Recruit Journal Uniform 188: Week 03

Recruit Journal Uniform 188 Week: 03
Formed: August 27, 2013
Graduate: October 18, 2013

Week three has been a busy one for Uniform-188. Seven Days may not be a lot of time for transformation in the “real” world, but here at TRACEN Cape May, a major development is expected of you every single day.

Each morning, we begin our day with a wake-up call of “FIRE! FIRE! FIRE” and a whistle being blown and the bright white light coming on instantly. Fire! Fire! Fire! means that we’re going outside to do an incentive training session, which consists of pushups, squats, sit ups and flutter kicks. It’s a really stressful way to be awakened, especially when you’re in a deep sleep or dreaming. For a tiny split second, you forget where you are. Then, when you come to your senses, the first thing that goes through your head is “Why am I doing this to myself?” But we always remember why. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t make it through even one day. We’re here to become a part of something bigger than ourselves- the United States Coast Guard.

This week, 08 people went to RAMP after having an inspection. RAMP stands for Recruit Attitude Motivational Program. They send you for things like having to be constantly reprimanded for the same things, having an unsatisfactory rack or uniform, not knowing required knowledge, or just having a bad attitude. They can pretty much send you for whatever they want if they think you should go. At RAMP, you are pushed to the limit both physically and mentally. Then, after three long days, you either pass and rejoin your company, or fail and go back a week in training. It’s definitely something to avoid at all costs, and our shipmates who went undoubtedly served as an example for us all.

On Tuesday, the new recruits, sister companies Victor and Whiskey-188, came in. It was such an eye opener to see how crazy and out of sync they looked, and we would be quickly humbled by the reminder that that was us three short weeks ago. Even though we still have a million miles to go, even the longest journey begins with a single step.

Unfortunately, most of Uniform-188 spent the week sick with the “Cape May Crud.” Our symptoms are a stuffed and runny nose, congestion, a bad cough, and a sore throat. The cold is extremely inconvenient for us since everything that comes out of our mouths is supposed to be yelled at the top of our lungs. Luckily, the majority went to sick call and got medicine and we seem to be getting better.

We’ve been spending a lot of time in class this week, which we enjoy. It’s nice to be sitting and not have someone screaming in your face for a few hours. We started our seamanship classes which most of us really like. Our instructor, Petty Officer Zamiello, is very nice and it’s good to learn about things we’ll actually use in the fleet. The highlights of this week’s classes were knot tying and the simulator where we got to practice going different degree turns in the boat.

A lot of time has been spent doing incentive training instead of learning new things with our company commanders because we’re constantly getting in trouble, mostly for talking. But when we do, do things right, we learn new material and sometimes have time to clean our squad bays. Eventually, we might get study time which would be nice since we have a lot of required knowledge. The intellectual difficulty of boot camp is catching a lot of us off guard.

All in all, Uniform-188 is getting a little closer to fleet-ready every day. Being here isn’t easy, but we’re just taking it day by day and trying to remember that this too shall pass… eventually. Please keep us in your thoughts and write to us as much as you can. It’s really helpful to hear from loved ones at the end of a very long day. We don’t get much personal time besides divine hours, but we write when we can.

For now, it’s time to put week 03 behind us and move on to the mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned in week 04. There’s no such thing as an easy day here at Training Center Cape May, but hey, nobody ever drowned in sweat…. We hope.

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.