE ARE PLEASED TO REPORT THAT WE ALL SURVIVED! WE ALL RECEIVED SOME CRITIQUES BUT NO ONE TOTALLY FAILED OR LOOKED LIKE A HOT MESS.

MASTER CHIEF BERRY WAS VERY INTIMIDATING AT FIRST, BUT HE GAVE US A NICE COMPLIMENT WHICH WAS “ABOVE AVERAGE.” WE WILL TAKE IT. WE ARE ON OUR WAY TO BEING A SENIOR COMPANY AND WE ARE DETERMINED TO LOOK AND ACT LIKE IT.

MASTER CHIEF BERRY’S CONSTRUCTIVE CRTISISM WAS HELPFUL AND MOTIVATING. WE CAN HARDLY WAIT TO MAKE ALL OF OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS PROUD. ON THAT POSITIVE NOTE, WE WILL UPDATE YOU SOON!

-MIKE-188.

16JUL13
MIKE-188 IS PUSHING THROUGH WEEK 05. IT SEEMED LIKE OUR TUESDAY FLEW BY. THE MORNING STARTED OFF EARLY (LIKE USUAL) AND WE HAD MORNING CHOW AT 0545. MIKE COMPANY FILLLED THEIR BELLIES WITH YUMMY GALLEY FOOD. BREAKFAST SEEMS LIKE A HIGHLIGHT OF MIKE’S DAY.

WE LOVE THROWING BACK OUR GOOEY EGGS AND LIMP BACON! WHEN YOU ARE IN BASIC TRAINING, ANY TYPE OF FOOD SEEMS LIKE A FIVE-STAR RESTAURANT SPREAD. PLUS, WE NEED ALL THE CALORIES WE CAN GET!
AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR DAY WAS RECEIVING OUR DRESS UNIFORMS. IT TOOK A WHILE FOR EVERYONE TO GET FITTED PROPERLY, AND ANY EXTRA TIME WAS SPENT STUDYING. TOMORROWN WE HAVE OUR CLOSED-BOOK SEAMANSHIP MIDTERM.

WE ALSO HAVE PLENTY OF WEEK 05 KNOWLEDGE THAT NEEDS TO BE MEMORIZED (THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD ETHOS, NAUTICAL TERMS, ENLISTED RATINGS, AND WEAPONS SAFETY RULES). MOST OF THE RECRUITS ARE EXPERIENCING AN INFORMATION OVERLOAD!

THE AMOUNT OF STUFF WE ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW IS DEFINITELY DAUNTING, BUT THE INFORMATION IS VALUABLE. EVERYTHING WE COMMIT TO MEMORY, EVERYTHING WE ARE INSTRUCTED, EVERTYHING WE DO HERE AT CAPE MAY HAS A PURPOSE: TO MOLD US INTO SUCCESSFUL COAST GUARDSMEN. IN LESS THAN 03 WEEKS, WE WILL BE BOOT CAMP GRADUATES (YES, I SAID GRADUATES)! WE MUST BE READY FOR THAT RESPONSIBILITY.

MIKE’S EVENING ENDED WITH A GOOD, SWEAT-FILLED GYM WORK-OUT FOLLOWED BY A COMPANY JOG AROUND THE TRACK. EVENING ROUTINE FLOWED BY SMOOTHLY, AND “LIGHT’S OUT” WAS CALLED BEFORE WE KNEW IT. ALL-IN-ALL, MIKE-188 HAD A PRETTY SOLID TUESDAY. LOOKING FORWARD TO FILLING YOU IN TOMORROW!

17JUL13
TIME IS FLYING BY, WE ALREADY FINISHED OUR WEDNESDAY AND THE WEEK IS HALF-OVER. TODAY WAS AN OKAY DAY; IT HAD SOME HIGH AND LOW POINTS. WE STARTED THE DAY AT 0525 AND RUSHED OUT TO CHOW AND THEN HEADED TO THE TRACK FOR A QUICK MILE-LONG RUN. IT SEEMED LIKE TODAY WAS JAMMED FULL OF PHYSICAL FITNESS INTERMIXED WITH CLASSES.

WE HAD A LONG AFTERNOON AT OUR SEAMANSHIP CLASSES, BUT THE INFORMATION WE LEARNED WAS VERY HANDS-ON. FIRST WE TOOK OUR CLOSED-BOOK MIDTERM; WHICH EVERYONE WAS A LITTLE NERVOUS ABOUT. AS A WHOLE, WE DID REALLY WELL AND RECEIVED A CLASS AVERAGE OF 93.4%! THAT SCORE PUTS US IN THE RUNNING TO EARN ANOTHER PENNANT FOR OUR COMPANY FLAG (IF WE ALSO DO WELL ON OUR FINAL).

WE HAD ANOTHER CLASS AFTER THAT, ALL ABOUT PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES (LIFE VESTS) AND WE TRIED THEM ON AND EVEN HAD A COMPETITION TO SEE WHO COULD DO IT THE FASTEST. IT WAS REALLY FUN, AND THE WHOLE COMPANY GOT INTO THE COMPETITION.

WE ENDED OUR NIGHT WITH A VISIT FROM THE TEMPORARY CHAPLAIN, CHAPLAIN ROCHESTER. HE WAS HIGH-ENERGY AND HELPED TO CHEER US UP OUT OF OUR CAPE MAY BLUES. HE GAVE US OUR WEEKLY UPDATE ON MOVIES, MUSIC, AND SPORTS.

CHAPLAIN ROCHESTER ALSO TOLD US A FEW MOTIVATIONAL STORIES TO BOOT! ALTHOUGH MIKE COMPANY STILL HAS NOT COMPLETELY GRASPED THE WHOLE TEAMWORK CONCEPT, WE ARE SEEING SMALL IMPROVEMENTS. AS A GROUP WE ARE MAKING OUR TIME OBJECTIVES MORE FREQUENTLY.

ATTITUDES ARE BEGINNIG TO SIMMER DOWN, AND COMMON GOALS ARE GETTING ACCOMPLISHED…NOT EVERY DAY, AND NOT ALL THE TIME, BUT IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS PEOPLE! ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL DAY UNDER OUR PERFECTLY TRIMMED AND TUCKED BELTS.

THANKS FOR READING,
MIKE-188.

18JUL13
HELLO FRIENDS OF MIKE-188! OUR THURSDAY WAS TRULY A BLUR. LIKE USUAL, WE HIT THE GROUND RUNNING AND PLOWED THROUGH OUR DAY. AT 0700 MIKE HIT THE GYM FOR OUR “CYBEX” WORK-OUT (WE GOT TO USE THE WEIGHTS). THE MALE RECRUITS ESPECIALLY ENJOY STARTING OFF OUR DAYS IN THAT FASHION…AND MOST OF THE FEMALES LIKE IT TOO. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO COMPLETE 03 SETS OF 13 REPS – EACH TIME INCREASING THE WEIGHT TO PUSH OUR BODIES TO THEIR MAXIMUM.

AFTER THE GYM, WE ATTENDED CLASS AFTER CLASS. MIKE COMPANY LEARNED A TON OF INFORMATION; FROM RISK MANAGEMENT, TO PERSONAL FINANCE, TO PREPARING OURSELVES FOR OUR FIRST ORDERS. OUR MINDS ARE REALLY BEING STIMULATED. BASIC TRAINING HAS A HUGE FOCUS ON ACADEMICS (SOMETHING THAT SEEMED TO HAVE SURPRISED MANY RECRUITS).

THIS EVENING WE TOOK PART IN A RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE. MIKE-188 HAD BOTH A GREAT TURN-OUT AND TIME DONATING BLOOD. IT ALWAYS FEELS GOOD TO CONTRIBUTE TO A WORTHY CAUSE. ALMOST EVERY SINGLE RECRUIT VOLUNTEERED TO GIVE BLOOD. EVEN A FEW SHIPMATES WHO ARE TERRIFIED OF NEEDLES, SUCKED IT UP AND STEPPED UP.

THE BEST PART OF THE EXPERIENCE WAS THE REWARD…COOKIES! AFTER DONATING BLOOD, YOU WERE ALLOWED TO DRINK WATER AND EAT DELICIOUS PRETZELS AND LITTLE M&M COOKIES. MOST OF MIKE WILL BE DREAMING OF THOSE YUMMY COOKIES TONIGHT.

WELL, THAT IS ABOUT ALL THERE IS TO REPORT FOR TODAY. WE ARE ALL BRACING OURSELVES FOR A TOUGH WEEKEND. WE LITERALLY HAVE AN OBSTACLE TO FACE…THE OBSTACLE COURSE ITSELF, AMONG OTHER SWEAT-FILLED SWEET SUPRISES THAT OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS WILL SURELY THROW IN OUR WAY. LOOKING FORWARD TO KEEPING YOU UPDATED.

-MIKE-188 SIGNING OUT.

19JUL13
TODAY WAS AN AWESOME DAY. ONE OF THE BEST BY FAR. WE STARTED OUR DAY WITH FIRE, FIRE, FIRE AND CHOW IN TYPICAL MIKE-188 FASHION. AFTER CHOW WE HAD ANOTHER COMPANY RUN; THIS TIME IT WAS ABOUT 03 MILES LONG, BUT FOR SOME REASON THE TIME FLEW BY AND WE BARELY NOTICED THE DISTANCE (OR THE SUN BEATING DOWN ON OUR SWEATY FACES).

OUR LEAD COMPANY COMMANDER, CHIEF BLACKMAN, LED THE RUN ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF THE BASE. HE LED US IN SOME FUNNY CADENCES AND ALSO GAVE US MOTIVATING PEP TALKS ALONG THE WAY. HE IS SUCH AN AMAZING LEADER TO US ALL, AND TRULY INSPIRED ALL OF US TO DO BETTER. WE MAY BE BIAS, BUT WE THINK HE IS THE BEST COMPANY COMMANDER OUT THERE, AND CONSIDER OURSELVES LUCKY TO BE HIS RECRUITS. WE ALSO ENJOY THE HILARIOUS PHRASES THAT COME OUT OF HIS MOUTH, “I’M GONNA FREAK OUT ON YOU!”

WE HAD THE BEST SURPRISE EVER WHEN ALL THREE OF OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS TOOK US OUTSIDE TO THE BELL BY THE COLORS POLE AND SURPRISED US WITH OUR ORDERS! YES, FINALLY! WE GOT SENT ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES; FROM FLORIDA TO ALASKA. A BUNCH OF MALES FROM MIKE ARE STATIONED IN KODIAK, ALASKA .

MOST WERE SHOCKED BY THIS, BUT THEN SEEMED REALLY EXCITED. SOMETIMES IT IS HARD TO REMEMBER WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE BEFORE CAPE MAY. IT IS ALSO HARD TO IMAGINE WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE AFTER WE DEPART, BUT WE ARE ALL LOOKING FORWARD WITH HOPEFUL EYES TO OUR FUTURES IN THE COAST GUARD.

WE ENDED OUR DAY WITH WHAT FELT LIKE FIFTEEN HOURS OF MANUAL OF ARMS DRILLS. IN REALITY, IT WAS ABOUT 02, BUT WE ALL HAVE BLISTERS AND BRUISES ON OUR HANDS AND HOLLOWS OF OUR SHOULDERS FROM OUR BELOVED PIECES. WE HAVE A TEST IN FRONT OF EITHER OUR SECTION COMMANDER OR MASTER CHIEF BERRY NEXT WEEK, SO WE NEED ALL THE PRACTICE WE CAN GET.

SPEAKING OF NEXT WEEK…WE ARE ALMOST WEEO 06 RECRUITS! YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY, TIME FLIES WHEN YOUR BUSY BUSTING YOUR BUTT WITH TRAINING AT CAPE MAY.

UNTIL THE NEXT ENTRY,
-MIKE-188.

20JUL13
MIKE-188 SIGNING IN TO SAY THAT WE GAINED SOME CONFIDENCE ON THIS HOT, STICKY SATURDAY! WHAT WAS THE SOURCE OF THIS NEWLY FOUND CONFIDENCE? WELL, IT WAS NONE OTHER THAN THE CONFIDENCE COURSE ITSELF. THE CONFIDENCE COURSE (AN OBSTACLE COURSE ESSENTIALLY) WAS INDEED CHALLENGING, AND WAS COMPRISED OF WOODED BARRIERS, JUNGLE-GYM LIKE STRUCTURES, ROPES TO CLIMB, AND HURDLES.

THE COMPANY DID FAIRLY WELL AS A GROUP ON THE COURSE, AND I AM HAPPY TO REPORT THAT EVERYONE PUSHED THEMSELVES AND NO ONE QUIT. THE SUN BEAMED DOWN ON US THE WHOLE TIME WE WERE OUT THERE, AND BY THE END OF IT WE WERE ALL SOAKED THROUGH WITH SWEAT. IT WAS WORTH IT THOUGH. A LOT OF RECRUITS WERE SCARED ON SOME OF THE HEIGHTS ON THE COURSE, BUT THEY PUSHED THROUGH THEIR FEARS TO FINISH.

OUR COMPANY MENTOR, MR. SANDERS, ALSO SPENT QUITE A BIT OF TIME WITH MIKE-188 TODAY. THE RECRUITS REALLY ENJOY GETTING VISITS FROM HIM. HE IS LOADED WITH EXCELLENT INFORMATION ABOUT THE COAST GUARD, AND HIS ENTHUSIASM IS CONTAGIOUS. MR. SANDERS ANSWERED MIKE’S QUESTIONS FOR HOURS…AND HE EVEN ATE LUNCH WITH US LOWLY RECRUITS! MIKE’S SATURDAY ENDED WITH MORE MANUAL OF ARMS TRAINING.

PETTY OFFICER AULPH EVEN SHOWED US A NEW, SPECIAL MOVE WITH OUR PIECES. HE ALSO TAUGHT US HOW TO PROPERLY WEAR AND IRON OUR TROPICAL BLUE DRESS UNIFORMS. WELL, THAT IS ABOUT IT FOR NOW. WE WILL KEEP YOU IN THE LOOP WITH OUR LASTEST AWESOME BASIC TRAINING STORIES.

21JUL13
SUNDAY IS BY FAR ONE OF THE BEST DAYS FOR US RECRUITS. WE HAVE 05 HOURS TO TEND TO WHATEVER WE NEED TO GET DONE. WHILE OUR MORNING WAS SPENT HAPPILY WITH OUR DIVINE HOURS, OUR AFTERNOON WAS EXTREMELY HARD PHYSICALLY. WE SWAM OUR HIND PARTS OFF TODAY IN THE POOL – WE COMPLETED 20 LAPS…WAY FARTHER THAN MOST OF US HAD EVER SWAM BEFORE! AFTER THAT, WE HIT THE WEIGHTS WITH A “CYBEX” WORK-OUT. THEN, LATER IN THE DAY, WE HAD OUR USUAL OFF-BASE RUN! MANY RECRUITS SAID THAT THEIR BODIES HAD NEVER BEEN SO SORE IN THEIR LIVES.

THE COMPANY RUN DID GO WELL THOUGH. THE MORALE OF OUR TEAM SKY-ROCKETS AS WE PUSH OUR BODIES TO THE MAXIMUM AND PUSH THROUGH OUR RUN. WE RUN IN STEP, WE SING CADENCES, AND BY-STANDERS CHEER US ON. THIS WAS OUR SECOND OFF-BASE RUN, AND WE ALL WENT A LITTLE FASTER AND HARDER THAN BEFORE…AND ONCE IT WAS OVER, WE ALL REMEMBERED HOW DEAD OUR BODIES REALLY WERE! WISH US LUCK FOR OUR FIRST DAY AS 06ERS TOMORROW!

UNTIL NEXT TIME,
-MIKE-188.
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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