Recruit Journal Mike 188 Week: 06

Formed: June 18, 2013
Graduate: Aug. 9, 2013

21JUL13
Sunday is by far one of the best days for us recruits. We have 05 hours to attend to whatever we need to get done; such as uniform maintenance, shining boondockers, writing letters, or any other activity we can check off our list. Today was no different, a lot of us worked on our new tropical dress uniforms making them look “sharp” as Petty Officer Aulph puts it.

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

Today was also one of the most physically exhausting days we have had in about four weeks! We swam our hind parts off today. We did 20 lengths of 50 meters. Some of our faster swimmers reached 28 laps! We thought we were done, but¬†Chief Blackman surprised us with a Cybex (weight lifting machines) gym session right after. We were all already so sore from the confidence course yesterday so the weights and exercising was killer on top of it. We were dead tired and ready for a nap and a massage, however that wasn’t on the schedule. What was on the schedule was a company run. Company runs are personally my favorite part of boot camp. The morale of our team skyrockets through the roof. We push our bodies to the maximum and sometimes we even get to see our Company Commanders crack a smile. We run in step, we sing cadences, and the crowd cheers. They take pictures and holler motivational greetings, kids run alongside us and people hold mini-flags and clap for us. It is truly indescribable. It is so exciting we barely notice our aching bones, cramping muscles or sweaty faces. This was our second run and we went a little faster and a little harder. And once it was over we all remembered how dead we were.

We stretched it out and walked back to the house (Healy Hall). We shined our boondockers and tested out of required knowledge and almost everyone passed. That was another highlight, watching shipmate after shipmate kick butt and knock out those tests. It was the perfect ending to a pretty cool day. They say the second day of being sore is the worst so you can look forward to hearing about that tomorrow night. Wish us luck for our first day as week 06ers!

Until next time,
Mike 188

22JUL13
Mike-188 had a rocky day, folks. Our company could not get our head out of our rear. This is not the way that we desired to start off week 06, and we will have to live with the consequences of our actions. Our main problem was being a bunch of chatty kathys. The chit-chat sorely needs to stop.

On a lighter note, we had some great classes today. In seamanship we started learning about fire fighting… Way cool! The recruits love it, because we are receiving hands-on training that we could potentially use for real in the Coast Guard. Our instructors, Petty Officer Buckley and Petty Officer Ventura, make learning easy and enjoyable. Mike company is lucky to have the teachers we do (and yes, that also includes our Company Commanders).

Tomorrow will be a big day for mike, so keep us in mind. We have the dreaded manual of arms test in front of Master Chief Berry. We have all put in hours of training for this company-wide test. Hopefully that training will kick in, and we can earn our manual of arms pennant. Then we can have something to lift our head a little higher about… Espeically since we disappointed our Company Commander, Petty Officer Aulph with our blabber-mouths today. Wish us luck with our test tomorrow! Like always we will keep you updated.

-Mike 188 signing off.
P.S. We added another exercise to our incentive training routine. It is called “the superman” and it is actually pretty fun. When we start the exercise we have to sound off “Da Da Da Da!” I think the superman will be a company favorite very soon.

23JUL13
Today. What can I say about today… It was awful. Terrible. Disappointing. Embarrassing. The worst. We started off our day with firefighting classes which was pretty fun! We put out real fires, and donned real firefighter’s masks and gear. We learned how to use a fire hose as well. However immediately after that our day went down, down, down.
It started with our manual of arms test. We had a few minor changes to our routine and we about lost our minds. We lost all focus and couldn’t get our act together. The short version is we failed our test in front of Chief Fredrickson and because of that along with our general complacency we paid for it all night. And I mean all night. From the moment we left the parade field we were chewed out by our Company Commanders, then we had to do incentive training with our pieces which is the absolute worst! Then we had chow and a short glorious class (where most of us recruits could only think about the punishment awaiting us after).

The punishment awaiting us was just as bad as we imagined and as bad as our Company Commanders promised. We started with filling our seabags with everything we own and passing them person to person around the entire parade field. It was death! We were exhausted after one time, and we did it three times. It is hard to explain how heavy and awkward those seabags are, but they are killer, trust me. Then basically we got our rears handed to us hour after hour with “fire fire fires!” (with incentive training), more seabag drills, and some running and some sweating. Then some more running and sweating.

We ended this disaster we call Tuesday with a quick shower and immediately got sent to bed like children.  It was a bummer we did so horribly today, but positive thinking my friends! Tomorrow is a new day and we are looking forward to it.
-Mike 188

24JUL13
Our positive thinking helped bring good vibes to our Wednesday. Thank goodness! I don’t know if Mike-188 could handle another punishment day. Today went relatively well actually. We started it out at firefighting class with Petty Officer Buckley and did a hose practical. We got in groups of 15 or more and put on full firefighting gear; from boots to coveralls to helmets and went into a simulated fire scene and put out the fire. The hose was heavy and uncomfortable and it was loud and hot! It gave everyone a whole new respect for that field of work. We had a couple males who were previous firefighters and knew what they were doing. But for the most part we were all clueless.

Our teacher said we did okay, that we needed to follow directions, but overall we succeeded. After that we went to class with our Company Commander Chief Blackman for a lesson on the legacy of the Coast Guard. It was interesting to learn why we have the symbols and flags and traditions we do in the Coast Guard. During the second part of the class we had an upsetting interruption. One of our shipmates was medically discharged and she, and we, were devastated. She reminded us before she left to remember why we are here, to work hard, to be thankful for our Company Commanders, and mostly to show everyone who Mike-188 really is. Loud and proud and ten feet tall and bullet proof! It was a sad moment to lose a very important part of our family so unexpectedly, however it gave us all a little boost of motivation.

We ended our day with Petty Officer LaCharite perfecting our manual of arms (since we botched it yesterday) And giving us our own time to practice as a group. We ended the night with cleaning, chewy bars and showers as always. Only 16 more days to go! We are so excited to almost be done here, but we are trying to stay focused on our tasks at hand. We have some very busy days ahead so wish us luck.
Until next time,
Mike-188

25JUL13
Hello Mike-188 fans! Our Thursday had both high and low points. We are week 06, and it seems like we keep disappointing our Company Commanders. Our company is walking on egg shells. We are all so nervous to make a mess of things, that we are starting to freak ourselves out. Chief Blackman told us we need to rediscover our confidence… and I am sure we will.

On a lighter note, we were able to retake our manual of arms test. Our Section Commander, Chief Johnson graded us. We did a whole lot better this time than our last try at it. We ended up with an 8/10. We got docked 01 point because we failed our first test and another because of a safety hazard. However, we passed and that’s all that matters! Since we improved so much in a short time our Company Commander Chief Blackman rewarded us with a few light jokes and a little heart to heart. It may not sound like much, but to us it meant the world. Sometimes we forget our Company Commanders are human and it is their job to mold us into rough, tough, and capable Coast Guardsmen. So far this journey has been very extreme; either we do really bad and feel disappointed and let it take over the entire company in a negative way or we do awesome and think we’re on top of the world and feel like we’ve already won the game.

In reality no one wins the game until we are all out on boats saving lives. Finding the balance and staying in the moment is the hardest part of boot camp. Today we also had our career counseling, and household goods class which was so exciting. The end is near folks, we are now planning our exit and developing a plan for the outside world. The staff at Cape May literally takes care of everything and show you how to do everything step by step, thank goodness! On that happy note we will depart.
-Mike-188

26JUL13
Big new today for Mike Company… We earned our colors this evening! I maybe should have saved that news for last, but it was just too good to keep in (I will delve into more juicy details later on in the entry). Among other main events in our Friday, were helping stand watch during graduation and running the Munro Mile.
Being able to help out in the graduation process felt special. The graduates seemed so proud; and they should be. Seeing the graduates walk around with their families and loved ones made us a little bit home sick… but we will be the ones walking tall with our families in 02 weeks. At 1330 we sprinted a mile on base. Mike was timed, and one of the male mike recruits ran the Munro Mile in 05 minutes and 13 seconds! Master Chief Berry addressed the company, and filled us in on some of the challenges that he will test us in next week.

After evening chow, all three of our Company Commanders took us on a march to the ocean.. Nerves were high… All of mike knew something big was about to go down. Mike marched right into the sand on the beach. The ocean was breath-taking. Chief Blackman let us know though, while the ocean is beautiful, it is powerful, and should be respected. Then we got one heck of an incentive training session in the sand. By the end of it, we were flopping around like floundered fish on the beach, and covered in sand from boondockers to cover. When we finished our work out, we turned around to see a beautiful sight! Our colors waving in the sea breeze! Mike ran to the colors, screaming and shouting (and crying too). We were so pumped. Hopefully we can carry our colors with the pride it deserves. Our company has named our colors Medusa, by the way. Medusa even has its very own rack in the male squad bay! That’s all for now. Tomorrow is on-base liberty. Can hardly wait to fill you in.
-Mike(and Medusa) out.

27JUL13
Mike-188 Had another awesome day. Two good days in a row; must be some sort of record. We started our day as any other with chow and proceeded to the highly anticipated pugil sticks! Finally the day has arrived, it was as fun and exciting as we all thought it would be.

We marched next to the track and lined up by size (short pair with short and tall with tall), and walked to the pit of doom. Not really, it was more like the pit of adrenaline at first the girls were a bit wary about hitting each other and didn’t seem to be interested in winning… but soon they got into it and began to swing. Pugil sticks are large cushioned sticks and the two opponents are decked out in pads, helmets and groin protectors and basically the two smack each other around and earn points for hits. It helps the people in the pit release stress, aggression and fear and gives the people on the outside a reason to cheer and scream. Some of the fights were very close and others were pretty obvious, and some were complete surprises! We ended the pugil sticks on a high note and Chief Blackman reminded us “What happens at pugil sticks stays at pugil sticks”

We also got a tour of the boats docked at cape may and for many of us it was the first time to stand on a cutter or patrol boat. After our tours we had our on-base liberty which was also just as fun and exciting as we thought it would be. It was six whole hours of chatting on our cell phones and stuffing our pie holes with chips, cookies and candy. Shortly after many complained of stomach aches and no doubt we will regret the sugar overload. To be able to call our families and friends and talk about everything and nothing was such a relief. The hardest part of the day was turning off our phones and turning back on boot camp mode. Today was a great day for our company as a team and as individuals and hopefully we can keep the spark lit and have 3 day rally of awesome Mike Company days. We only have 13 days left you know!
Until tomorrow,
Mike-188