Recruit Journal Xray 188 Week:07

Recruit Journal Xray 188 Week:07
Formed: Sept. 24, 2013
Graduates: Nov. 15, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag X-ray

International Maritime Signal Flag Xray

28OCT13

Today Xray had a slight bounce back from yesterday’s craziness. Xray along with our sister company Yankee had a mandatory fire fighting class. We got the chance to go over all the terms in fire fighting, the different fire types, and how to identify them, as well as the multiple fire extinguishing options and the proper gear to wear during a fire.

Petty Officer Thompson just built our anticipation over two hours for what is to come tomorrow. Tuesday, we get the chance to adorn the gear and learn how to wear it properly. Wednesday, Xray will be fighting an actual fire. Of course it is contained and under supervision but none the less, we get to be a fire fighter for one day.

The day was good due to Petty Officer Thompson building our excitement and anticipation for the next couple days. It was our evening hours that pulled Xray out of yesterday’s slump. After our second chance of getting our Tropical Blues inspected, Chief Duncan gave us an ample amount of time to conduct squad bay maintenance, shower, uniform maintenance, and rack maintenance. To get an hour and a half to complete all those tasks felt like a gift.

The later the weeks are in training, the more you are under the microscope and if you aren’t squared away then the punishment can be severe let alone embarrassing. The team work that Xray displayed was incredible. We split everyone into groups to get everything accomplished. Three females and three males separated the laundry and handed it out.

Other shipmates dedicated their time to clipping, starching, and ironing uniforms. The rest of the company sectioned themselves off and assigned themselves cleaning duties. Our production, teamwork, and communication level was through the roof. The best part was having everything completed in the time allowed.

Now, tomorrow is our manual of arms test, and if Xray can maintain their composure and sense of unity then we should execute the test flawlessly. With high hopes for tomorrow another day is down.

29OCT13

A round of applause for Xray company. The manual of arms test we so vigorously have been practicing has greatly paid off. The many hours, countless revisions, and minor bickering has brought us to a perfect score of 10 out of 10 by Chief Johnson himself.

Ahh, it felt amazing to see that properly placed efforts can reap great benefits. It was also great to see Petty Officer Martin smile with pride; as if all her yelling and constant correction had been followed and not passed through “our thick skulls”. To see our company commanders have pride in us made us have pride in ourselves. I’m not going to lie, most of us had doubts our performance, let alone how calm we were going to be in front of Chief Johnson.

The moment the routine began, our breath became steady and our hands not so clammy. We performed as if we were back in the squad bay. With every command
we could hear one sharp movement from the group. No butt plates hitting the deck and even better, we kept our spacing.

Once the routine was complete the pause between our last snap and Chief Johnson’s first words felt like the longest most dangerous pause. His verdict was in; he
spoke with surprise and satisfaction in his voice. He noticed our efforts in our performance and how crisp and serious we were about our manual of arms test.

He said we were flawless and he was pleased. Of course we had to maintain our military bearing, but we were all jumping for joy inside. From then on our days was made and nothing could bring down our spirits. It slowly looks as if week six will be a good one. Now all we have to do is strive for our colors and maintain our military composure.

Another day down and we’ll be ready for tomorrow.

30OCT13

Mark it down in history folks – Xray 188 has earned their colors! The exact time and date is never noted when a company will receive their colors. Colors are given when the company commanders feel the recruits have earned their right to march with their designated flag. Xray has been picking up the pace a little bit; taking recruit training serious and building our team. Maybe it was our perfect score on manual of arms test that gave Petty Officer Martin the final nod that maybe we’re ready to fly our flag.

Of course our colors can be taken away at anytime by the smallest infraction so it is crucial for Xray to maintain themselves at a higher standard in order not to experience the devastation of loosing what we have worked hard for. I have to say, Xray was a little envious when Yankee received their colors first and our ego was struck a little, but we also had faith that our company commanders had perfect timing and would make the transfer of colors memorable.

We also had predicted, knowing our company commanders, that acquiring our colors would be in a physical manner. Our assumptions were correct; we woke up to fire,fire, fire. Thank goodness it wasn’t cold, but if it meant receiving our colors we would stand in negative weather. None the less, receiving colors was very special.

To add to the excitement of the day, we were also informed that a select few would be giving up our on-base liberty to make our way to Washington D.C. for the
displaying of flags at the Arlington Cemetery. Nothing could be more humbling or more honorable than placing the very same colors we fight for and to recognize our lost brothers and sisters. The opportunity to go off-base to a place most have not been before and participate in a once in a lifetime experience is exciting.

Thank you to our company commanders for offering us a chance to represent Xray 188 in such an honorable way. Another day down, stay up!

31OCT13

The title Coast Guardsman is quickly becoming a reality. Our days of non-rate are approaching shortly and our excitement is building. Today, Xray got their official military identification cards and we attended career counseling class to get information and advice on A-schools.

Another big thing Xray is working on is outrageously starching our uniforms.Once again we found the perks of teamwork. Males shined all female and male low
quarters while the females gathered everyone’s dress shirts, starched them and ironed them. It seems to be a beneficial process because everything is being done in a timely manner.

No doubt, Xray will be as sharp as a tack come Saturday. Pugil sticks were also a great stress reliever today and it built our progressive morale. Now that we know how to handle the giant q-tip it was a good brawl. Another day down, stay up!

02NOV13

Ahh, what a glorious day. I know most or almost all that read this blog got the opportunity to talk to their recruits because we were granted on-base liberty. The Arlington group left insanely early this morning, but they did have a long trip ahead of Them. The rest of the recruits that were left over stayed behind to complete squad bay maintenance as well as prepare for Master Chief Berry’s week eight physical.

After all those little tasks were complete, the remainder of Xray and Yankee company enjoyed their on-base liberty. The thought of consuming immense amounts of
chocolate while chatting and catching up with family and friends had us shaking with excitement.

As individuals, but more as a company, we have worked incredibly hard and buckled down to earn this opportunity away from our company commanders. Imagine
taking your whole world and flipping it upside down. Everything you grew up learning,rights and wrongs and basically having the civilian beaten out of you.

During our whole transition, we anxiously awaited any slight word from our family. For most of us boot camp was the first time we had experienced writing a letter. After six weeks of constant critique, walking on eggshells, and what feels like isolation we got technology back. Some of us were so enthused that we didn’t know what to do with ourselves- so much that we couldn’t remember the pass codes on our phones.

Our first stop was the exchange where we stocked up on sugar packed foods and drinks. Some felt responsible enough to buy things necessary for the remainder of recruit training. After our crazy purchases we made our way to the Harborview which is like a recreational center with food, television, and games. We picked our spots among the many tables and we immediately dialed our loved ones number.

It was great to see shipmates sauntering the premises smiling, laughing, and sharing stories from boot camp. In a big way, today busted our morale. Our parents gave us that ever so famous I’m proud of you speech and our friends gave us plans to look forward to after boot camp. Hearing familiar voices gave us that last little push we needed to get through the remainder of boot camp.

Tomorrow is our last day of week six and then we quickly make our way into week seven and become the senior company on the regiment. Another day down, stay up!

04NOV13
As we progress in recruit training, it seems as if our days drag on longer. The anticipation of graduation is so close but yet so far. Most recruits have a daily or even hourly countdown in their heads. With each passing hour our excitement builds. Mostly we’re looking forward to seeing our loved ones that we have been absent from for two months, but most importantly that chest puffing, head held high, smile from ear to ear accomplishment feeling.

I remember this past July I attended my friend’s graduation for the United States Marine Corps. The day before her graduation I got the opportunity to spend a couple hours with her on family day before she had to return to her drill instructors; equivalent to our company commanders.

When I saw the drill instructors yelling at the female Marines and the rude things they were saying to the females, I was shocked. One, how the heck did they tolerate all that yelling and hostility for three months and two, why would they tolerate a complete stranger getting in their face to yell at them for such small infractions? I even remember thinking I would never put myself through that kind of hell.

Well, five months later, look where I’m at – practically through boot camp, experiencing the same scenario I told myself I wouldn’t want to participate in. I know I’m not the only recruit that has felt the same epiphany as I have. No one volunteers to get yelled at for your thumb not being on your trouser seam, nor does anyone love being rushed through their morning routine or their meals let alone their evening shower.

Look at us now, we voluntarily put ourselves through all of the stupidity…for what? I asked my friend why and how she stuck it out for so long and her response was, “…because of the pride that comes with the title.” There, that’s it, because of the pride. The pride of calling ourselves a Coast Guardsman; the sense of accomplishment that will consume us the moment we shake that last hand at graduation. The history of the Coast Guard and all the impeccable people that came before us and wore the uniform we grace ourselves with every day. The same people that fought an are still fighting for the same common goal as us, and the pride behind the core values every Coast Guardsman lives by.

The closer we get to graduation, we recite those words slowly to get a daily reminder of what is expected of us, but also what has been instilled in us over the last two months. As we make the ever so wonderful transition from civilian to Coast Guardsman, some may consider it short and some may consider it long. Regardless, we grew as people and molded a company by the name of Xray 188.

We’re counting down the days while keeping in mind the final things we have to complete before our boot camp journey is over. Family and friends, another day down, stay up. Oh and a shout out to Chief Carire for drawing an incredible design for our companies t-shirts, they kick butt no doubt.

Journal by Seaman Recruit Danielle Richardson

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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