Recruit Journal Alfa 189: Week 02

Recruit Journal Alfa 189: Week 02
Formed: October 22, 2013
Graduates: December 13, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Alpha

International Maritime Signal Flag Alpha

Week 01 Day 01 21OCT13

We in Alfa Company met each other in the Philadelphia Airport. We all arrived at the USO at different times of the day all jittery, tired, and nervous. We all ended up spending most of our time making small talk and getting to know each other. There was a lot of testing each other on our eleven general orders. Boy, were some of us not ready. After a pep talk from a retired coast guardsman, we all boarded the bus now extremely nervous. One shipmate kept calling out our time of arrival to our impending doom. As we near, a shipmate said a prayer that we all needed. Religious or not, it was appreciated.

And then it started. Lots of yelling and screaming. Boy were there a lot of shots, on Friday. Day 04 we met our company commanders and even though we have a small company of only 27, we have 04 company commanders! At first they were scary. You just wait, they still are scary, we can tell they are pushing us the hardest they can so we can be best recruits. ALFA – 189 is slowly, SLOWLY learning how to function as a group thanks to fire drills, fire drills and more fire drills. ALFA Company still has a long way to go, as we are all very sore tired already and its only week 02! As week 02 starts we are all cranky and wondering what the heck we got ourselves into! As our voices are stripped raw, we are wondering if we are able to become the company our CC’s want us to be. And to be able to rise and meet the weeks challenges. GO ALFA – 189!!

28OCT13 Week 02 Day 01

Well we fail! WE failed at making our racks (beds), we failed at getting into formation on time, we failed at showering on time and failed at putting on our boondockers (boots) in 40 secs (which I guess is possible). All the boys smell wonderful and all the girls have gone a little native. On top of that, there is the problem with our eyes. We are just so curious to look at everything going on around us, that the CC’s guided our eyes to a boat. Which we then screamed’ “Eyes in the boat!!” for what felt like hours. Hopefully that IT (incentive training) session will remind us not to look around!

We had our first weight training class today… woo.. it was definitely fun, but boy did that make the rest of the day hard. On a lighter note, there as some little freedoms given to us when we were allowed to bring ourselves to dental and eye appointments.

Then the highlight of the day was our time we spent with Father Fronk. He gave 02 classes, one on stress and the other on suicide prevention. He was really nice and made us feel human. A nice break after being told you are a failure and nobody all day. Father gave us a 15 min head and water break (bathroom break) and it was a “god send” pun intended. We all knew we were suppose to study and we were definitely trying but we had the erge to talk to each other since we hadn’t since we met in the USO. We got in trouble for that, but I think we all thought it was worth it. Hopefully we’ll get to talk to each other more. At the end of the day, we gained 03 new shipmates. Alfa 189 has welcomed them whole heartedly into the family. We shall suffer together!

29OCT13 Week 02 day 02

ALFA – 189 DIT IT! We made our track –making time this morning only to fail our laundry objective. Which we were then promised “games, “later in the evening to help us learn time objectives. We were excited and nervous to see what the day held for us.

Much to our dismay, it held a crazy amount of physical training and incentive training. Hopefully, ALFA – 189 will eventually learn to be loud and fast. Everyone enjoyed a break from “IT” for some time when we went to a class. It was a communication and discrimination class. We all learned a lot and forgot that we were in basic…which landed us outside with more IT. Boy, we aren’t the smartest cookies in the box. After dinner, we all marched back to our squad bays to find a mess. Apparently its frowned upon not to square everything away before you leave for the day. Then for the rest of the evening we got to play more “games” promised to us. We screamed the Coast Guards Core Values “Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty.” While doing facing movements, we held a piece of paper straight out in front of you while screaming together what it said. Slowly we are slowly starting to realize what it is we need to do to come together. BE LOUD! We gained another shipmate today. So our now really small company of 27 has grown into a still small company of 31.

30OCT13 Weeek 02 Day 03

Today was discouraging. Everyone was really tired and unmotivated. We lost four people today. Three where to injury, and now there are some seriously considering quitting. Our bodies are not used to the early and alarming wake ups, hard workouts and all the things to remember. On top of that, we started doing watches almost every night. So there goes even more much needed sleep. A ray of hope broke through when Father Fronk stopped by and gave us our Wednesday “update” of the outside world. Football stats and movie reviews. It was a blessed 30 minutes of mild relaxation we took advantage of. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

31OCT13 Week 02 Day 04

Happy Halloween! This certainly was not like any we’ve ever had. It was scary, without out the fun. Well, we actually did have a bit of fun! Everyone took their swim test today. It was really fun, a nice little change from the normal workouts. We also learned how to salute and the benefits that come with being in the military.

The Company split. Some went to the All Saints Day service that the church was having. After our evening chow, we were turned over to our one company commander who loves “playing games” that help us sound off, slash our zeros, and all sorts of things…totally perfect for Halloween. The punishment of the day had to be marching with our pieces out in front of us screaming “Petty Officer Saporito! Seaman Recruit Whoever, I request to know! Blah! Blah! Blah!” It was definitely a workout. Our company is still trying to find its rhythm.

Today wasn’t too bad, we are getting better slowly. Sadly, we were just tipped off by one of our company commanders, that due to some rules that were just broken after lights out, tomorrow is going to be very very long and hard. Hopefully Alfa-189 will get our act together soon. At least we are going to be a strong company. Go Alfo-189!

01NOV13 Week 02 Day 05
FIRE!! FIRE!! FIRE!!!!…..Again, what a wonderful way to wake up. We had a pretty normal day, incentive training, chow, a cool swim class, incentive training, and chow. One cool thing was that a bunch of us in Alfa went to the church for choir. It was amazing, we could smile and chat with each other for a bit and relax. A lot of us cried, just finally able to let out our emotions. I think it was something a lot of us needed, a quick release from all the stress. It did seem like everyone was a little more motivated to do better after chapel choir. We didn’t know any of the words to the songs but were having a blast trying to sing along in our messed up voices, no one could carry a note. We got a couple new shipmates but also lost a few. That seems to be the pattern. Hopefully we don’t lose anymore in Alfa, we are growing attached.

02NOV13 Week 02 Day 06

What a day for Alfa-189. Today we met our company mentors. They were really awesome. They showed us lots of pictures and told us a lot about life in the fleet. They answered tons of questions that we had. After that A-189 seemed to be on top of the world. We were meeting time objectives and marching on time. Only to trip and completely fall flat on our faces (figuratively). When Chief McKenna took over this afternoon, we seemed to slack, we failed at everything! Chief McKenna even gave us extra time and we still failed. At this point we all deserved to sweat and be yelled at but he didn’t say anything, just told us that he was disappointed. That was worse for everybody then yelling and incentive training. We all felt awful. Hopefully tomorrow we can be spot on and keep it together.

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.