Recruit Journal Golf 189 Week:02

Recruit Journal Golf 189 Week:03
Formed: Dec. 3, 2013
Graduates: Jan. 24, 2013

International Maritime Signal Flag Golf

International Maritime Signal Flag Golf

Week 03 officially began today. It’s hard to put into words exactly how we feel, in part because of the repetitive nature of our days here in Cape May. In some sense or another best description we can use to express our feelings today would be “Alive” and “OLD”.
We were happy another day began and passed with some smiles and breathing classroom time, though we still lamented when our physical and mental torment occurred; feeling as if we had suddenly aged to ninety. We were our five-year-old selves today when we had to test our water-survival suits in the pool; giggling for a second and baring a smile for the smallest of moments. This pool time and our classroom sessions on sexual assault, violence prevention in the USCG, information on the Montgomery G.I. (Government Issued) Bill and Post-911G.I. Bill, tuition assistance, as well as our last class on Coast Guard missions and roles kept us going.
In actuality, every single moment we are not being yelled at or physically strained we feel young, happy, and revived…but our excitement can get the better of us sometimes, which is probably where the yelling comes in handy.
Sadly, we lost one shipmate today who was rephrased, but our small company still remains strong and continues to grow together. Some of us have dental appointments tomorrow that we’re actually really looking forward to. Any time away from our CCs is usually happy time.
We continue to send all our love to you who keep us going. Here’s to you all and hopefully an “alive” day tomorrow!

Our third Tuesday in USCG TRACEN Cape May went fairly well…and in all truth a bit easier than the previous days. We spent roughly six to eight hours in the classroom learning safety measures in the Coast Guard and a brief history synopsis of its founding days.
Our lengthy class time was enjoyable compared to our “Incentive Training” (IT) drills, but several of us have begun to feel extra tired in the mornings either due to lack of sleep from duty (standing watch) and continued boot camp nightmares, or the “Cape May Crud” we’re all beginning to come down with as promised. Some of us really struggled staying awake in class this cold day, and we’ve learned NEVER to do it again unless we want to stand for the remainder of boot camp.
Though we enjoyed our lengthy day today, our CCs prepared a “warm”… “Guess who trashed your house?!?!”…welcome home for our return tonight. We hustled as fast as we could to clean our “homes” and untie our boots from a giant intertwined mountain of both companie’s boondockers. Thankfully we met some time objectives, including “Mount Boondocker”, but we missed some and had to do “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!!!” a couple of times. During our last frantic run outside it began to snow and from the corner of our eye we could see the buses containing the new Hotel-189 recruits.
It’s surreal that we’ve been here long enough to see a company graduate and arrive. We still hold onto the future time when we will graduate, but wish H-189 all the best tonight and this week.

Per one of our CC’s, Petty Officer Russo’s, requests…our physical activities today consisted of several piece drills and roughly an hour of high intensity indoor cycling. This ranged from 400-500 plus calories burned after evening chow. In addition to specific physical exercises and drills, we also were required to clean our home in Munro Hall with a creative edge since we were missing several cleaning supplies. All in all today was not a bad day. Much to Petty Officer Russo’s dismay we enjoyed more class time discussing military benefits for families and dependants, as well as leave and liberty details.
Several of us woke today with our growing “Cape May Crud” colds in full agonizing glory. Some were able to scarf down breakfast in time to make it to 0700 walk-in medical hours and receive a slew of medicine. Our bodies and immune systems continue to take a perpetual beating, but a team pow-wow meeting graced by Chief Griffin allowed us to pull strength from one another and prepare for another day.
We met with F-189 and Chaplin Grace tonight to a spiritual-and-latest-events lift with our chewy bars, helping us end the night on a positive note. We remembered a fallen Coastguardsman who was injured on 11NOV13 in a routine search and rescue mission and died today. In the past five years, eight brave Coast Guard men/women have died in the line of duty. Even though we have yet to formally become members of the USCG, we feel the loss of the shipmate’s death in this small yet close community, and shall try to honor him in our continued efforts in boot camp and our future USCG careers.

Well…today was not as good of a day as we had hoped it would be. In truth, it was one of the worst days we’ve had since forming. From the moment we woke up no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t make a time objective and we certainly paid for it throughout the day and night. Something about G-189 was terribly off throughout the day. Whether it was our growing colds, achy backs, and sleep deprived minds we struggled working together and meeting our challenges successfully. Today was the first time we actually yelled at one another and felt genuine anger vs. annoyance and frustration.
It didn’t help either that today when we returned from lunch to find our squad bays completely wrecked and drenched in various pools of soap, toilet paper, and any other worthy destructing item. It’s become a common place for us to return to tossed about squad bays and heads, but the level of massacre that happened today in addition to our building frustration from the day, pushed many of us over the edge of despair. We tried our best to clean our Cape May homes during our 15-20 minute time objectives today, but there was too much destruction for us to mend in such a short time. At least we were able to pull our beds from the ceiling (literally) and make our racks for bed tonight.
The one enjoyable “break” we had in our day today was our first seamanship class with Petty Officer Thompson. For many of us this was our first nautical class, and a very exciting one at that! Petty Officer Thompson gave us a wonderfully informative deck seamanship class that included several important terms we will use in our early and everyday Coast Guard careers. We loved Petty Officer Thompson’s class, teaching style, and construction of the classroom environment. Though he’s still strict, he poured his excitement and expertise in us and we can’t wait for the next class tomorrow!
Here’s hoping tomorrow really is a better day.

Yay! Our prayers were answered (for the most part)! Though we endured some intense IT today and didn’t meet every time objective, we did make small strides in our teamwork and academic/ required knowledge progress and received inspiring words from our Lead Company Commander.
The majority of our days this week have involved classroom time aside from our CC’s other favorite block in the day, incentive training time. Thankfully we enjoyed our second seamanship class today on types of line, definitions, and uses. Our instructor’s lectures are jam packed with useful nautical knowledge, but the constant demand for us to record, process, and absorb them immediately regurgitate/ knowledge verbatim on top of everything else is sometimes crushing.
In yesterday’s seamanship class we all had “off” moments where our fatigued bodies and brains literally froze and we could not process everything accordingly. Today in many ways felt like a small reboot, still with some pauses and glitches. Class time went much better with our instructor. We sounded off a bit louder, and functioned a bit more cohesively as a team. We certainly made mistakes and paid for them today, but our CC’s allowed those of us who wanted to go to choir and enjoy time away from yelling and motionless faces. For those of us who went to choir (nearly 80% of us!) we were spoiled by Father Fronk who brought his little, white, fluffy and very friendly dog!
Our shipmates who stayed behind completed various tasks, but when we all reunited to our delight our CC’s helped instruct us on piece nomenclature and formation movements. This experience with our CCs really gave us hope for the coming weeks and time with them, which we hope to experience again in the near future!
Interestingly, though the G-189 and F-189 females moved into the adjacent squad bay from our original smaller company areas. We don’t know why our LCCs chose to do this, but we hope it won’t negatively impact our individual companies growing team work efforts.
Tomorrow will be another day filled with hard work, sweat, and tears but as always we’re going to try and give it our all, hopefully doing a bit better as we did today.

It’s truly amazing how fast the days have passed this week 03 has been a monumental time of change, pain, and slow yet continuing growth. This time last week we all went to bed with heavy hearts and sore bodies not knowing if we would indeed be able to make it through USCG Boot camp.
Today as week three closes we find ourselves with an array of skills and strengths we had no idea we could muster in such a short period of time. Though we still lament our incentive training times, hour and piece holding sessions, “fire, fire, fire” morning wakeups, and other miscellaneous tortures, bits and pieces are becoming slightly easier.
We had really wonderful times this week in class, seamanship, choir, Chaplin visits to the squad bay, and a few moments with our CC’s when they spent time teaching us vs. drilling us. Still, we experienced low points this week too and hopefully learned from our mistakes so we do not go into week 04 with them and face reversion. Though we’re excited to begin week 04 tomorrow, we’re nervous too because each week holds more intense responsibility and potential threat to fall hard into reversion.
We’re excited each day to learn more and work hard to become true Coast Guardsmen/ women. Sadly though this means every single second and moment here is precious, especially as the weeks advance. Please know you’re always in our hearts and minds, and although we may not have time to write now, hopefully we will soon when we become more proficient in our knowledge and duties.
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.