Recruit Journal Oscar 188 Week: 06

Recruit Journal Oscar 188 Week: 06
Formed: July 9, 2013
Graduate: August 30, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar

To be completely honest, today did not go smoothly for Oscar. Basically, we woke up, ate morning chow, and then marched into our own mishap. Once again, many of us lost our military bearing. In this case, it was dozing off in class and talking. The rest of the day was spent in a shameful state. Pretty much had to march like upset kindergarteners with our heads down and our hands in our pockets.
Then after evening chow came the “fun” part. It was a long night of one session of training after another, both remedial and incentive. Hopefully tonight gave us incentive not to suck. Although tonight was tough, we received a clean slate for tomorrow. In turn, our company commander informed us that it’s not uncommon for recruits to become complacent at the beginning of week 06, after such a good weekend. Yet again, Oscar is coming off a hard day, but we’re choosing to look through the positive porthole (window) and step off with a “good attitude, ready to perform.” Words of wisdom from our company mentor.
Oscar-188 ready to perform. 16 days remaining.

Oscar company stepped off ready to perform today, especially in comparison to yesterday. We learned about firefighting equipment today at seamanship. We used extinguishers to put out a “live” (very controlled) fire. Many of us had never had to use an extinguisher before so although it is a simple task, it is good to run through the motions. In preparation for our fire practicals, we then got suited up in almost all our firefighting gear. In doing this, many of us had a second look at the reality of really putting our trust in our shipmates. We helped each other attach the self contained breathing apparatus to our masks. Although we were never in any threat of not having air, we put our airflow in the hands of a shipmate. Many of us didn’t even hesitate, at the time it didn’t cross our minds, but if you think of it, it was a big leap of faith.

Right after chow, we had our manual of arms test with the Section Commander. Oscar company showed up sounding off! The test started with us going through naming the parts of the piece. It was really important for us to sound off, and we did! The rest of the test went well too. It wasn’t perfect by any means but the Section Commander had good things to say. He said we were hyped up and motivated to do well. As a result, we had rushed the counts a bit, but he was glad to see us motivated. He said he could hear it echoing across the regiment! Overall we received an 8 out of 10 for a score.

From there the day slowed down a bit in terms of big events. We did a few workouts, one bike and one strength training session. We also continued with travel arrangements. Almost all of Oscar now has an official report date to their new units! Crazy to think it is only a few weeks away! That’s all for today but the days keep coming, so more to come tomorrow. Oscar company signing out. 15 days remaining!

Oscar split up for today. Everything was rather busy to say the least. Half of the company went to take care of some administration work. Basically, the half that went to administration, got to talk to our instructor about A school and other random subjects anyone had questions about. Along with that, was military identification cards. Remember, we did not have time to prepare for these photos. They’re not like those fancy yearbook pictures.

The other half of Oscar went and participated in the firefighting practical. Both of us historians have yet to take part in that firey experience. So more details to come.On another note, Oscar 188 is having a rodent problem. A lot of our shipmates will be walking around looking like chipmunks due to getting their wisdom teeth taken out. The healing process gives you puffy cheeks. The rest of today was pretty routine. Runs, uniforms, chewy bars, squad bay maintenance, personal time, and then taps (lights out). That’s all for now. Oscar-188, lights out.

Fire! Fire! Fire! That’s what started today’s firefighting practical. We got all geared up and dressed out. Wearing suits that looked similar to the Michelin Man on some people. The whole class was based on working as a team. “Do not take your eyes off the fire and DO NOT leave any of your shipmates behind!” Overall a good learning experience.

“Oscar packed everything you own into your seabag and form it up ocean side!” Clueless, that’s what we did. We were pretty certain that we were about to get jacked up in some creative way. So, we formed it up and marched on with no idea as to where we were headed. Down past the track, winding through dirt roads and such, Oscar came to a crossroad to which we followed to the left. “Do the same team building exercise you did before and make a pyramid with your seabags and hurry up!” Then we did as instructed and ran down to the beach, formed it up facing the ocean.
“Start pushing!” Faces and hands down into the sand we pushed, crunched, squatted, and flutter kicked. “Oscar, what do you see?” Oscar responded with visions of their ambitions… as well as “I see a pod of dolphins!”
“About face (turn around). Now Oscar, what do you see?”
“Our colors!”
“Well, go get ‘em!”
Posted in the sand in front of us were our colors. The whole company was in a dead run straight for them. “Who are we?!” “Oscar-188!”
Proudly, we marched to chow, sounding off cadences, which we’ve all been eager to do. As we approached the galley, some other company commanders noticed we just earned our colors. As we stood waiting to go in, one approached our guidon (shipmate who carries colors) and tried to take them. Key word there, “tried”! He was not successful.
We’re all proud to have earned our colors. We’ve worked hard and pushed through tough times. But we did it together, and that’s the biggest part. It’s nice to see that our hard work, blood, sweat, and tears aren’t just being absorbed into the soils of Cape May for nothing. Our mentor was even there to support us during this milestone. As far as the regiment knows, NOW…We are Oscar-188!

For many of us, nerves were running fast this morning. Oscar company was in charge of November 188’s graduation support. This meant standing watches to assist families with directions before the ceremony. It also meant lots of company commanders and permanent party members keeping a close eye to see if you jack something up. We definitely did not want to greet incorrectly or lose our military bearing. Although we may have been a bit nervous due to all that, it went well.

However, this means Oscar company really has to stay focused and keep their game faces on. As of about noon today, after November’s graduation, Oscar became the most senior company on the regiment. This is a big deal for us because the companies in earlier weeks of training are all looking up to us as an example. Many of us remember what that felt like. Whether it was a female recruit in the galley wondering how that recruit’s hair was so perfect with no fly aways or how those recruits got their sleeve rolls just right, Oscar 188 remembers. Now, for the next two weeks, it is our turn to be the recruits that the other recruits are looking up to.
As those recruits will be looking up to Oscar company, tonight we were looking up to our mentor. It was dark and quiet on the regiment as we stood on the parade field waiting for our mentor to do a fly by in his HH-65 Dolphin (or the orange Coast Guard helicopter). Although it only lasted a couple minutes it was enough motivation to remind us why we came here. Afterwards, we marched back to a Chuck Norris cadence, and let’s be real here, who does Chuck Norris not motivate? Remember, Chuck Norris does not hide from the boogie man, the boogie man hides from Chuck Norris. Oscar 188, boogie man free! 13 days remaining!

On base liberty was on all of Oscar’s minds today. But of course there was much to do. Things like briefing on cell phones and how on-base liberty works. We had to pull out our phones to charge them for liberty. Talk about torture! The rest was uniform maintenance and squad bay maintenance. Basically getting squared away for the evening.

To separate the day, the company went on an operations tour. We split up and took tours of the vessels types that we will be stationed on. For some it was a culture shock, just seeing how things work, the close quarters and the lifestyle in general. For others, it fed the fire and rose the excitement for reporting.

Liberty was a deep breath for Oscar. It was really nice to hear from loved ones. Everyone was on their phone. Most of us didn’t even notice there was an open arcade for us to use at the restaurant we could go to. Yeah, some people cried, but it was nice to see our shipmates enjoying their time on liberty. Even though the emotions ran through their hearts, it was a good release. The support from our families is very important and helps us get through. So keep it coming these next two weeks. Oscar-188 hangin’ up. 12 days remaining!

Another Sunday down! We had divine hours this morning and got a lot of uniform maintenance done. It was a productive morning. The movie “Finding Nemo” was on many of our minds in the afternoon as we did our water circuit. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

All day, many of us were disappointed, thinking we were not going to be able to do the off base run. The threat of rain loomed over us all day. Then after chow we realized we were still doing it. As the senior company on the regiment we led the run. We also got to carry the U.S. Coast Guard flag as well as our Oscar colors. We were all excited for the run because we are the senior company. We also enjoy singing all the cadences as we run, especially if one of the company commanders makes a mistake. It was definitely a good way to end the day. Long day ahead of us tomorrow though.
(Insert witty closing here) 11 days remaining!

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.