Recruit Journal Oscar 188 Week: 02


 Recruit Journal Oscar 188 Week: 02
Formed: July 9, 2013
Graduate: August 30, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar

Arrival – Approaching Cape May, the soon-to-be Oscar-188 company fell silent as the bus passed the Cape May United States Coast Guard training center gates. For the next 03 days, Oscar-188 fell into the lion’s den. Company Commanders hurried the recruits to soon form into a company. With each day, recruits began to talk and act more and more like a part of the military.
Indoctrination Weekend – Oscar-188 met with members of the chain of command as Company Commanders swore an oath to form the company to the best of their abilities. The recruits moved out of Sexton Hall and into Munro Hall. Things started to happen very quickly.
Stress and anxiety rose as Oscar-188 were made aware of the do’s and don’ts of the Coast Guard boot camp. Believe it or not, one of the most difficult things to do is going to chow (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
“Fire! Fire! Fire!” has become a common term used in Oscar-188. Recruits rush out to the front of Munro Hall, company commanders instruct recruits to “find some real estate” (find a spot) to start push-ups, crunches, squats, and flutter kicks. This is how we as recruits learn from our mistakes.
There are also many good things we have learned as well. For instance, we have learned to march to a cadence, respond properly to our superiors, how to make a rack with ‘hospital corners’, and how to properly assemble an operational dress uniform.
Tomorrow begins the real recruit training for the Coast Guard; when company commanders are approaching the days when they stop breaking us down (squaring us away) and start building us up to become a member of the United States Coast Guard.

Oscar-188 started the morning off as it has been for the past four days, with Fire! Fire! Fire! Moving on with our normal routine, the company attended a stress management and suicide prevention class with the Chaplain. He gave us some tips on how to survive boot camp. Not too soon after, the company commanders taught us how to properly put on our boondockers (our boots). This was the first time we as a company marched around boot camp in our boondockers. Marching in boondockers brings us back to our toddler years when we put our first pair of shoes on and tried to walk.
Tomorrow is another clean slate and one step closer to August 30th, our graduation. Forty-four days to be exact.

Oscar-188 company had a normal day; high stress and high expectations. The squad bays have atmospheres of encouragement and motivation. Positivity is slowly rising. We are now 65 strong, and numbers change by the day. It takes time to get that many recruits to work as a team, but we are making small attempts at getting ahead. As far as classes go, we attended a 3 hour session that included “sexual harassment awareness”, “communications”, and “civil rights.” We were introduced to “Davie Jones” and attended our first real cycle workout! The company will work to stay motivated and in our heads remain the phrase “chow, chow, chow, chewy bar.” Details to come.

Today was a busy day for Oscar-188. Physically, recruits were pushed harder with the daily cycling with an additional run beforehand; overall a real workout. Moving forward, we also attended our first BIG class as well: Rates and Ranks. There is definitely much studying to be done.
To take our minds off things, the Catholic Chaplain and new protestant Chaplain paid a visit to update us on some pop culture. Though, that wasn’t the only people that paid us a visit. RAMP (Recruit Aptitude Motivational Program) gave the company a wake up call and motivated us to focus harder and push for success.
The big highlight of the day was receiving our pieces, and our first class for “arms” is right around the corner. The company is now 66 strong. Our focus and motivation is coming along and there are 42 days left. Focus is key and the company is pushing to get from meal to meal; making the day shorter as Father Fronk has imprinted in our heads, “chow, chow, chow, chewy bar.”

Todays was a day full of… let’s call it “fun”! It started off refreshing with our swim assessment. Even though swimming 100 meters can get tiring, its pretty certain that the whole company enjoyed the water compared to the blistering heat.
Sadly, the company started to forget about self discipline. That was taken care of for today. To put it in some form of perspective: 07 minutes to change from physical fitness gear to our operational dress uniforms, with boondockers. Then taking our pieces, which weigh about 9.5 pounds and holding it in sniper position until our arms were shaking. Nothing out of the norm really.
We also attended the work-life class that explains benefits for dependants of Coast Guard members. Today shed some light on the company and our self discipline. Still 66 strong with 41 days remaining. On to tackle the next day. “Chow, chow, chow, chewy bar.”

As like everyday Oscar-188 gets stronger, today it was physically. Incentive training went from 0500 to 2200. Along next to that was our swim circuit and our watch standing class. Many recruits attended choir in the Chapel; a very emotional time to let all feelings go. Only time will tell if today’s incentive training paid off for the company. Letters are flying in by the day showing much love and support to our shipmates. Onto the next day with 40 days remaining.

With the end of week 02 coming close, Oscar-188 prepared physically yet again. Incentive training has been stamped next to the company name and the best thing we can do is push on, push forward and learn from the mistakes we make. Aside from the usual, Oscar met with their company mentor, Lt Williams – words of advice: saluting. Lt Williams brought many words of wisdom, inspiration, and positivity to the class room. Good energy filled the room, and walking out of the classroom left the recruits with a better sense of understanding as to what it means to be a member of the Coast Guard. He taught us, “it is all about performance” and “there are no bad people, just bad attitudes.”
All in all, another day filled with high hopes, high stress, and high volume; sounding off is getting louder and louder. Oscar-188 recruits are in their racks tonight, ready for a new clean slate, tomorrow will be better, as will the next day. 39 days remain. Oscar-188 signing out…properly this time.

The company had a successful session of divine hours. Whether it was using teamwork to square the racks away, shining boondockers, or going to Catholic/Protestant services. It’s easing to the mind to have from 0800 to 1300 to tie up the loose ends. Hopefully each recruit got something accomplished today. Tomorrow starts week 03 where more classes are introduced, more obstacles to overcome, and more progress to be made.
Personal values are just as important to each individual as it is to the Coast Guard. Specifically, the class we attended brought that out into the light, making or reminding the company to realize that every experience molds your personal values. Which is a huge reason that every recruit that comes through Cape May Training Center needs to understand the Coast Guards core values: Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.
Briefly, the company also went off outside with our pieces and refined our understanding of trail arms, order arms, and port arms. Surely there will be more to come with that.
Teamwork is on the horizon for Oscar-188. It’s difficult to put 66 people together and tell them to work as a team, but things are coming together for sure. On to the next day, 38 days remain.


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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