Recruit Company Oscar 188 Week: 05

Recruit Company Oscar 188 Week: 05
Formed: July 9, 2013
Graduate: August 30, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar

Today was a crazy struggle for Oscar-188. We basically tripped during a full run and couldn’t get back up. But to no one’s fault but our own.
Our Section Commander spent the morning with us as well as the company commander school. Pretty much just using our company to practice things like our track/quad runs and marching. Not to leave out the part that it was constantly nerve racking having our Section Commander there. It might be why we stumbled and lost our military bearing in seamanship, a familiar class and we were warned that first day that it might/will happen. It happened. Our Company Commanders weren’t going to put up with that. We definitely paid our dues for that mishap.

One thing that took place today that was a big deal was our uniform inspection. We’ve all been working on our “inspection ready” operational dress uniforms for about 03 weeks now. We put those on and marched in front of Healy Hall. The Battalion Commander did individual inspections. Lint, sleeve rolls, loose threads, and boondockers not shined enough were the main problems.

The last crazy event for today, we gained 10 new shipmates from November company. It is said that nothing like this has ever taken place on the regiment. It’s going to be tough to show them how Oscar-188 works, but not impossible.

Week 05 is going to be difficult, so send your good luck, prayers, good energy our way. It will surely help us rise to the top. Oscar-188 surviving yet another day, with 23 days remaining.

Our squad leaders took a big step in leadership today. The squad leaders, in our case, 05 recruits are given the responsibility of keeping the rest of our shipmates locked in and squared away while our company commanders send us off on our own. Our squad leaders paid for our stumble yesterday. But today they didn’t let us trip over our own feet. At seamanship today they set some new guidelines to assure that we maintain our military bearing. As a result we had a really good class.

Another proud moment for Oscar-188 was receiving our dress uniforms., even though it means more stuff to keep squared away in our racks. While we were getting fitted for our bravo jackets, there was a moment where it hit most of us that we are making progress here. While week 02 recruits were struggling with their required knowledge, we would be asked the same question and answer within seconds. It feels good to know that we were once at that point, but are now much more confident.

Although we have a new found confidence, we’ve been given more goals to strive to achieve. Today we were given a taste of our week 08 physical fitness test with the Battalion Commander. No matter what level our shipmates were at physically, we all created new standards to exceed. Passing the physical fitness as a company is one of the puzzle pieces to earning the battalion pennant. More details to come. Oscar-188 out… 22 days remaining.

Oh what a day…this morning was the calm before the storm. We had a good boatcrew duties class followed by our seamanship midterm. We all passed our midterm and were feeling confident. However, a storm had been brewing on the female side as adjustments and communication were trying to emerge. Despite our efforts, the storm hit.

As a result, the females had a “fun” night with the Section Commander. Due to squad bay bickering and too many coxswains and not enough boat crewmen, we learned the hard way how to work better as a team. We were also able to talk through a lot of our issues. All the females hit the rack feeling physically sore but mentally fresh and ready to move forward.

The day ended on a good note for all of O-188 with a visit from the Chaplain. He has come the last 04 Wednesdays to share current news, sports, music, movies and a few “worst jokes of the week.” O-188 Lights Out! 21 days remaining.

This morning started off with some company workouts. First was the bike workout and then a core workout. The last workout was a company run. Three miles around part of the regiment and around some of the back roads… serious back roads, where you can’t fallout without feeling like you’re in a well lit horror movie with potholes scattered throughout the dirt roads. Everytime a pot hole would come up, one of the marching suad leaders would sound off “POTHOLE!” Just to make sure no one twists or breaks anything. These company runs are preparing us for the off base run this Sunday.

Other than our company run, today had a few exciting events. Red Cross came to the training center today, if you were fit for it, you could donate blood. Hopefully everyone showed up.

The most exciting part of the day was schedule for sometime around 1430. Of course everyone was anxious and excited, so it didn’t happen at 1430. Oscar-188’s orders came in today! Every company has a different way of telling each recruit where they are stationed.

We were brought to a classroom where we were shown a video of a motor life boat overturning. From what was said afterwards, it was to show us how it gets 100% real, real quick. Everthing they’re teaching us here directly applies to the work-life in the fleet.

Back to the orders. Each name was put up on a screen with a picture of whatever cutter, small boat station, sector, motor life boat, etc, that they’re going to.
Our company had a unique opportunity. The US Coast Guard Eagle needed to fill some billets. That is a HUGE deal. The Eagle is the Coast Guard’s only sailing vessel. It’s where they train the cadets. Three of our shipmates got the Eagle as their first unit. Good luck to our fellow shipmates, it is a chance of a lifetime.

Tomorrow will be different for all of us in Oscar-188. We have our first unit and a proof that there is an end to boot camp. Stay locked on and positive Oscar, we can do this and graduate 60+ strong! 20 days remaining.

As many of you now know, we have started planning travel to our first unit. We had class about travel entitlements. We learned about the basics of reimbursement and the different methods of travel. This is the beginning of a very exciting but also nerve-racking time for us. We are eager to begin our careers at our new station but many of us are nervous and anxious about the unknowns.

Today was also a good day because many of us were able to call loved ones to inform them of their new unit and discuss travel. Although we all probably wished it could have lasted longer. It was encouraging to hear the real world on the other end of the phone.
Having said that, Oscar-188 signing out. We are all eager to wake up tomorrow to have our egos lifted and dropped on the confidence course! Know that Oscdar-188 is keeping family and friends in our thoughts!
19 days!

Confidence is an important thing to have in boot camp. Even just the smallest amount. If you constantly doubt yourself, or your abilities, chances are you won’t make it through. As everyone keeps repeating, “boot camp is all mental.” This is where the confidence course comes into play. Obviously, they use it to build confidence, but it’s a unique sort of belief in yourself. Having to jump from two logs up in the air and catch onto another in a bear hug type form isn’t easy. Once you do it, it builds that trust in your own abilities- which is the purpose of the course.

The whole experience had an overall good atmosphere, just like the pugil sticks, Oscar-188 was encouraging and cheering on their fellow shipmates. Some struggled and some did really well. You could see the look of accomplishment and success on everyone’s face after they did the last obstacle. The last one was all trust in yourself and not letting your mind run away with panic. You had to pull yourself up on a bar and ease yourself over the bar, up-side-down, ending in a pull-up position. Everyone was happy when they finished and you could see it plain as day. The confidence course worked its magic on Oscar. Regardless of the gnarly bruises most of us now have.

For even more of a mental boost, our company mentor came to speak to us and answer questions today. He also brought a few people who have experience in different areas in the Coast Guard. They did their best to answer all of our questions. They also had some great stories and advice to share. Who better to get advice from than someone who is currently successful in the rate you desire. It just makes too much sense.

We are now preparing for our manual of arms test on Tuesday. This will be in front of our section commander, a man who is very good at his job. This meaning we need to be loud and “crisp”. Especially since Oscar is the biggest company this base has had in about a year and half. 74 currently attached. Hopefully we can all have our minds in sync and knock it out of the park or stadium for that matter.

Sunday’s the last day of week 05, moving on to week 06! We will be held to higher standards, so wish us luck! 18 days remaining!

Motivation was the word of the day, especially after this evening. Oscar-188 went on our first off base company run. We were one of three companies on the regiment to participate in the run. We ran a loop around town and along the water. The civilians in town lined the streets to cheer us on as we ran by.

As we ran, the company commanders called cadences and we repeated back to them (trying to be louder than the other companies of course!). Oscar-188 was feeling loud and proud today. We all had a moment of realization, seeing all those people we don’t know supporting us reminded us what we were fighting for. The kids on bikes following us down the road or trying to keep up running despite the short legs reminded us of why we want to serve.

It is also safe to say we all enjoyed the cadences. Some of them were rather funny! They helped keep us motivated. Through this we also saw yet another side of our company commanders. Although some were funny, the best moments were when we held the Oscar flag high and sang the Oscar cadence. We are all eager to get our Oscar colors to carry proudly all the time.

Over all the run was motivational and rewarding in many ways. We all enjoyed it and it gave us a push for us to stay locked on as team and earn our colors as soon as we can. We are ending the day feeling clear minded, focused and ready to keep it locked on for the coming weeks. Every little thing counts big now and the smallest slip up and can lead to an extra week of training. But it is that attention to detail that saves lives. Oscar-188 is starting to understand that more and more now. It was truly a good day!Oscar-188, over! (That means we are waiting for a reply, so send us some mail before it’s too late!)

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.