Whiskey 188 Recruit Journal: Weeks 03 & 04

Formed: Sept. 10, 2013
Graduates: Nov. 1, 2013

23SEP13

For the first time today, our company ran in formation. We all enjoyed it and look forward to running off base in formation someday. We also had our rescue float class where we had the opportunity to put on a full rescue suit, like the rescue swimmers wear, and get in the water to practice some rescue positions. As a whole we love to learn, and this was all new to us, so we were pretty excited about it. We are finally learning about our piece (rifle) and not just using it as a weight for incentive training. Again, we love new things, so this is something we’ve been looking forward to since we picked it up. This evening the Battalion Commander came to talk to us and really changed our whole outlook on boot camp. He confirmed that our feelings and failures everyday are normal, and we are right where we are supposed to be. Also that, we signed up for this, and thousands of people wish they could be where we are. We were so inspired and motivated by him.

International Maritime Signal Flag Whiskey

International Maritime Signal Flag Whiskey

24SEP13

Today marks exactly two weeks since 107 of us arrived on the bus from all over the country, here, to Cape May. It feels like it’s been much longer taking into account all the things we’ve done already. Fresh recruits arrive tonight, so we are all very much looking forward to no longer being “fresh bate”/ the junior company. It will definitely be exciting to see what we were like just 14 days ago. The company learned all about the United States Coast Guard History, how it came about, and important people that make a huge impact on Coast Guard history. It was good for us and we all really enjoyed it. Currently we’re struggling with the “week three cough.” Everyone is either coughing, sick, lacking fully functional vocal chords or going to get sick very soon. We’re hitting that sleep deprivation phase and feeling it more each day. Hopefully it passes soon because we have a lot of work to do, required knowledge, and the pressure is on, all day every day.

25SEP13

Another day down. We realized as a company today, that it is time we start coming together and figure things out as a team. Naturally, each team, company, group of any kind, working towards the same goal, will have both individuals who do what they need to do for themselves to succeed, and others who just don’t care enough. We certainly have both, and our job the next few days is to figure out how to blend the two together, and work as one team. It doesn’t matter here if you’re the first one done with every single task every time because, the only time that matters, is when the last person is done. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. Tomorrow we will start to assign jobs, buddies to help each other out, and routine organization to avoid some of the stresses we place on ourselves. This place is stressful enough! So, of the things we can control, we will and we will get stronger and better. Everyone agreed to commit, and as long as we hold each other accountable, we will make this experience the best experience of our lives so far. Now all we need to do is get healthy! Almost everyone has the “Cape May crud” now, and it’s hard to sleep through all the rounds of coughing, as well as in class, when that’s all you can hear. It’s definitely much harder to do all of this training sick, but if you can get through it sick, that’s where you stand out and those are the ones that make it. We’ve lost 07 already, and down to 44 (16 females, 28 males). Our goal the rest of the week, into week 04? Keep those numbers! We all claim we want to be here- time to prove it.

26SEP13
NO ENTRY

27SEP13

We’re just now starting to get into the good stuff. We began our seamanship classes yesterday, starting with deck seamanship. Today was pretty interesting as we learned the names and types of cutters, small boats, and aircraft in the Coast Guard. Our instructor definitely had all of our attention as this is the material we’ve all been waiting for. It’s starting to get real, and the excitement and energy the company has both during and after the class is what we need, since we usually always return home (to the squad bay) to incentive training and discipline drills that empty all energy or excitement we have left. I guess you have to have the downs to experience the ups and appreciate them. Were still trying to figure out how to work as a team 100% of the time, but we feel we are still having trouble with the few ‘less motivated’ as well as the ‘individual superstar successors.’ Maybe the ‘hands on’ teamwork in seamanship will help bring people together more, or at least teach those who have never experienced a team environment, learn what it entails and how to make it work. It all starts with trust and communication, and right now unfortunately, we have some thieves- and that’s no way even close to teamwork. We did a great job working as a team to get each other sick, and it’s obvious we can’t succeed here without the help, and helping each other. Many of us are looking forward to things like the Confidence Course where we will have this opportunity, but hopefully we figure it out way before then. We aren’t allowed to communicate during meals, walking, class, showering, sleeping, workouts, or anything- so there must be another way we can figure this all out. There are two new companies here now! They should be able to look up to us by now! Maybe the more we see them, and our older (03 weeks ago) selves in them we will be more motivated and try harder to represent Whiskey Company.

28SEP13

Today everyone was pretty excited to spend the day at seamanship class. We learned how to tie knots, conduct a lookout watch and learn all about the different parts of a ship. We all really enjoy our instructor and his ability to keep our attention, make things fun, and make sure everyone understands what we’re learning. The last few days we’ve had a lot of information that’s all new to us and we need to memorize, so the pressure is on to study at any head break (bathroom break) that we get, we understand the idea is to feel pressured and overwhelmed, all the time to prepare us for our jobs, but we aren’t all used to that yet. We walked into our squad bays after chow (dinner) to find them completely torn apart. Mattresses flipped over, sheets ripped off, bunk racks shoved and stacked in the back, shoes everywhere, our entire storage closet emptied all over the bay, and garbage scattered throughout the bath/ shower area and living space. It was a disaster. I guess our company commanders were trying to tell us to start over, so we had 20 minutes to perfect it, move everything back, clean and continue the night with more incentive training until bedtime. The company as a whole felt pretty discouraged coming home to that, especially after a good march at graduation Friday, a solid workout where we learned a lot about each other, and feeling proud to finish week 03 end of tomorrow. It’s like a roller coaster with us. If we are being motivated and encouraged or learning, our heads are high and our voices are loud. When all we hear is negativity and what we are doing wrong, and how bad we are, we get quiet, discouraged, unmotivated and frustrated. We feel as though it’s 50/50. Half the time it’s great, and the other half is really, really bad. As a whole we are hoping things balance out and we don’t go from such a positive high, to feeling like we don’t ever do anything right. We really hope we get good at something, because, we are truly dedicated and highly motivated to succeed, we just need more support. We have an amazing team and we will do great things one day.

29SEP13
The people that really want to be here, and are trying their best from morning to night are becoming irritated at the lack of effort and carelessness some have, and continue to make the whole company suffer for their behavior. At some point, when it’s probably too late, they will find out this is real, and it is no joke. We take our company seriously and want to be proud of everyone in it for always giving 100%, and right now, we can’t say everyone wants to be here. This is sad because it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and such a blessing to be able to train to become a coast guardsman. A career you can always respect and be proud of; but unfortunately not everyone is taking it seriously. We are doing our best to support and guide those that want to be here, but just need some extra guidance and motivation. We can’t make everyone want this. You have to just want it bad enough, and if you don’t, you won’t make it, because someone else does, and they will do whatever it takes to get there.

SUMMARY 23SEP-29SEP (WEEK 03)

We’ve all been living together now for three weeks. Not just like roommates who you see in passing or spend evenings with- we’ve been eating all meals, sleeping, training, learning, marching, showering, the whole package- completely with each other. It’s about that time when you either learn to get along and bond as a team, or break down, argue, and get on each other’s nerves. The females are having an easier time bonding and coming together, naturally, but the males aren’t quite there yet. There are also twice as many males as there are females, and many alpha dogs.

This week had quite a few new and exciting things happen. We finally received our piece and it’s been mainly a tool for incentive training, such as an overhead/ shoulder press bar, squat bar, front shoulder raise bar/ weight and 09.5 pounds for sniper position for long periods of time until we can’t possibly keep it up anymore- then longer because we can’t keep it up- it’s pretty much another discipline drill/ incentive exercise. Don’t worry, we do those for most hours of the day, so we’ll be all disciplined up by graduation! We also had our life rescue class and got the opportunity to put on a rescue swimmer suit and practice some drills and positions in the pool. We had fun doing this- we love the practical learning.

Most of us are sick and can’t stop coughing- all through class, at night, in formation, on each other- it’s pretty gross, but we are together 100% of the time, so it’s bound to happen. Our marching is getting much better, but only about half of us are really making a true and honest effort everyday to work as a team. We’re still working on how to master this, and hopefully it’s during lucky week 04 starting tomorrow! It’s extremely tough having absolutely zero connection with the outside world, except a few letters Sunday morning and a couple minutes randomly throughout the weekdays to read them. We all really miss our families and things like sports and chocolate. Sometimes some of us will have peanut butter or chocolate milk at dinner because it’s like candy to us now. Strange how that happens.

We started our seamanship classes this week and love them! Were doing hands on learning knots, about equipment and tools on cutters, small boats and aircraft and most of all, having fun. This is why we came here and this week, through some of those classes, made it all feel very real. It’s exciting. We are all pretty tired all the time and definitely have something like seamanship to look forward to now. So it comes down to 29 males and 16 females leading into week 04 tomorrow. We have some serious inspections randomly this week and this is also the week for another physical fitness test, and midterm exam. It will be highly stressful and get harder every day, so I hope we are prepared for anything! Simper Paratus- Always Ready, we hope! We have a junior company looking up to us now, it’s time for Whiskey-188 to set an example, stand out, be proud, and stay strong no matter what the week throws at us!

30SEP13

We are glad today happened, but even more glad it’s over. It felt like the longest day so far. Today included a lot of incentive training that over time, gets easier, but still is miserable. We did however, learn all about colors- raising our flags morning and sunset as a ceremony to show respect and to honor those who fought for our country and laid their lives down in battle or on duty. Even though we only did a few practice runs, it was pretty amazing, and the colors team specifically felt very nervous but proud to take part in something so special.

Following colors was more and more incentive training, but our company responded to it differently this evening. Instead of getting down on ourselves for doing it, or being negative about it, we just did it, and went to bed feeling accomplished and stranger. We feel it’s all about the approach in which we receive the “discipline training”/ incentive training. And as a whole, we responded very well and went with it this evening, and if we can keep it that way, we will get even stronger tomorrow. We’ve figured out, this is how our company responds to motivation and this is how we act when were inspired- not angry or irritated, feeling down on ourselves. We know we have someone who cares about our success and notices our improvements. Someone who inspires and motivates us each day that we have the courage to continue, and this drives us, and reassures us that we will get through more than just 08 weeks, and it makes us want to do better tomorrow already. That is what we need every day, we hope tomorrow is as tough but encouraging.

01OCT13

Today Whiskey-188 went to the armory where we took class and our training and testing for level 1 firearms on the weapon simulator. It was pretty interesting for most of the company that has never seen or used a simulator. It was also cool to see how many of our shipmates completed the shooting test with “sharp shooter” or “expert shooter.” Luckily these expert shooters were able to help the few of us that have never handled a firearm before and felt lost. We came together today and it was nice to see those shipmates with a particular strength and knowledge or firearms, using patience and being genuine with others.

Today was pretty good overall, with the exception of, nothing! It was just a solid day. We even had our photos taken and got to dress in uniform, get sized for rings, and view other company photos that got us really excited for graduation. We’re definitely getting more excited and less scared every day. We know what to expect now and we know there’s nothing to be afraid of as long as you do everything they tell you to! Most of us just want to graduate and get to the good stuff, but I have a feeling, as soon as we graduate, we will be missing some (definitely not all) of these days. Our attitudes were better today, and we have a very tough and busy week ahead of us, so we hope it carries on to tomorrow! Almost halfway through!

02OCT13

Sitting in class for 04 hours straight this morning was quite challenging given how sleep deprived we are. If we had the option to sleep-in past 0530 or 0600 AM ever, I’m confident we’d all sleep through until dinner. All we can think about is when our next meal is and bedtime, even though we always wake up to a whistle blasting and lights on, with yelling to run down the stairs, outside and start our workout. We thought it was getting easier, but as we get more and more tired, it becomes incredibly dreadful.

After classes this morning on careers and housing, we marched to lunch and almost immediately following chow was our halfway physical fitness assessment. Most people, who dream about their next meal all night, wake up starving and eat a full tray of food, don’t usually sprint 1.5 miles immediately after. Definitely not the most comfortable run. We also had our push-ups and sit-ups tested for a specific amount of time. Many of us did somewhere between 05-10 push-ups more this time around, as well as shaving off anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes off our 1.5 run. All our hard work and training paid off! Doesn’t mean it was easy, it was so hot and the sun was definitely beating down on us. And of course, immediately following that was more physical training with our piece. About 20 minutes of sniper, “fire, fire, fire” with our piece, and more physical training, with a couple, (and I mean literally a couple) minutes of chugging down water. This portion of today was less than fun. We also had our head/ shower area written all over in red marker on our sinks, floors, doors, stalls, shower, pretty much everywhere that wasn’t silver polished/ shiny. Things like “you’ll pay for this” and “you are disgusting,” “gross” and so on. But it’s only like the third day in a row they’ve come and done that to us, so imagine what will happen if it gets worse!? We usually do a good job, but they’ll always find something wrong that isn’t 100%. Absolutely perfect. It’s like having a little Italian grandmother living in our squad bay.

The Chaplin came to talk to us tonight, read us the news, sports and worst jokes of the week. We’re all pretty concerned about the government furlough and how terrible some of our sports teams are doing right now, but we always enjoy his company and words of inspiration and wisdom he leaves with us.

Tomorrow we fill out our dream sheets! Were pretty excited to find out our orders and start looking toward a specific job, goal and location. Hopefully were all pleased with whatever station we find ourselves at, or cutter we may be on. Just another thing to be nervous about until then!

03OCT13

Today we were even more exhausted than yesterday, which we didn’t think was possible. Normally when you’re too tired to stay awake in class, you go to the back of the classroom and stand up. This morning, most of the class was standing. Even still, it was hard to stay awake standing up with a massive binder. We did have our helm practical, where we practice steering a ship, which was pretty cool. I think our brains are just a bit too full of all the things there are to remember, that when we get tired, sometimes it puts us in zombie mode, until the next 05 minute head and water break, where you can re-group yourself. That part never gets any easier.

Our marching was getting good but for some reason today was pretty off. We’ve been missing a lot of our shipmates to dental, medical and fitness appointments, and it messes up our formation. So many of us are used to the routines we perform daily, and how we go about doing them, that when something changes, such as shipmates missing, we feel lost without each other and it throws everything off. All of the sudden, people don’t know where to stand, and they start wondering what happened to “seaman recruit whoever,” it’s like a pack of wolves. We are close enough now that we don’t like to be apart from each other. We are Whiskey-188! And we definitely made an improvement today with our discipline. Some of us have had to do some crazy things in life that were much more painful and a test of discipline than what I’m about to tell you, but this was definitely at the top of the most annoying and irritating things list. Marching and standing completely still in formation, waiting, while mosquitoes and nats fly in your nose, ears, mouth, eyes, suck your blood, fall down your shirt, and you cannot move, scratch, flinch or swat. Just standing there completely still at the position of attention while they drive you crazy is the worst. And if you do move at all, performance tracker goes in your file. This is not good.

On a positive note, we put in our dream sheets today for where we would like to be stationed. We were allowed to write down 04 districts, which include multiple states in each district, so hopefully we all get one of our choices! The anticipation is already driving everyone crazy- we just want to know already!

The last 03 days we feel like all we’ve been doing is cleaning. Every break we get to use the head, every moment in between classes, and whenever we are coming back from somewhere. Today was another day where our company commander walked through our squad bays with a red marker and circled every finger print, watermark, soap drop, piece of dust, wrote all over our racks if linens didn’t have proper angle of hospital corners, and a wonderful note stating, “you will sweat for this”. It’s crazy because most of the spots he found, most of us wouldn’t fine even if we were looking! But he was looking and he found what he found, and we were busted. At least we know now, we can never ever have trash, and every time we run any water, we need to dry the sink. Just in case we don’t have enough to remember already.

Mid-term exam is tomorrow and we only had 30 minutes to study everything we learned the last 04 weeks, when really we only had time to bookmark our binders. Hopefully we have study time tomorrow because it’s on our goals to have a higher company average than Victor Company! Victor is our sister company, our other half, that arrived with us, but they split us up because there were over 100 of us. It is healthy competition, but we want to take this one on, and start earning our colors as well, so we must do well.

I think we’ll all be happy when tomorrow the day is over, the test is done, and we can move along to finish the second half of training, graduate, take a 05 day nap, and be fresh at our new unit.

04OCT13

Waking up this morning and starting the day with an hour long bike ride including sprints, followed by pull-ups was quite refreshing. By 1000, it already felt as if the day was half over, but we still had 1200 hours left, so you better believe a handful of that time was spent cleaning! We’re much better at working together now to complete tasks when we’re allowed to communicate quietly. It definitely makes things easier and more efficient with words.

Finally our midterm is over! For all the information we have learned and all the classes we’ve taken, it wasn’t bad if you focused in class, but there was a time restriction which puts the pressure on. Over all we feel pretty good about it, with the exception of a few tricky questions, but over all relieved.

The fun part was after when we got to shine our boots. We take so much pride in our boondockers, and the shining time we had made them look amazing. Things we used to enjoy such as showering, eating, sleeping, and so on, are now some of our most stressful moments of the day, so we look forward to little things like shining our boots.

Our brains and bodies are so tired right now, sometimes it works in our favor because it keeps people quiet. We have a company run/ race tomorrow out in the public we’re excited about, and if our company wins, we get a phone call home! Yay! So tomorrow is our time to come together, and be proud of Whiskey-188 and respectfully representing the United States Coast Guard. We are pumped, it’s hard to stay calm, because we really want to make that phone call, and it’s been about a week since we have been able to write a letter. We’re pretty homesick/ missing family, friends and spouses, as expected 04 weeks in. We’re all just trying to push through this, and get it right because as of right now, our section commander is not happy. He has the authority or revert any of us at anytime if we don’t know required knowledge or up to the standards our Company Commanders have set. That was enough to make this even more stressful. It’s all part of the preparation, but we’re hoping he doesn’t break us.

05OCT13

Today was full of so many events, challenges, successes, learning experiences and good tears. It started off with our usual wake-up routine at 0530 to “fire, fire, fire,” chow, and shinning our boondockers, and following was our 5k run. The entire base shut down for this 5K event and it included a 10K as well. Of the 06 companies here currently in training, 04 of us; Tango, Uniform, Victor and Whiskey, all ran in formation among civilians, instructors and fellow Coast Guardsman. It was pretty awesome because in the first 05 minutes we passed uniform company (in week 06) and we are Week 04! We maintained it and finished ahead of them which made us proud. On top of all that, our top 3 fastest males and females raced individually against each company’s top 3 and 3, and whichever company had the overall lowest finishing numbers combined, won a 5 minute phone call home, and a trip to the exchange to replace hair gel, shaving cream, towels, soap and so on. WHISKEY 188 WON! And we all had the opportunity to call home this evening. We all really needed it, and after such a great day like today, it was probably good they got to hear us happy on the phone. Everyone was so grateful to have such a perfect gift after reaching this goal together. This is where all the good tears came by to remind us what’s waiting for us back home after graduation.

Following the race was another exciting and challenging event. We had the pugil stick bouts and everyone was told to pick a shipmate you want to beat up, and do it. We were told, find someone and knock them out. We loved it. We all fought, got our anger out, cheered each other on, had some good laughs and for the first time (minus the few times they tried to hid it under their hat) got to see our company commanders smile! That was huge for us, because it developed a new stage of trust for us. Before, we thought they hated us more than anything, and after today, running the 5K with them, seeing their faces when we found out we won, and doing pugil sticks with them, made us realize they are real people too, and they can be happy and be proud of us, we just have to stop messing up and maybe we’ll see that more. It makes us proud and motivated when we make them happy and that was such a great feeling today. We all got to know each other better, trust each other more, respect each other and ultimately, work together. We wish everyday could be like today, but it’s days like today that we can really appreciate and be proud of, after such stressful weeks this last month.

Another success we had today was doing the colors ceremony (flag ceremony) at sunset. Our company has 06 recruits on the colors team and after only practicing the routine 02 times; we did a nice job and felt so honored to be chosen for such a respectable ceremony. We will continue to perform colors through our last 04 weeks and hope to give everyone the opportunity because it really was special.

Long, fun day for Whiskey-188, divine hours tomorrow, off our feet! And some much needed rest!

06OCT13

This morning started off nice with some divine hours between breakfast and lunch to iron our uniforms, study, fix our racks, and make sure everything was inspection ready. Well, it wasn’t inspection ready and so we all got in trouble for it. In our rules manual, it says how to measure every article of clothing, belt, kit, sock, cap and so on, and where exactly according to the measurements to stow it. Some of us had something the wrong direction or in the wrong measurements. As you can imagine, the rest of the day was “incentive training” or, torture as we know it. We swam 50 meter laps 20 times, and that was actually refreshing. The torture was, packing up our entire green sea bag with everything we own, including all 03 shoes. Once packed, we had to run outside with it, and unload the entire thing back into our racks, one item at a time, up the ladder wells, into the rack, over and over, until you were done. Following this was more piece incentive training where most of us got so exhausted to the point where we face planted our pushups and had nothing left to give, and then we did it again. We warned each other yesterday, not to get too happy or excited about our accomplishments we had because it could turn right back around and be a nightmare on us. Today felt as though yesterday never happened- maybe that was intentional, but I’m not sure it’s good. It almost feels as though we took a step back today. The company wasn’t as motivated and definitely over tired, which is rough because according to our schedule, this week is supposed to be crazy. We all missed classes the last few days, so hopefully once we get back to that routine, continue learning, and getting excited about the bigger picture in the end, we’ll be okay.

After screaming at the top of our lungs while turning in circles over and over for about 30 minutes, most of us felt as though we were in an insane asylum. Felt like week 01 all over again, and we’re halfway through.

Were glad we did a company prayer tonight, because we’re going to need it.

29SEP-06OCT (SUMMARY WEEK 04)

Finally at the halfway mark! We’ve lost 10 recruits already, but we gained a few from previous companies. All 26 males and 15 females are finally figuring out how this all works. It’s been really tough from impossible tasks with mission incomplete, to screaming at a piece of tape on a wall with a boat on it for 20 minutes, as loud as you possibly can, until your voice is gone. The old everyday tasks people enjoy like eating, sleeping and showering are all done under strict timed missions and high stress every time. We’re getting used to it, but it still makes it impossible to relax even for a minute, even in the head- that’s timed too.

We’ve had many cleaning, rack, and book bag/ rucksack inspections lately and we haven’t done well. The red marker circles every single drop of water in any sink, fingerprints, smears on mirrors, or a piece of trash in the bin. They aren’t joking when they tell us to literally clean anything we touch or even may have touched.

The torture “incentive training” we do when we’re in trouble makes us sometimes feel as though we’re in an insane asylum. Screaming as loud as we can while turning in circles for 20 minutes, holding sniper position for 20 minutes, and of course the battle ropes in the quarterdeck for convenient torture devices for individuals that made a mistake. We thought it might get easier, but it all just got harder- a lot harder.

We have a lot of required knowledge to memorize from about 20 pieces on our rifle, in order of placement, to every rank/rate, collar device, shoulder board, knot type, and much, much more. We get new requirements to memorize every week and they must be verbatim. If you don’t know something asked of you, in that moment, you could be on probation or sent to RAMP (a four day prison like boot camp group that basically gets screamed at and sweats, cries and works out doing insane tasks until they either make it, or break and give up and leave their company). We’ve had about 08 or 09 go so far, and two got injured during, and recovering- while the others are still on probation or failed probation and got sent back in training. It’s really easy to mess up here, so hopefully none of us mess up, and no one has to go.

A few positive things happened this week. The colors team was selected, and performed colors for the first time this week. The ceremony includes 05-06 flags, and is done morning and sunset. We felt so proud to be doing colors, as it is such an honor to have such responsibility.

Also, this week we went to the armory and had our firearms practical. It was only done on simulators, but the company enjoyed it as it was something different for us.

So we’re halfway done. We passed the mid-term exam, filled out our ‘dream sheets’ for our station and find out next week where we will be going!

The most exciting and fun day at boot camp so far was this Saturday. We had a 5K/10K run, and the entire Coast Guard base shut down and we raced in company formations for the 5K. Tango, Uniform, Victor and Whiskey all ran in formation, and the top 3 fastest females and 03 males from each company raced individually to see which company, overall would win. Well, in formation, we passed Uniform Company in week 07 and overall, Whiskey won! We were all screaming and so excited when we found out. Our prize was a 05 minute phone call and a trip to the exchange to replace soap, towels, socks, whatever you can imagine, as far as allowed toiletries. Our Company Commanders were proud of us and we actually saw them smile for the first time! (Don’t worry, it didn’t last) but, it made us proud to make them proud and we hope they believe in us more because we do want to be here.

After the 5K, we had the pugil stick challenge of fighting each other. This was pretty awesome, and we were allowed to cheer our shipmates on, kick some butt, and get some anger out. It was so nice to let loose for a few minutes and be told to be aggressive. Even our Company Commanders got into it. That didn’t last long either. As soon as we were done, fun over, locked it up, and back to boot camp mode.

After all that, this week had a lot going on, but this coming week is the hardest for sure. We just had our butts beat all day today, we just want to do it right this week and stay away from the crazy drills, or torture workouts. The inspections will get more strict, so we need to make sure to measure every single thing when folding, it takes forever, but it saves you from getting sent back 02 weeks. Not a single thing can be out of place and if it looks like something is, or looks like you did something wrong, you did. Here, perception is reality unfortunately, and many of us get in trouble everyday for things we didn’t do. It just is what it is.

We’re all so tired and our bodies are achy without rest. We always have at least a few shipmates injured, so hopefully they recover soon. We still have a long way to go until week 08, but it’s coming together. We finally know everyone’s name, after living together for a month. Our teamwork will get stronger, as the weeks go on, and we’re excited to see where we are another month from now. We’ve accomplished so much already, even though it feels like were failing at most things all day, it’s making us better for a purpose.

We miss our families dearly and hope you write us a lot! We only get 05 minutes most weekdays to read a letter or two, and some writing time Sunday mornings, so please be patient with us, write if you can, and support the best way possible. If you don’t hear from us a lot, we’re studying! Hope you’re proud, because we are! WE ARE WHISKEY-188!

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