Recruit Journal Papa-188 Week: 05

Recruit Journal Papa-188 Week: 05
Formed: July 16, 2013
Graduate: September 6, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Papa

International Maritime Signal Flag Papa

“Attack of the Birds”
Hey everyone! Look! We’re in week five now! How’s that for progress? However, with great power comes great responsibility. Well, something to that effect. Point being is we have more responsibility placed on us and the expectations are higher now.
There was a change in routine this morning. Instead of our fire drill, we lined up on main muster. Then we were given five minutes to dress, shave, do our hair and brush our teeth before forming up for chow. This is all to practice for Search and Rescue. Most of us did manage to make it though!
Our first activity, if you want to call it that, was a circuit run. Petty Officer Phillips marched us over to the track and explained how it worked. We would sprint down one side to the first corner where we would do five push-ups and five sit-ups. Then we would jog down the other side and curve over to some bars and do five pull-ups or a dead hang. After the pull-ups we had to do five burpees before sprinting off again. We had to do the circuit eight times.
But wait, there’s more! When we had finished our circuits we did some cool down stretches then headed inside. We went straight to the Cybex gym and hopped on the bikes for a 450 calorie work out in an hour.
Our first class of the day was Flags and Pennants. Taught by Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Dineen, we learned about the Bravo, Oscar and Papa flags along with the prep pennant, SOPA pennant and third substitute pennant. Not too hard to remember.
We were next marched out to seamanship. This class was about radio communications. We learned the different radio channels used, the prowords and the security messages. There were a few videos as well as several stories that Petty Officer Douthit had up his sleeve.
Chief Hollenbeck collected us and we marched off to chow. Then there was work detail duties for some and for the others it was manual of arms practice. When someone didn’t ‘fess up to laughing, the whole company got ITed for it, but we’re a team.
Afterwards we headed back over to the gym for a work out on the weight machines. On our march back there was a flock of seagulls swooping and diving over our heads. We all agreed to save Chief Hollenbeck if he was attacked.
Back at the house we had some time for more manual of arms practice as well as squad-bay maintenance and getting our things squared away. Mail call is always a treat, especially when we get some funny letters. We also gained two new shipmates today, a male and a female. Our company just keeps growing. Overall though, it wasn’t too bad of a start for week five. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

PAPA-188 Tuesday Week 05- “Moving Up In the World”
Our SAR drill this morning got a little discombobulated, but we managed to get to chow in one piece! Afterwards there was a short practice with our pieces then the big moment. We headed off to the Uniform Distribution Center for our dress uniforms! This just means we are on the way up out of the hole we’re in, at least partially anyway.
There were several things issued at once, which is why we had to bring our seabags. We received dress shoes, our covers, three long sleeve light blue shirts and three short sleeve, a white dress shirt, trench coat, wind breaker jacket, dress pants and a dress jacket (called a bravo jacket). There was also the little things like the neckties, pins and belts. We had to change out into the dress shoes, pants and a long sleeve shirt before going to the tailors to get measured and fitted. It took us a while, but all of us got there. We packed everything up then marched back to the house.
We were given the opportunity to put away as much of our stuff as possible before we stepped off for chow. It was an unfortunate occasion, because we lost one of our shipmates. We wish him well in his new company and hope for the best for him.
Seamanship was our next stop. The class for today was signaling devices. Before the actual class, we had a short practical with radio calling. We were separated into groups of four and given a skit. Two people were the Coast Guard Station while the other two were a Coast Guard response boat. It was to give us a feel of what might happen, radio communication wise, in a SAR case.
On our way back, several of us had the chance to march the company. There were a few mishaps, and we got ITed for it, but we did an okay job. Two of our shipmates were sent to RAMP this week, so we are pulling for them to make it through and rejoin us.
After dinner chow we had a rucksack inspection then had some time to clean. Soon after, we were heading back over to the gym for a bike workout of 400 calories in 40 minutes. It was quick and intense, and it helped us burn off some extra energy/tension.
Back at the house, we had a little bit of personal time, as well as mail call and then cleaned our squad bays some more. We learned that we had passed our inspection though! That’s a weight lifted off of our shoulders, until something else takes its place. Only time will tell, and tomorrow is a new day.
PAPA-188 Wednesday Week 05- “A Race For Your Life”
We practiced manual of arms for a little bit, then were instructed to grab our notebooks. We had a drawing session! These drawings were to determine who would be on the artist team to make the company ditty bag, company commander ditty bags, t-shirts and the like. We had golf balls and footballs, and even girly stances in our drawings. It was a hodge podge of things that we had some small laughs over.
Next, we headed off to class on boat crewmen, specifically small boats, and went over what the qualifications would be. Then we headed off to the gym for a bike work out. It was about 30-40 minutes long where we worked our way up to the higher levels. It helped us work out some frustration, because who doesn’t have any of that?
Chow was after the workout, because we had all worked up an appetite! Right after chow though, we were allowed to march ourselves out to Goff Hall. This is the armory, and it’s much farther than the Seamanship building is. There, we took our midterm for seamanship before getting into Personal Flotation Devices. The class was taught by Petty Officer Zamiello and Petty Officer Ventura. They went over why the type I is used and what sorts of signaling devices it comes with. Then, we went into the wet room.
In there it was set up along the bulkheads to look like parts of a ship, as well as a fire fighting station. We lined up and passed out the PFD’s, then had races in putting them on. It got down to two shipmates, Weeks and Carr, who went head to head. They had to run for their life jackets while the lights were turned off and the rest of us made noise and tossed our PFD’s in the air. We were trying to create chaos. Shipmate Weeks ended up winning that race!
We were able to march ourselves back after cleaning up, then did manual of arms drills with Chief Duncan. There was some IT thrown in, we can’t get away from it, and another trip to the gym. This time we worked out on the weight machines as well as worked on our pull ups or dead arm hang.
Back at the house we had our last visit with Chaplain Rochester, who gave us a list of movies that we haven’t heard of. That just shows how long we’ve been here! We also had squad bay maintenance and mail call. Tomorrow is going to be a big day for us. We’re supposed to be getting our orders in for our first units! Everyone has been talking about it. PAPA is almost there!
PAPA-188 Thursday Week 05- “Oh The Places We Will Go”
Guess what happened today~? Some pretty big stuff that’s what! But we started the day off with a awake up call from Petty Officer Phillips. We had chow, work detail went off to shine the flag poles, and then we all headed off to the gym. There we did a work out on the Cybex machines before heading out to the track to run 8 laps (about 2 miles).
Afterwards we had a class with Petty Officer Douthit on Risk Management. Risk is an occupational hazard in the Coast Guard, so we need to know how to manage it somehow. We had a little bit of time for manual of arms practice before our second class about personal finance.
Then it was chow time! We munched our way through the food before marching back to the house for some more manual of arms practice. While doing that, Chief Hollenbeck came in and stopped us. Then he read our orders off to us! Woo hoo for orders~! Everyone pretty much got what they wanted, and our shipmates that applied for the Honor Guard got that! We’re happy for them!
Right after we received our orders, we had a class with Mrs. Evelyn about reporting to our first unit. During this class we were able to look up our cutters or stations and learn more about them. Lots of research was happening.
We also had a blood drive to go to. For everyone that went and tried to give blood, we got points towards earning the pennant that will go with our colors. We also helped with putting the flags up for NOVEMBER’s graduation tomorrow, and even practiced the march through.
There was some more manual of arms drilling with Chief Duncan. We’re still a bit out of sync, and an announcement that we have evening routine now. This basically means there are set times to do things, like uniform maintenance, squad bay cleaning, etc. We just have to make sure it gets done so we can have mail call and personal time, Let’s hang on to these privileges PAPA and earn our colors quick!
PAPA-188 Friday Week 05- “Self Reversion”
Our SAR wake up went better than they have been going, which is saying something. It’s this whole locked on thing, we need to keep it up. Once we had gone through our morning routine, we came back to the house and did a rack remedial.
When we knew how to make our racks, and helped our shipmates out, we had some time to practice manual of arms. We practiced in the squad bay as a whole, then broke up into little groups, then went outside. There, Petty Officer Garver marched us back and forth going through the 18 count manual of arms. He also taught us a new maneuver that will make PAPA stand out from the rest. It’s called ‘stagger, left face’ and it’s where we bring the piece from port arms to the deck, striking it. Then on the second count we look back up as we come to a position of attention. It’s a really awesome move that we have to get down!
After our manual of arms we got ready for NOVEMBER’s graduation. We ended up being the senior company in this parade, however we messed up pretty badly. We started marking time several yards short of our mark, so we kind of stutter-marched the rest of the way. We paid for it like woah. There was yelling, face/back IT, piece IT, guide-on destroying, heads hung in shame, ditties turned back on and a whole lot of remedials. Those included facing movements while yelling ‘name, rank, social security number, date of birth,’ the eyes in the boat, tying and untying our boondockers, fire drills, sniper position…it just keeps going.
Amidst all of that, we did have a class on travel arrangements. And some of us did go to choir. We all worked through it and went through our evening routine. This time it really helped us to wind down a bit, especially with everyone’s blaming everyone else. But we all let it go, had our mail call and we should be ready for tomorrow. It’s a clean slate, lets not revert back to week 02 anymore PAPA!
PAPA-188 Saturday Week 05- “A Moonwalk for Home”
Today has been really productive! We got up and had our SAR drill, then practiced some marching after chow. Some of us were quizzed on our required knowledge at chow as well.
After our marching, we spent a couple hours practicing our manual of arms. We seem to be pulling it together but we still tend to speed things up a bit. We were probably excited for the Confidence Course!
We marched over there with our Company Commanders where this giant course loomed before us. We lined up on either side of it in order to watch Chief Hollenbeck, Chief Duncan, and Petty Officer Garver run through it and show us how it was done. Then we made three lines in front of the course. Once the command was given, we began.
Everyone made it to the rope climb, even with bumps along the way. Shipmates helped shipmates over walls and cheered each other on. Even one of our mentors, Senior Chief Sisk, went through the course with us! During the rope climb there was an impromptu playing of the National Anthem so we had to pause. It turned out to be the Sea Cadets graduating. A lot of our shipmates made it topside to ring the bell though!
When we had finished with the course, we marched ourselves back to the house before lunch chow. Our mentors had lunch with us, then we had a period of two hours with them. Senior Chiefs Sisk, Walker and Boucher were the ones able to make it today. Lieutenants Thomas and French couldn’t make it due to other obligations but they said they’d be at our graduation.
Sadly our mentors had to leave, so we headed back to the house, changed and headed to the gym for a quick bike workout with Petty Officer Phillips. It definitely worked up our appetites. Good thing evening chow was next! We marched ourselves back to the house, then practiced close order drills with Petty Officer Garver. That test is coming up soon! He even went over right column, which is a completely different maneuver than column right. At least we know what it is now! We also learned we have a moonwalker in our company.
When we came back in we had a small session going over our training records, then we practiced manual of arms some more. After we had tired out MOA (Manual of Arms Assesment), we did a squad bay clean up before going into evening routine, starting with muster. During this time we got to make our phone calls home. We had five minutes to let our loved ones know where we were stations and find out their travel plans and such. It was good for all of us to hear from our loved ones. It gave us a boost that many of us needed. If we stay strong and locked on, next Saturday will be here before we know it!
PAPA-188 Sunday Week 05- “Not Stopping”
We had an extra thirty minutes this morning for sleep, not that we did…Really, how long have we been getting up at 0530 now? Anyway, we went through our SAR routine before stepping off for chow. There was a slight overcast and drizzle happening, so there was the possibility of it cancelling our run. Luckily it didn’t.
The day started with us cleaning up our squad bays before divine hours started. When they started we had some shipmates head off to the services, others stood watch in Sexton Hall, and the rest worked on their uniforms, wrote letters, studied or all of the above. Lunch was in the middle of divine hours so we marched down and quickly back to finish up those precious hours.
After divine hours we grabbed our pieces and practiced manual of arms in small groups. We did this for about an hour, maybe a little longer. Next we changed and went to the gym. Senior Chief Ashley came with us and was explaining the physical fitness test we would have to do in week 08. Once he explained it, we did the sit ups, push ups and pull ups/dead hang to see where we were. Then we had our rounds on the machines.
When we got back to the house, we changed out for chow then came back and did some more manual of arms. The practice filled our time until we had our run. It was awesome, as usual, and we went off base again! OSCAR led the way, PAPA was in the middle (though we kept catching up) and QUEBEC joined us this time. They went the short way though. All of us kept singing the cadences, and we even got to try out new ones. We still need to work on it.
After our run we had a short session with Chief Hollenbeck on how to properly wear our dress uniforms. We tried them on, then had our belts cut and got them burned by Chief Duncan. Watch out for the blow torch! The rest of the time was evening routine, which went by smoothly. Week 06 here we come!
Recruit Journal written by Seaman Recruit Waitman, C.L.
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.