Recruit Journal Oscar 188: Week 03

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar

 

Formed: July 9, 2013
Graduate: August 30, 2013

22JUL13
This morning started off with a mile run before morning chow. After chow the company went to participate in the survival float class. The suit we put on was the Mustang. There are a few different variations of the suit, including the life vest. The Mustang was made for waters 60 degrees and lower. It covers your whole body except your hands, feet, and face. The instructors taught us the two positions you can do to stay afloat and keep in your body heat. These suits keep you afloat on their own, if they’re worn properly. They’re basically like big sponge suits with a hood, if you think about it.

The amount of classes we’re taking is increasing. Two other classes we attend were on Sexual Assault and the G.I. Bills. The company should now be able to identify sexual assault and understand what to do to prevent it or stop it in its tracks. As well as reporting it.

The class on the G.I. Bills showed us what the difference between the Montgomery G.I. Bill and Post 9/11 bill is. We then decided individually whether or not to disenroll from the Montgomery G.I. Bill.

As the day progressed one of our company commanders took us out with our pieces, showing us more things to do with manual of arms. With 65 recruits doing the same movements at the same time, it should sound and look pretty awesome.
Tomorrow is booked with classes and workout. So, on to the next day. 37 days remaining.
Stay strong Oscar-188

23JUL13
After this morning’s glorious wake up call, the company marched to a class on family benefits. It was very informative on what we can do for our families and ourselves after graduation. For some it hit home and reminded us why we stepped off that bus in the first place, and why we should still push through the challenges put in front of us.
The most inspirational part of the day was when one of our company commanders, Petty Officer Castle, stood up in front of the class, proudly, to give us a brief description on the Coast Guard’s history. And just when we thought we were going to get another mundane class, Petty Officer Castle’s “scary exterior” melted away and spoke to us about how the Coast Guard has had a history or men and women that gave their lives to save others, even if it meant their own. Joshua James was one of these people who inspired many to follow in his footsteps, to give everything to do whats right and fight on to the very last breath. Petty Officer Castle’s voice changed and we saw a stern man stand proudly and say that Joshua James was a true hero. Our attention and focus was on him, trying not to make eye contact of course. But even though the class was brief, he made us feel so inspired on how one man or woman faced with greater challenges than our own, would go beyond the line of duty to save and protect t others. Our challenges here in bootcamp are hard, yes. But when you see what these great people did so we could even be here today, it really makes you want to push even harder to make ourselves worthy of such a great honor to be in a service that has done so much for the people without expecting anything other than “Did they all make it?” – Douglas Munro.

With that in our minds, Oscar-188 marched perfectly for the first time. Hopefully tomorrow will be just as inspirational and we keep improving. We are 65 strong with 36 days remaining.

24JUL13
OSCAR-188 reporting as ordered! Today’s events were what we are starting to feel as normal, but one thing that jumped at us today was our section commander that took the mission to really make us run, scream and even cry. We took apart all three squad bays, put our belongings in seabags and even our laundry, crossing it through all three flights of stairs all the way to the other side of the regiment. In all this chaos we found ourselves working harder as a team not as individuals or civilians trying to get through the day. It has taken us a few days and a few interventions by our leaders, but we are now actually starting to work together and looking out for others rather than our selfish needs. The lesson was hard, but it made us grow and learn one lesson we won’t be forgetting and hopefully take with us after we graduate.
35 days remaining.

25JUL13
Teamwork. No shortcuts. Do everything right the first time. The thought of the day was that the company was maturing and growing stronger as a unit. Our lead company commander, Senior Chief Ashley informed us today that we will be marching ourselves around, which is not normal for week03 companies. Slowly we are seeing the changes in ourselves and in the things we do.

The exciting class today was seamanship, where we got our first look at what we will be working with for a long time to come. Seeing and understanding the boats made us want to start immediately with hands on training.

Classes like seamanship and the history of the Coast Guard take our minds off the hectic, stressful and chaotic things going on elsewhere. Like the females splitting the squadbay with two other companies. Or the males having to separate between two squadbays. It’s not easy, but it is definitely possible. Tha’ll be fully proven when Oscar-199 walks across that parade field.
65 strong, 34 days remaining.

26JUL13
On today’s performance spectrum, we were less than satisfying, unfortunately, Kilo-188 graduated today. Now what happens with graduation is all the junior companies form up on the parade field with the senior company. After all the introductions and guest speakers, the junior companies participate in a time-old tradition call the Pass and Review. Sadly, our marching was pretty bad. No good deed goes unpunished. One of our company commanders, Petty Officer Cain, made sure we knew that we messed up. It was like have 65 people march while connected to a remote, repeatedly pressing “Pause” and “Play.” Right…left…right…wait for it…left, all the way to chow. Words of advice: listen to the cadence, align to the right and pay attention.
This mistake earned us some evening incentive training too.

Other than attending seamanship classes, switching squad bays (again), and pushing the Earth, that is pretty much it for today.
65 strong and 33 days remaining.

27JUL13
Oscar-188 reporting as ordered. Today’s exciting events has been seamanship class. We learned knots and how to direct a ships course using the helm. Many of us were super excited about all the different knots we could do even though our instructor wasn’t allowed to teach us some of the cooler ones. But none the less we enjoyed our seamanship class. In the afternoon, Petty Officer Cain taught us all the parts or our pieces and made us practice our marching while doing manual of arms. We really need to practice more, but we are coming along. Slowly but surely Oscar company is figuring things out and listening more to our company commanders. Not an easy task, but we remind ourselves everyday of the reasons we chose to be here in the first place and that our leaders are just trying to make us the best that we can be.
32 days remaining.

28JUL13
The topic for today was teamwork. During divine hours we took the opportunity to get our things together and bond with our shipmates. Whether it was through the Chapel services or shining our boondockers. It really gave us opportunity to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly which helped us get through the team exercises. Also teaching us that every second counts.

The first team exercise was with our pieces. Our lead company commander, Senior Chief Ashley, took us out and had us demonstrate manual of arms to the best of our abilities. Still needing some fine tuning, he split us up and had each group practice the different set of arms. It seemed to give each individual shipmate even a little mre confidence with their piece.

Line handling is a big part of seamanship. It could take up to 5 hours to heaving in live if the conditions are right. So, you can guess what we did in the evening. Just imagine 300 feet of line made up of 3 different lines, one bigger and heavier than the other.

The task was definitely motivational. Showing us who would step up and take what job, who was strong in what areas versus others. Since this was our first time, communication was the main point.

Teamwork is a must in the Coast Guard. There is no time to worry about petty problems when someone’s life needs saving. This is why the Coast Guard is picky about who they accept. This is why boot camp is rather difficult, but efficient. In 31 days, Oscar-188 will be graduating, basically trained for the Coast Guard.