Victor 188 Recruit Journal: Weeks 04 & 05

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

16SEP13:
TODAY COMMENCED OUR FIRST DAY OF RECRUIT TRAINING ON OUR WAY TO BECOMING UNITED STATES COASTGUARDSMEN. WE AWOKE AT 0530 TO THE SOUNDS OF “FIRE,FIRE,FIRE” WHICH IS A COASTGUARD WAKEUP CALL THAT CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE EVACUATION OF THE BARRACKS. WE WERE GREETED WITH BITTER NORTHEASTERN TRADEWINDS AS WE ASSEMBLED OUR COMPANY. UNDER THE STERN EYE OF OUR LEAD COMPANY COMMANDER BM1 SHAY WE BEGAN OUR MORNING PHYSICAL TRAINING. NOTHING STARTS THE DAY OFF BETTER THAN A HEAPING PLATEFUL OF PUSHUPS, CRUNCHES, SQUATS AND FLUTTER KICKS. THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR DAY WAS LEARNING HOW TO COPE WITH THE STRESS OF TRAINING AND WORKING TOGETHER AS A TEAM, WHILST LEARNING A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR FELLOW SHIPMATES. THE DAY ENDED WITH A VERY INTENSE YET MEANINGFUL LESSON ON HOW DICIPLINE PLAYS A KEY FACTOR IN THE COASTGUARD VALUES. WE ARE SLOWLY STARTING TO LEARN OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS STRICT LESSONS ARE SHAPING US TO ACHIEVE OUR FULL POTENTIAL AS FUTURE COASTGUARDSMEN AND WOMEN. OUR SEVEN WEEK TRANSFORMATION BEGINS NOW.

17SEP13:
DAY TWO WEEK TWO OF RECRUIT TRAINING AND WE HAVE YET TO GRASP THE CONCEPT OF WORKING TOGETHER AS A TEAM. OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS BM1 SHAY AND OS1 SPEECE ARE STILL TRYING TO ENSTILL IN US THAT COMING TOGETHER AS ONE WILL MAKE IMPOSSIBLE TASKS SEEM OBTAINABLE. TODAY WE LEARNED THAT WHEN ONE PERSON FALTERS THE WHOLE COMPANY FAILS BECAUSE WE ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS OUR WEAKEST LINK. PHYSICAL FITNESS IS INTENSIFYING; HOWEVER OUR BODIES AND MINDS ARE BECOMING STRONGER. IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT A WEEK AGO WE WERE AVERAGE CIVILIANS STEPPING OFF A BUS ENTERING THE UNKNOWN.

International Maritime Signal Flag Victor

International Maritime Signal Flag Victor

18SEP13:
THE DAY BEGAN AS USUAL WITH OUR 0530 FIRE PHYSICAL WAKE UP DRILL.. SHORTLY AFTER THE INTENSITY CONTINUED WITH A TIGOROUS NON-STOP CYCLING CLASS LED BY OUR LEAD COMPANY COMMANDER BM1 SHAY. THE CLASS LEFT US SORE, TIRED AND DRENCHED IN SWEAT HOWEVER THE WORKOUT WAS A GREAT STRESS RELIEVER FOR THE HOMESICK FEELING MOST OF US ARE SUFFERING FROM. UPON COMPLETING OUR CYCLING CLASS WE LEARNED ABOUT RANKS AND HOW TO PROPERLY ADDRESS MILITARY PERSONNELL. LATER IN THE DAY WE PICKED UP OUR M-1 GRAND PIECES THAT WE WILL SOON BE LEARNING HOW TO MARCH WITH. THE DAY REACHED A VERY SOMBER POINT WHEN WE WITNESSED FIRSTHAND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE NOT A TEAM PLAYER AND YOU ARE SENT TO R.A.M.P WHICH IS A REVISION PERIOD ON LEARNING HOW TO BE DISCIPLINED AND WORK AS A UNIT. THE DAYS CLIMAX WAS BEING ALLOWED TO SPEND TIME WITH FATHER FRONK WHO REASSURED US THAT WE WILL ONLY GET STRONGER. THIS DAY HAS DEFINITELY BROUGHT OUR COMPANY CLOSER TOGETHER AS WE HAVE STARTED TO REALIZE THAT OUR ACTIONS CAN BRING ABOUT PISITIVE AND NEGITIVE REPROCAUTIONS.

19SEP13:
WE ARE SLOWLY STARTING TO ADJUST TO OUR DAILY ROUTINE, WE CAN ALREADY SEE AN IMPROVEMENT IN OUR MORNING WORKOUTS AND INCENTIVE TRAINING. TODAY WE HAD OUR FIRST SWIM ASSESSMENT WHICH CONSISTED OF JUMPING OFF A 06 FOOT PLATFORM AND SWIMMING THE EQUIVALENT OF 100 YARDS AROUND THE EXTERIOR OF THE POOL. OUR ACADEMIC SCHEDULE BEGAN WITH A WORK LIFE CLASS WHICH PROVIDED US WITH INFORMATION ON HOW TO HELP YOUR FAMILY ADJUST TO A MILITARY LIFESTYLE. WE THEN LEARNED THE CORRECT WAY TO SALUTE AND WHEN TO SALUTE. WE ENDED THE DA Y WITH A MOCK REAHEARSAL FOR ROMEO-188’S COMPANY GRADUATION IN WHICH WE WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MARCH IN TOMORROW. OUR NIGHT CONCLUDED WITH YET ANOTHER INTENSE LESSON ON SELF-DICIPLINE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF MOTIVATION TO NEVER GIVE UP ON OURSELVERS OR FELLOW SHIPMATES.

20SEP13:
ALTHOUGH THE END OF OUR FIRST TRAINING WEEK IS NEAR, WE HAVE STILL YET TO FULLY GRASP THE MEANING OF SELF-DISCIPLINE. OUR BODIES ARE WORN AND OUR SPIRITS ARE LOW, BUT WE HAVE TO COME TOGETHER AS A COMPANY AND START GIVING OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS BM1 SHAY AND OS1 SPEECE THE RESPECT THE DESERVE. THE SQUAD SLIGHTLY FELT AS ONE TODAY AS WER WERE ABLE TO MARCH DURING THE SENIOR COMPANIES GRADUATION. IT BROUGHT ABOUT A SENSE OF HOPE AND DETERMINATION THAT WE CAN ACHIEVE THAT MILESTONE. MANY OF US NEED TO TAKE THIS MORE SERIOUSLY BECAUSE SERVING IN THE UNITED STATES COASTGUARD IS A PRIVELEGE AND AN HONOR NOT A RIGHT OF PASSAGE, IT MUST BE EARNED NOT GIVEN.

21SEP13:
TODAY WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET OUR MENTORS, ADMIRAL KORN AND MASTER CHIEF GRIFFIN. THEY HELPED ANSWER ALL PENDING QUESTIONS WE HAD ABOUT ENLISTMENT, STATIONS AND MAINLY LIFE IN THE COAST GUARD. THEY SPOKE FROM THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES AND SHARED MANY COLORFUL STORIES OF THEIR MISSIONS. WE GOT INFORMATION ON THE ENLISTED PERSPECTIVE AS WELL AS AN OFFICER PERSPECTIVE OF HOW THE COASTGUARD OPERATES. WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE THESE INDIVIDUALS REASSURE US THAT THINGS WILL ONLY GET BETTER FROM HERE. WE ARE THRILLED TO WELCOME THEM BACK IN WEEK SIX AS WELL AS GUEST SPEAKERS AT OUR GRADUATION.

22SEP13
AND SO WEEK 02 ENDS, AND WHAT A WEEK IT HAS BEEN. THOUGH MANY OF US ARE LEFT FEELING OVERWHELMED AND FEELINGS OF DOUBT STILL REIGN OVER US, WE MUST PUT THIS WEEK BEHIND US NOW. TODAY WE LEARNED ABOUT PERSONAL VALUES, AND HOW HAVING OUR OWN SET OF VALUES TO LIVE BY WILL HELP US ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN THE COASTGUARD. THE CORE VALUES OF THE COASTGUARD ARE HONOR, RESPECT, AND DEVOTION TO DUTY. MANY OF US HAD THE OPPORTUNITY IN CLASS TO SHARE COME OF OUR VALUES AND HOW WE WILL EFFECTIVELY INTEGRATE THEM INTO OUR COASTGUARD CAREERS. WE HAD THE CHANCE TODAY TO DE-BRIEF WITH OUR LEAD COMPANY COMMANDER BM1 SHAY ABOUT OUR ACTIONS THIS WEEK AND WHAT WE LEARNED FROM THEM. I THINK IT HELPED PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE OUR MISSION AND REASON WHY WE ARE HERE, AND THAT THE NEXT 06 WEEKS ARE CRUCIAL IF WE WANT TO MAINTAIN OUR PLACES IN VICTOR-188. THOUGH WE ARE TIRED AND SORE WE EAGERLY AWAIT THE COMMENCEMENT OF WEEK 03 AND THE REST OF OUR LIVES FIGHTING AND PROTECTING THIS COUNTRY.

24SEP13
THE PAST TWO DAYS HAVE BEEN A WHIRLWIND. OUR COMPANY STRUGGLES WITH SELF-DISCIPLINE, AND UNTIL WE ALL LEARN TO ACT AND BEHAVE AS IF WE ARE ALWAYS BEING WATCHED WE WONT MOVE FORWARD. WE ARE STARTING TO GET INTO THE CORE OF OUR CLASSES AND LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE COASTGUARD AND THE HISTORICAL FIGURES THAT PAVED THE WAY FOR OUR FUTURE. WE HAVE QUITE THE SHOES TO FILL, BUT WITH PERSEVERENCE AND DETERMINATION ALONG WITH SELF-DISCIPLINE WE CAN STRIVE TO MARCH IN THE SHADOWS OF THESE AMAZING PEOPLE. TODAY A BATCH OF NEW RECRUITS SHUFFLED OFF THE BUS JUST AS WE DID TWO WEEKS AGO. FEELINGS OF NOSTALGIA ENGULFED OUR COMPANY AS WE REMEMBERED HOW WE ALL FELT GETTING OFF THAT BUS. WE ARE NO LONGER THE JUNIOR COMPANY ON THE REGIMENT AND IT’S ABOUT TIME WE STARTING ACTING LIKE IT. WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO AND MANY OBSTACLES BUT IT’S TIME TO FIGHT AND CARRY ON WITH OUR DUTIES.

25SEP13
HONOR, RESPECT AND DEVOTION TO DUTY. THESE THREE WORDS REPRESENT THE CORE OF THE COAST GUARD. HONOR BEING THAT YOUR HONOR THIS GREAT NATION AND THE JOB YOU PERFORM IN THE COASTGUARD. RESPECT IN THAT YOU NOT ONLY RESPECT THOSE AROUND YOU BUT RESPECT FOR WHAT YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR, AND FINALLY DEVOTION TO DUTY IN THAT YOU WILL ALWAYS GIVE 100 PERCENT AND NEVER LEAVE UNTIL THE JOB IS DONE. IT’S TAKEN OUR COMPANY A LONG TIME TO FULLY UNDERSTAND THESE WORDS HOWEVER I BELIEVE THAT TODAY OUR LEAD COMPANY COMMANDERS BM1 SHAY AND OS1 SPEECE LIT A FIRE BENEATH VICTOR-188. WE AER SLOWLY STARTING TO TAKE TRAINING SERIOUSLY AND WE COULD BE ON OUR WAY TO BECOMING THE BEST COMPANY ON THIS REGIMENT. WE JUST HAVE TO LISTEN AND LET OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS LEAD US AND TRAIN US. IT’S TIME TO PROVE TO NOT ONLY OURSELVES BUT EVERYONE AROUND US WE CAN DO THIS, AND THAT VICTOR-188 ACCEPTS NOTHING LESS THAN VICTORY.

27SEP13
IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT ON THE REGIMENT AND WHILE FRIDAY NIGHT IN THE CIVILIAN WORLD IS A NIGHT TO LET LOOSE AND HAVE SOME FUN, VITOR-188 HAS A JOB TO DO. TODAY STARTED OUT ROUGH, LIKE MANY OTHERS AS WE OFTEN LOOSE SIGHT OF OUR MILITARY BEARING WHEN OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS ARENT AROUND. TODAY WE REALIZED THIS NEEDS TO STOP. WE NEED TO START DISPLAYING OUR SELF-DISCIPLINE AND ACTING APPORPRIATELY NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE. TONIGHT WE STARTED TO COME TOGETHER AS A TEAM. WATCHING THE NEW RECRUITS FORM GAVE US THE MOTIVATION TO GET JUST A LITTLE BIT LOUDER, WORK JUST A LITTLE BIT HARDER AND MOVE JUST A LITTLE BIT FASTER. THE MORE WE HELP OUR SHIPMATES OUT; THE STRONGER WE WILL BE, BECAUSE WE ARE VICTOR-188 AND NOTHING CAN STOP US NOW.

28SEP13
TODAY WAS OUR FIRST HANDS ON PRACTICAL TRAINING COURSE, WHICH CONSISTED OF THE FIVE BASIC KNOTS, THEIR FUNCTION AND HOW TO UTILIZE THEM. WE ALSO HAD LECTURES ON HOW TO PROPERLY STAND WATCH ON A VESSEL AND THE BASIC PRINCIPLES BEHIND MANNING THE HELM, WHICH IS THE PERSON WHO DRIVES THE VESSEL. WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR STORIES FROM OUR INSTRUCTOR DC1 DOUTHIT OF HOW FUN AND THRILLING SEA LIFE CAN BE. WE LOOK FORWARD TO ADVANCING THROUGH THIS COURSE OVETR THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS AND LEARNING THE BASICS OF SEAMANSHIP. WITH WEEK FOUR APPROACHING FAST WE CAN ALREADY FEEL OUR COURESLOAD INTENSIFYING. WITH THAT BEING SAID WE NEED TO KEEP OUR HEADS STRAIGHT, AND OUR FEET MOVING FORWARD AND START TO CONSISTENTLY ACHIEVE OUR GOALS. WITH WEEK 03 COMING TO AND END WE HAVE LEARNED THAT WE NEED TO KEEP OUR MILITARY BEARINGS AT ALL TIMES AS WE ARE NOT ONLY REPRESENTING OURSELVES BUT WE ARE A DIRECT REFLECTION OF OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS AND WE NEED TO CARRY OURSELVES IN A MILITARY MANNER AS IF THEY ARE ALWAYS WATCHING. IT IS EVIDENT THAT THEY HAVE INVESTED THEIR COUNTLESS HOURS AND HAVE SACRIFICED TO TRAIN US TO BECOME COASTGUARDSMEN AND WOMEN IN 08 SHORT WEEKS. IT’S TIME WE START PROVING IT.

30SEP13

IT’S OFFICIALLY WEEK FOUR AND REALITY IS SETTING IN THAT WE NEED TO START TAKING ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUR ACTIONS. MANY OF US ARE STILL STRUGGLING TO GRASP THE CONCEPT OF TEAMWORK AND THAT SUCCESS WILL ONLY COME TO THIS COMPANY IF WE STOP ONLY THINKING ABOUT OURSELVES AND START HELPING ONE ANOTHER WITH OUR FLAWS BECAUSE ONCE AGAIN WE ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS OUR WEAKEST LINK. WE HAD OUR FIRST MARKSMANSHIP CLASS AND FOR SOME WAS THE FIRST TIME THEY HAVE HANDLED A FIREARM. THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY WAS TAKING OUR GRADUATION PHOTOS AS IT REMINDED US THAT THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL IS APPROACHING QUICKLY. WITH WEEK FOUR IN FULL SWING WE NEED TO START SHOWING IMPROVEMENT BECAUSE THE POSSIBILITY OF PROBATION OR REVERSION IS STEADILY LOOMING AND WE NEED TO HELP OUR FELLOW SHIPMATES WHO ARE STRUGGLING, BECAUSE IN VICTOR-188 WHEN ONE FAILS WE ALL FAIL.

01OCT13
TODAY WAS THE START OF A NEW BEGINNING, OUR COMPANY HAS STARTED TO GRASP THE REALIZATION THAT BY WORKING TOGETHER WE CAN ACHIEVE OUR OBJECTIVES AND IN RETURN OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS WILL REWARD US ACCORDINGLY. WE STARTED THE DAY OFF WITH A VERY SURREAL AND INSPIRING CLASS ON COMMITMENT AND SELF-SACRIFICE IN THE COASTGUARD, TAUGHT BY OUR COMPANY COMMANDER OS1 SPEECE. WE LERNED HOW HONOR, RESPECT AND DEVOTION TO DUTY ARE HUGE PRINCIPLES AND FUNDAMENTALS OF THE COASTGUARD VALUES. WE MUST START LIVING THESE PRINCIPLES AND BE READY TO RISK OUR LIVES FOR THOSE WE ARE SWORN TO PROTECT.

02OCT13
NOBODY EVER SAID THIS ROAD WOULD BE AN EASY ONE. HOWEVER EACH DAY OUR COMPANY GROWS STRONGER, AND THOUGH WE MAY HAVE SETBACKS WE ARE STILL MOVING FORWARD. TODAY OUR EVOLUTIONS CONSISTED OF LEARNING ABOUT SELECTING OUR FUTURE CAREEERS IN THE COASTGUARD AND WHAT EACH JOB ENTAILS. WHILE SITTING IN CLASS YOU COULD SEE THE EXCITEMENT ON MY SHIPMATES EYES AND THE ANTICIPATION IN THEIR VOICES AS WE HAD NUMEROUS QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT WHAT OUR NEXT STEPS FOR OUR FUTURE WOULD BE. THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR DAY WAS OUR PHYSICAL FITNESS ASSEMENT. OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS HAVE BEEN WORKING HARD TO GET US INTO SHAPE TO NOT ONLY BETTER OURSELVES BUT PREPARE US FOR THE FLEET. DURING THE MILE AND A HALF RUN THERE WERE TIMES WHEN MANY OF US WANTED TO QUIT, HOWEVER OUR LEAD COMPANY COMMANDER BM1 SHAY WOULD NOT ALLOW IT, HE MOTIVATED US TO PUSH OURSELVES TO HEIGHTS THAT WE HAVE NEVER REACHED BEFORE. THE NIGHT WAS CAPPED OFF WITH A TEAMBUILDING DRILL IN WHICH WE HAD TO HEAVE A 100 FOOT LONG LINE. WE HAD A TIME LIMIT SO WORKING TOGETHER WAS ESSENTIAL. IT TOOK US A FEW TRIES BEFORE WE REALIZED WE NEEDED TO COMMUNICATE AND HAVE ONE PERSON STEP UP AS A LEADER. IT WAS A GREAT FEELING TO SEE SO MANY OF US WORKING TOGETHER TO REACH THE TIME OBJECTIVE.

03OCT13
TODAY WAS THE MOST EXCITED SOME OF US HAVE BEEN IN A LONG TIME A WE FINALLY GOT TO PUT IN OUR REQUESTS FOR OUR FIRST UNITS. WE WONT KNOW OUR ORDERS UNTIL NEXT FRIDAY, SO THE MOTIVATION TO KEEP PUSHING FORWARD IS IN US. IT’S ESSENTIAL WE DON’T GET AHEAD OF OURSELVES AS IT’S STILL ONLY WEEK 04 AND THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES UNTIL WE MARCH OUT ON GRADUATION DAY, SO IT’S TIME TO CONTINUE TRAINING, KEEP FOCUSED AND TAKE IT DAY BY DAY AND REMEMBER WHY WE CHOSE THIS CAREER IN THE FIRST PLACE.

04OCT13
TODAY WAS A DAY OF ACHIEVEMENTS FOR VICTOR-188. WE COMPLETED OUR MIDTERM EXAM WITH A 93 PERCENT AVERAGE FOR THE WHOLE COMPANY; WHICH MEANS WE EARNED OUR FIRST COMPANY RIBBON FOR OUR COMPANY COLORS WHEN WE ARE AWARDED THEM. THOUGH WE DID WELL, WE ARE STRIVING FOR AN EVEN BETTER FINAL EXAM GRADE, AS VICTOR-188 DOESN’T STOP AT MEDIOCRE, WE STRIVE TO BE THE BEST AND NOTHING LESS. THE DAY CONCLUDED WITH OUR COMPANY BEING GRANTED EVENING ROUTINE WHICH GIVES US A LITTLE EXTRA TIME TO SQUARE AWAY OUR UNIFORMS AND SOME PERSONAL TIME TO REFLECT ON OUR DAY. WITH THAT BEING SAID WE NEED TO PROVE TO OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS THAT WE WILL NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS. THOUGH OUR DAYS MAY BE UP AND DOWN, AND NOT ALWAYS FILLED WITH ACHIEVEMENTS WE MUST REMEMBER THIS, “DON’T LET YOU’RE FAILURES DEFINE YOU, LET THEM TEACH YOU.” –PRESIDENT BARRACK.H.OBAMA II

05OCT13
SATURDAYS FOR MOT ARE SPENT LEISUERLY ENJOYING QUIET AND PEACEFUL MOMENTS WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY AND LOVED ONES. FOR VICTOR-188 TODAY WAS FILLED WITH TRIUMPHS, SPEEDBUMPS, AND PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS. THE DAY BEGAN WITH OUR COMPANY COMPETING IN A 5K RUN THAT BENEFITS A MONUMENT THAT PAYS RESPECT TO COASTGUARDSMEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE LINE OF DUTY. WE HAD 06 INDIVIDUALS THAT REPRESENTED US IN THE BATTLE AGAINST THE OTHER COMPANIES FOR FIRST PLACE AND OF COURSE BRAGGING RIGHTS. THE REST OF THE COMPANY TRAILED CLOSE BEHIND IN FORMATION. DESPITE OUR BEST EFFORTS PUT FORTH WE DIDN’T PLACE FIRST BUT FOR MOST IT WAS THE FIRST TIME EVER COMPETING AND SUCCESFULLY FINISHING A 5K AND FOR THAT WE STAND TALL AND PROUD. WE THEN HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE ON THE CONFIDENCE COURSE FOR THE FIRST TIME AT BOOTCAMP. IT REQUIRED US ALL TO STEP OUTSIDE OUR COMFORT ZONE AND TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH INTO THE UNKNOWN. WE REALLY CAME TOGETHER AS A TEAM AS WE MOTIVATED EACHOTHER TO TACKLE THE OBSTACLES AND PUSH EACHOTHER TO FIND OUR INNER STRENGTHS.

06OCT13
TODAY VICTOR FAILED TO DISPLAY THE CORE VALUES OF THE COAST GUARD. OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS GAVE US AN INCH, AND WE TOOK A MILE.THE ONLY PEOPLE TO BLAME ARE OURSELVES. WE HOLD THE POWER TO SHOW THAT WE CAN HANDLE THE RESPONSIBILITIES GIVEN TO US. IN ORDER TO OVERCOME THESE SETBACKS WE MUST ACCEPT OUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AND HELP ONE ANOTHER OUT. THIS IS NOT AN INDIVIDUAL PROGRAM, TEAMWORK IS OF THE UPMOST IMPORTANCE IN OUR FINAL WEEKS OF TRAINING. WE MUST PUT OUR BAD DAYS BEHIND US AND TAKE EACH DAY AS NEW. IT’S TIME TO ACT LIKE ADULTS AND REMEMBER THE REASON WE ARE HERE, THE REASON WE TOOK THAT OATH AND SIGNED OUR NAMES TO FIGHT AND PROTECT THIS NATION.

07OCT13
TODAY VICTOR-188 TURNED A NEW LEAF, WE AIRED OUT OUR FRUSTRATIONS, COMPLAINTS AND OUR PERSONAL SHORTCOMINGS. OUR LEAD COMPANY COMMANDER BM1 SHAY BROUGHT US TOGETHER IN AN ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN TO US OUR TRUE POTENTIAL WHEN WE ARE ALL ON BOARD. HE SHARED WITH US A STORY OF HOW MISS COMMUNICATION, LACK OF TEAMWORK AND NO ATTENTION TO DETAIL CAN HAVE DEVASTATING EFFECTS. THE STORY NOT ONLY MOTIVATED US, IT SHWOED US IF WE DON’T CORRECT OUR MISTAKES NOW AND LEARN FROM THESE LESSONS WE ARE BEING TAUGHT IT COULD CAUSE SOMEONES LIFE OUT IN THE FLEET. EVERYTHING WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT THUS FAR SERVES A PURPOSE AND IS PREPARING US FOR OUR FUTURE. THE COAST GUARD IS UNLIKE THE OTHER BRANCHES OF MILITARY SERVICE IN THAT WE NOT ONLY PROTECT OUR COUNTRY WE ALSO PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN AND LIFESAVING SUPPORT. HOPEFULLY TONIGHT WE CLOSED THE NEGATIVE CHAPTER THAT SEEMED TO NEVER END AND HAS BEEN LOOMING OVER OUR HEADS FOR QUITE SOME TIME, AND TOMORROW WE CAN BEGIN A NEW CHAPTER AND SHOW THIS REGIMENT JUST HOW GREAT WE ARE.

08OCT13
THERE IS NOT A RULER OR YARDSTICK LONG ENOUGH TO CALCULATE THE STRENGTH AND CAPABILITIES INSIDE US. VICTOR-188 OFTEN SELLS OURSELVES SHORT IN THIS MANNER. OFTEN WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH WE THROW IN THE TOWEL AND FIND OURSELVES IN A DARK SPOT WITH NO SIGN OF RESCUE. IT IS OUR JOB, OUR DUTY AS A COMPANY TO CRASP OUR FELLOW SHIPMATES AND PULL THEM FROM THAT PLACE, AND CARRY ON WITH TRAINING. TODAY WE HAD SPURTS OF TEAMWORK, AND WE ALL PUT ASIDE OUR SELFISH NEEDS AND WORKED TOGETHER.THOUGH WE ARE NOT PERFECT WE ARE ON THE UPHILL CLIMB. BEING PART OF A SERVICE THAT IS SO HIGHLY HONORED AND RESPECTED IS AN HONOR. AS FUTURE REPRESENTATIVES OF THIS SERVICE WE NEED TO DECIDE IF WE HAVE THAT CAPABILITY, MOTIVATION AND DEDICATION TO BE READY 024 HOURS A DAY, 07 DAYS A WEEK AND 365 DAYS A YEAR. THIS ISNT A CAREER WHERE MISTAKES CAN BE FORGIVEN, AND FAILURE TO PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. PEOPLES LIVES ARE DEPENDING ON US. EVERYTHING WE LEARN HERE AT THE TRAINING CENTER IS CRUCIAL AND IT’S TIME AS WEEK 05 RECRUITS WE START STEPPING UP AN ACEPTING THE FACT THAT WE ARE IN THIS AS VICTOR-188. WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER AS A FAMLY AND RESPECT, SUPPORT, ENCOURAGE AND MOTIVATE EACHOTHER TO ACHIEVE OUR VERY BEST. THE ONLY WAY TO OVERCOME THESE OBSTACLES IS TO BRAVELY WALK THROUGH THEM AND WITH THE HELP OF OUR FELLOW SHIPMATES AND UNDER THE WATCHFUL EXPERT EYES OF OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS, VICTOR-188 IS READY TO SET FAIL FUL FORCE WITH NO MORE STOPS.

09OCT13:
WITH WEEK 05 CLOSING IN ON US I THINK IT’S SAFE TO SAY WE ARE FINALLY GETTING BACK ON TRACK. IT WAS EVIDENT THAT AS A COMPANY WE GOT AHEAD OF OURSELVERS AND BECAME OVER CONFIDENT IN OUR ABILITIES/ TODAY WE TOOK OUR SEAMANSHIP MIDTERMS AND LEARNED HOW TO PROPERLY DON A PERSONAL FLOTAION DEVICE IN 20 SECONDS/ OUR TEAMBUILDING SKILLS ARE COSNTANTLY BEING RESTED AND WE ARE NOTICING PROGRESS BEING MADE AND TAKS ARE BEING COMPLETE MUCH QUICKER. WE ENDED OUR EVENING WITH OUR LAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT GATHERING WITH THE CHAPLAIN FOR SOME GOOD STRESS RELIEF AND NEWS FROM THE OUTSIFE WORLD. WE WILL MISS HIS VISITS BUT IT’S TIME TO LOCK IT IN AND FOCUS ALL OUR ATTENTION ON FINISHING TRAINING AND THE TASKS AT HAND.

10OCT13:
THE WIND AND STRONG RAINS COULD NOT DAMPER THE SPIRT OF VICTOR-188 TODAY.OUR DAY WAS VERY BUSY FROM MULTIPLE BIKE WORKOUTS, TO CLASSES AND FINALLY RECEIVING OUR ORDERS FOR OUR FIST DUTY STATIONS. THIS WAS THE MOMENT WE HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR AND TO SEE THE EXCITEMENT ON MY SHIPMATES FACES ABOUT THEIR NEXT STEP IN THE COASTGUARD WAS AMAZING. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT EVEN THOUGH WE ALL KNOW WHERE WE WILL BE WE STILL NEED TO KEEP OUR MILITARY BEARING AND LOCK IT IN FOR THE REMAINDER OF TRAINING, AS WE WOULDN’T WANT TO REPORT TO OUR UNITS 02 WEEKS LATE DUE TO REVERSION. OUR COMPANY ALSO PARTICIPATED IN A BLOOD DRIVE FOR THE AMERICAN RED CROSS TONIGHT. IT FELT GOOD TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY AND KNOWING WE WERE SAVING LIVES WAS A BONUS TOO.WITH THE NIGHT ENDING IT’S A GREAT FEELING TO LAY IN OUR RACKS AND DREAM OF THE EXCITING THINGS TO COME AND WHAT OUR FUTURE HOLDS FOR US.

11OCT13:
THE DAYS SEEM TO BLUR TOGETHER, IT FEELS AS IF IT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY THAT YANKEE AND X-RAY FORMED, AND NOW THEY ARE ALREADY INTO WEEK 03 OF TRAINING. THIS MEANS WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY. NOW THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED OUR ORDERS THINGS ARE STARTING TO PICK UP A LOT FASTER. OUR REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE IS INCREASING AS WELL AS OUR DAILY RESPONSIBILITIES SUCH AS WATCHSTANDING,WORK DETAILS, AND SQUADBAY MAINTENANCE. THE DAYS DON’T SEEM TO GET ANY EASIER, HOWEVER WE ARE GETTING STRONGER AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS A TEAM WE LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY. THE NEST FEW DAYS ARE GOING TO BE FILLED WITH ANTICIPATION AS WE COORDINATE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS, MOVE PERSONAL ITEMS AND SPEAK WITH OUR SPONSORS. OUR GRADUATION IS FAST APPROACHING.

12OCT13
IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE WEEK 05 IS COMING TO AN END. WE’VE HAD A GREAT DEAL OF TIME OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS TO DE-BRIEF ABOUT OUR ORDERS AND HAVE MANY OF OUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXTREMELY EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGEABLE COMPANY COMMANDERS. WITH THAT BEING SAID THIS IS NO TIME TO RELAX AND LET OUR GUARD DOWN, AS THE FINAL FEW WEEKS WILL BE THE MOST CHALLENGING OF BOOTCAMP. IT WILL BE ESSENTIAL TO MAINTAIN OUR MILITARY BEARING, STAY SQUARED AWAT, WORK TOGETHER AS A TEAM AND LIVE THE COAST GUARD CORE VALUES. OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS HAVE ENSTILLED A POOL FULL OF KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS INTO OUR EAGER MINDS OVER THE PAST 05 WEEKS AND WITH THE COMMENCEMENT OF WEEK 06, ITS GAME TIME. VICTOR-188 IS ON A MISSION, WE NEED TO SHOW THIS REGIMENT THAT WE MEAN BUSINESS AND WE ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. IN THE WORDS OF OUR LEAD COMPANY COMMANDER WE HAVE THE OPTION TO SINK OR SWIM AND VICTOR-188 IS ABOUT TO DIVE DEEP AND TREAD THROUGH THE STORMY SEAS.

13OCT13:
WEEK 05 HAS OFFICIALLY CONCLUDED AND TOMORROW WE BEGIN OUR TRAINING AS WEEK 06 RECRUITS. WE BEGIN OUR MUCH ANTICIPATED FIRE SCHOOL CLASSES WHICH WILL TEACH US THE BASICS OF HOW TO CONTAIN FIRES WITHIN COASTGUARD VESSELS. WITH THIS WEEK STARTING MANY O FUS ARE WORKING HARD AND COMING TOGETHER IN HOPES OF EARNING OUR COMPANY COLORS AND FLYING THEM PROUDLY. TODAY BEGAN WITH OUR NORMAL DIVINE HOURS, HOWEVER AFTER CHOW WE WENT ON A COMPANY RUN AND BELTED OUT CADENCES AS WE DOUBLED TIMED ACROSS THE REGIMENT AS A TEAM. THE WIND BLOWING AND THE WAVES CRASHING ENCOURAGED US TO PUSH FORWARD AND KEEP FIGHTING FOR WHAT WE WANT. WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY SINCE WEEK 01 HOWEVER WE MUST KNOW OUR PLACE AND REALIZE THAT WE STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO.

14OCT13:
AND SO IT BEGINS. WEEK 06 HAS COMMENCED AND OUR SCHEDULE IS FAR FROM SIMPLE. TODAY WAS OUR FIRST INTRODUCTORY CLASS IN FIREFIGHTING AND LATER THIS WEEK WE WILL PUT TO USE THE TERMS AND SKILLS WE LEARNED TODAY. WE ARE STARTING TO GET A TASTE OF WHAT FREEDOM AND RESPONSILBILITY ENTAILS AS OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS ARE SLOWLY REELING IN THE ANCHOR AND PREPARING US TO SET SAIL. WITH THIS NEW ROUTINE COMES MORE RESPOSIBILITY AND WE ALL NEED TO REMEMBER TO TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUR ACTIONS AND CARRY OURSELVES WITH INTEGRITY FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS. TONIGHT OUR LEAD COMPANY COMMANDER BROUGHT US ALL BACK TO REALITY AS WE STOOD IN FORMATION FOR EVENING COLORS. HE ASKED US WHAT THE AMERICAN FLAG MEANT TO US. MANY OF US SHARED THE SAME POWERFUL FEELINGS OF PRIDE, DEVOTION TO DUTY, FREEDOM HONOR AND THE LINBERTIES WE HAVE AS UNITED STATES CITIZENS. WE OFTEN FORGET JUST HOW PRIVELEGED WE ARE TO LIVE IN A PLCE WHERE WE CAN EXPERIENCE THESE THINGS. MORE IMPORTANTLY, HOW LUCKY WE ARE TO HAVE SUCH AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY AT OUR FEET. BEING ABLE TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY AND PROTECT OUR SHORES IS ONE OF THE GREATEST HONORS. THE END IS NEAR BUT WE MUST REMEMBER ONE THING, THOUGH THIS MAY ONLY BE 08 WEEKS, OUR JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN, THIS IS JUST THE FIRST 08 WEEKS OF THE REST OF OUR LIVES AS COASGUARDSMEN AND WOMEN.

15OCT13
TODAY OUR COMPANY STODD 10 FEET TALL AND BULLETPPROOF AS WE WERE FINALLY GRANTED OUR COMPANY COLORS. WE PROUDLY GET TO MARCH AROUND THE REGIMENT WITH OUR FLAG. IN OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS EYES WE HAVE EARNED THEIR TRUST. THIS MEANS WE HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF PROVING TO DO IN OUR FINAL WEEKS. WE MUST MAINTAIN THIS PROGRESSION AND BOLDLY MOVE FORWARD AND PERCET WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED THUS FAR. OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FOR TODAY WERE TAKING PART IN OUR FIRST FIRE FIGHTING PRACTICAL AND PUTTING OUT A LIVE FIRE. WE ALSO HAD OUR MANUAL OF ARMS TEST WHICH WE HAVE BEEN PREPARING FOR SINCE WEEK 02. WE SCORED A 09 OUT OF 10, AND AS MUCH AS WE WANTED A PERFECT SCORE, VICTOR-188 HAS NOTHING TO HANG OUR HEADS ABOUT. THINGS ARE FALLING INTO PALCE AND OUR LITTLE VITOR FAMILY IS BREAKING THROUGH AND SHOWING HOW MUCH WE REALLY CARE ABOUT EACHOTHER.

16OCT13:
TODAY WAS ANOTHER THRILLING DAY WITH PRACTICAL TRAINING AT FIRE SCHOOL. WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUIT UP IN FULL FIRE GEAR AND MAN A FIRE HOSE IN THE SIMULATOR. IT WAS EXCITING FOR US ALL TO WORK AS A TEAM AS IN A FEW SHORT WEEKS WE WILL BE UTILIZING THESE SKILLS IN REAL LIFE SITUATIONS. AS FOR OUR COMPANY WE ARE MOVING AND WORKING IN SYNC AND REALLY WORKING HARD TO MEET TIME OBJECTIVES. A FEW OF US HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO THE “DAVINCI” TEAM WHICH CONSISTS OF DESIGNING OUR COMPANY T-SHIRTS AND WORKING TOGETHER TO COLLABORATE IDEAS AND DRAW DITTY BAGS FOR OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS. THE NEXT FEW DAYS ARE JAM PACKED AS WE ARE PREPARING TO REPORT TO OUR FIRST UNITS, CALL OUR SPONSORS AND ORGANIZE OUR ARRIVALS. WE ARE ALL WORKING VERY DILIGENTLY AND STAYING FOCUSED AS SATURDAY WE HAVE ON—BASE LIBERTY WHICH WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO. NOW WE MUST FINISH OUR TASKS FOR THE WEEK SO WE CAN RELAX AND HAVE A WELL DESERVED BREAK ON SATURDAY.

17OCT13:
AS WEEK 06 CLOSES IN ON VICTOR-188 WE ARE STARTING TO FEEL THE HEAT. TRAINING IS IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM GETTING EASIER. WE ARE STARTING TO REALIZE THERE ARE NO ROOM FOR SHORTCUTS OR FLIES ON THE WALL. THE ONES WHO WILL SUCCEED AND GRADUATE NOVEMBER 01 ARE THE ONES WHO ARE GIVING 100 PERCENT, DOING THINGS THE RIGHT WAY AND CARRYING THEMSELVES WITH INTEGRITY. IT IS OUR DUTY AS A FAMILY TO CARRY OUR SHIPMATES WHO MAY BE SLIPPING AND ENSURE THAT VICTOR-188 SWIMS TO VICTORY. THERE IS NO MORE ROOM FOR ERRORS, AS TOMORROW MARKS THE DAY WE TECHNICALLY BECOME THE SENIOR COMPANY ON THE REGIMENT. WE NEED TO SET EXAMPLES, BE FLAWLESS IN EVERYTHING WE DO, AND MAKE A MARK FOR A LIFETIME. WE NEED TO REPRESENT OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS BM1 SHAY AND OS1 SPEECE IN THE MOST RESPECTABLE MANNER AS THEY HAVE GACIOUSLY GIVEN US THE CONFIDENCE, KNOWLEDGE, STRENGTH AND WISDOM THUS FAR IN TRAINING AND IT’S TIME TO SHOW IT. TOMORROW WILL BE A BUSY DAY PACKED WITH ADMINISTRATIVE TIME,PHYSICAL FITNESS AND TIME TO CONTACT OUR UNITS. IT’S TIME TO REST OUR BODIES AND MINDS AND PREPARE FOR THE DAYS TO COME. THE END IS IN SIGHT AND VICTOR IS READY TO MARCH ON.

18OCT13:
AS UNIFORM-188 DEPARTS TRAINING CENTER CAPE MAY, VICTOR-188 STEPS BRAVELY INTO THE SHOES AS SENIOR COMPANY, ALONGSIDE OUR SISTER COMPANY WHISKEY-188.WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY SINCE FORMING WEEK AND WHAT A CRAZY,FUN,EXHAUSTING ADVENTURE IT HAS BEEN. THE LIGHTAT THE END OF THE TUNNEL IS GETTING BRIGHTER AND BRIGHTER EVERY DAY. MANY OF US HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO BOOK OUR TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS, SECURE OUR HOUSEHOLD GOOD’S AND MOVING PROCEDURES, TALK TO OUR SPONSORS AND CONTACT OUR UNITS AND ALSO RECEIVE OUR MILITARY ID CARDS. TOMORROW WE ARE GRANTED ON-BASE LIBERTY, WHICH WE HAVE BEEN SO HIGHLY ANTICIPATING, WE MUST SHOW OUR COMPANY COMMANDERS WE CAN HANDLE THIS TEST OF TRUST AND KEEP OURSELVES COMPOSED WHILE WE GET SOME FREE TIME.

19OCT13:
NO ONE EVER SAID RECRUIT TRAINING WOULD BE A SMOOTH PAVED ROAD FOR US. WE DIDN’T SIGN THAT CONTRACT THINKING THIS WOULD BE A WALK IN THE PARK. IF ANYONE COULD ACCOMPLISH THIS, WHAT WOULD THE POINT OF BOOTCAMP ? THESE PAST 06 WEEKS HAVE CHALLENGED OUR BODIES AND MINDS IN WAYS MOST OF US NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE. JUST BECAUSE WE ARE THE ‘SENIOR COMPANY” ON THE REGIMENT DOESN’T MEAN WE ARE GRANTED ANY GUARANTEES OR SAFETIES. THE LITTLE CHIP ON VICTOR-188’S SHOULDER IS DISSAPEARING UNTIL NOVEMBER 01. THOUGH WE HAVE COME SO FAR AND WORKED HARD, THE NEXT 02 WEEKS WE NEED TO DIG EVEN DEEPER AND FIND THAT INNER STRENGTH INSIDE US TO PUSH NOT ONLY OURSELVES BUT OUR SHIPMATES AS WELL. TODAY WE GOT TO TOUR SOME OF THE CUTTERS,PATROL BOATS AND 47 FOOT MOTOR LIFE BOATS AND THE STATION ON THE BASE HERE IN CAPE MAY. IT DEFINITELY MADE THIS TRANSITION FROM RECRUITS TO NON-RATES SEEM MORE REAL AND OBTAINABLE. WE ARE ALL VERY EXCITED TO REPORT TO OUR FIRST UNITS. WE ALSO HAD ON BASE LIBERTY WHICH GAVE US THE CHANCE TO RELAX, EAT SOME JUNK FOOD AND GET TO KNOW OUR FELLOW SHIPMATES. THOUGH IT WAS SHORT AND SWEET IT GAVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECONNECT WITH OUR LOVED ONES AND TAKE OUR MIND OFF TRAINING. WITH THAT BEING SAID, IT’S TIME TO LOCK BACK INTO TRAINING AND WORK HARDER THAN EVER. WE ALL HAVE THE MOTIVATION TO TRUDGE THROUGH AND SHOW EVERYONE HOW COMMITTED WE ARE. WITH THE END IN SIGHT THERE IS NO QUITTING IN THE PERSON WHO WANTS IT THE MOST. SO PETTY OFFICER SHAY AND PETTY OFFICER SPEECE, YOUR VICTOR-188 IS READY FOR THE CHALLENGE. WE WANT THE PAIN, WE WANT THE STRUGGLE, WE WANT YOU TO PUSH US TO OUR LIMITS. WE PROMISE WE WONT GIVE UP, NOT ON YOU, NOT ON OUR SHIPMATES, NOT ON THIS SERVICE OR THIS COUNTRY AND ALL THE CIVILIANS WHO BRAVELY TRUST US. LET THE FINAL WEEKS BEGIN, VICTOR-188 IS READY FOR THE TRANSFORMATION.

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.

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