Recruit Journal Quebec-188 Week: 04

Recruit Journal Quebec-188 Week: 04
Formed: July 23, 2013
Graduate: September 13, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Quebec

International Maritime Signal Flag Quebec

Sunday Week 03
Today was intense. Last night the company did not meet various time objectives given by our Company Commanders, we paid for it from the time Divine hours ended until taps. We played a lot of “games”, including running around the parade field aligning our boots, heel to toe. That was just the beginning, it was non-stop chaos and sweat for hours and hours. In the end it made us stronger, and the company is starting to realize that working together as a team to get the job done is faster and more efficient than trying to do it as a bunch of individuals. We hope the lesson we got from our Company Commanders burns in our heads and we keep moving forward. Today was last day of Week 03, and have made significant progress. Everyone is looking forward to the challenges of Week 04. We are almost halfway finished.

Monday Week 04
We have made it to Week 04. Today started off with marksmanship. The classroom was like a movie theater, we used demilitarized hand guns with lasers and Bluetooth to shoot at the targets on the screen. It was only a simulation but it was fun and we received instant feedback on our shooting.
A new company moved onto the same deck as us. It is pretty entertaining to watch them freaking out, because it wasn’t that long ago that we were in their shoes.

Tuesday Week 04
Today is the 13th. It is fitting because it has been a very unlucky day for us. It started off with waking up to a fire drill. We had a very inspirational class about Coast Guard men and women who have risked and lost their lives to save others. Next, we set up our Coast Guard email accounts. The day was going well until a head and water break when 03 of us were caught talking in the head. It began to unravel like a ball of yarn. It was possible we may get reverted to another week of training for our actions. We had to explain ourselves to our Section Commander and Company Commanders. They left us think about it while we went to another class. We couldn’t concentrate because all we could think about was our outcome. After class the company failed a time objective of changing from our sneakers to our boondockers. The repercussions were tough, but not like the ones we received for our incident in the head. Our Company Commander had us double time to another recruit squad bay across the regiment. Inside there were a few piles of really thick line. We had to run the line from one end of the room, coil it up then run back to the other side again, as fast as we could, multiple times. It felt like it lasted an eternity. From then until taps, we did nothing but sweat while the rest of the company was given time to clean and maintain their uniforms. It was a very tough night for us, but we paid for our mistake and now we will move forward.

Wednesday Week 04
Here we are at the half way point of basic training. It was a pretty good day for Quebec-188. In class we learned about Coast Guard jobs and housing. Some of the living quarters on some of the Coast Guard cutters look very uncomfortable and small. The instructors in every class keep saying how great it is to be underway, I guess the travel and experience makes up for the lack of space. After class, we had our Physical Fitness Assessment. The weather was clear and cool, perfect for running, except for the wind we ran into around half of the track. It felt like we were running in slow motion. Despite the wind, a majority of the company improved on all aspects of the test compared to the initial test when we arrived in Cape May.

I don’t think anything could have ruined our mood. After the assessment, we ran around the parade field practicing how to greet different rates and ranks of the Coast Guard. We spent the rest of the day cleaning, practicing Manual of Arms, and uniform maintenance. Overall, it was a positive and constructive day.

Thursday Week 04
It was another good day for Quebec-188 today. This is really unusual because normally when we have a good day, a terrible day follows. It was a chilly morning as we were woken up to “Fire, Fire, Fire” and rushed outside to conduct morning muster. We have been meeting our time objectives lately so that may explain why are days are a little nicer. The sweat we poured last Sunday must have sunk the message into us. We have really started working together in the morning to meet our time objectives. After morning chow, we marched to Seamanship. The march takes a while, but the scenery is beautiful right alongside the harbor. We try to steal glances of the boats and people out on the water while we are marching. The Company Commanders have been trying out different shipmates to march the company; it hasn’t been going too well. Not many of us are rhythmically inclined or know how to call the movements. At Seamanship, we had our assessment on knots and the helm simulator. Everyone did really well.

After Seamanship, we filled out our paperwork to pick our first unit or at least the area of our first unit. Everyone is excited to find out what their first unit is going to be.

Another company is graduating tomorrow, so we marched in graduation practice with all the other companies this evening. The gnats were swarming all over our faces and arms. There were so many Company Commanders around, no one dared to scratch or swat at the bugs.

Tomorrow is our Midterm exam, so we were able to stay up a half an hour late to study. Everyone feels confident they will pass. We haven’t lost or gained anyone lately, so it appears everyone is starting to figure out how to be in the Coast Guard.

Friday Week 04
This morning started off a little rocky for Quebec-188. We came in after a fire drill and morning muster, then our our Company Commander noticed someone had their shorts on backwards. After we changed into our uniforms, some others were picked out for having lint, wrinkles and loose threads. We were told we would pay for it later after we marched in the graduation.

November-188 Graduated this morning putting us just a little closer to the end. The day took a turn for the better, when we returned to our squad bays our Lead Company Commander informed us that our Section Commander conducted an inspection of our squad bay while we were gone. Our Lead Company Commander told us we did “just okay” and that we were only going to pay for it a little bit, so outside we went for an incentive training session with our pieces. Our Lead Company Commander is fair and never punishes more than we deserve, but we never get away with anything.

We earned 02 pennants that will fly from our guidon once we earn our colors, one for our score on the midterm and one for our marksmanship score. He let us clap our hands one time as a “pat on the back”. Once we stop making petty mistakes and come together as a team we will earn our colors. We spent the rest of the evening completing our work details and manual of arms. Then we split, half went to choir practice and the other half went to the gym for a bike workout. The day ended with mail call and prayer before we hit the rack.

Saturday Week 04
Quebec-188 had an interesting day today. We were late for a time objective last night, so today we were given half the time to complete our usual tasks. Instead of marching to the chow, we had to walk there unorganized with heads down and our hands in our pockets. It may seem like not a big deal but it hurt our pride as a company.

On the plus side, we had pugil stick fights where we were able to blow off some steam on each other. We were allowed to cheer each other on as we went up to fight, it was fun but we knew that we were going to pay for our mistake from last night.

After the bouts, we put the equipment away; it was go time. We spent all afternoon and evening doing fire drills, lifting heavy lines over our heads, and incentive training. We then packed everything we owned into our sea bags, took them out to the parade field and began passing them from one side of the parade field to the other. We then had to take out one item at a time and run it up to our rack. It was exhausting.

We were told our debt was paid and tomorrow will be a new day to move forward. We were then given evening routine where we were given a block of time to work on our uniforms, clean and take a decent shower. It was a great privilege and we know that it can be taken away faster than it was give to us. Tomorrow is the last day of week 04, we hope it will end on a good note.

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.