Delta 189 Recruit Journal: Week 06

Delta 189 Recruit Journal: Week 06
Formed: Nov. 19, 2013
Graduates: Jan. 1, 2014

International Maritime Flag Delta

International Maritime Flag Delta

24 DEC 13
‘Twas the night before Christmas and we were busy! About half our day was spent learning firefighting skills, terms, and doing a firefighting practical exercise. We had to don all of our gear, including self contained breathing apparatus. This is something most of us have never experienced, and it showed when we hooked up the mouthpiece…several shipmates panicked because they were not able to breathe. We just had to take big deep breaths and all was good. Next, we went to fight a simulated fire, but it did not feel simulated at all. It was hot, foggy, and incredibly uncomfortable trying to get down low to handle the hoses. The Training Center does an incredible job of creating the stress while simultaneously instructing fire teams on how to proceed. It was the first step for us in facing the ‘real deal.’

We also practiced manual of arms, got to see how much money we will receive on our travel requests when we depart Cape May, and a lot of us went to “Midnight Mass.” By the way, they can’t actually let us stay up until midnight. That would be madness!

The funniest thing that happened the other day was when one of my shipmates got caught cleaning his ears in the squad bay, which is definitely a ‘no-no.’ Chief Carire said, “Hey man, maybe you can call Yankee Candle and have some candles made.” Everyone struggled not to laugh with that one.

The unexpected part of the night was when some of the Coast Guard spouses surprised us with hot cocoa, cookies, and stockings. It meant a lot to us to know they were willing to take time away from their families to make us feel cared for and appreciated over the holidays. They made us realize that we are one another’s family while we are here at Training Center Cape May. This is a tough time for us to be away from home, but when people do things like this for us, it makes it a lot easier and grateful to be a part of such a wonderful service.
We got to talk while we enjoyed our holiday snacks, and shipmate Forgy asked us all what the worst Christmas present was that we ever received is. Some of the responses included, (1) a jar that counted coins but did not sort them, (2) a note pad, (3) a used gift card with $24.60 on it, and, (4) a scarf that had a dog embroidered on it. I guess the moral of the story is, you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need!

25 DEC 13
Words can’t describe how blessed we are to go to Operation Fireside for a second time. They do a great job organizing the event and the families are so hospitable.

Before getting into the festivities, we must share a funny moment from the day. After morning chow, we formed up and it was incredibly cold. One shipmate was exceptionally cold. Petty Officer Evans asked him if he was shivering or if he was convulsing. He said shivering and she said, “That is some crazy shivering going on.” It was really crazy looking but he is from Guam so we can’t hold it against him.

Before Christmas started with our host families, there was a Protestant service and Divine Hours. Then it was time to leave with our hosts. Some went with small groups and others in pairs of two. We got to ‘decompress,’ watch television, drink punch, eat an amazing spread of food, and use computers and phones. Watching television was particularly funny because a basketball game was on, and we all took notice that the court looked very small while the players looked exceptionally huge. Ours was a group of six guys, and we had a great time. Our host family had two dogs, a foosball table, table tennis, darts, and great stories to share with us about past Operation Firesides, Cape May history, and personal stories as well.

All of our shipmates later told us about their wonderful Christmas as well, and we can’t express how grateful we are to these families for allowing us to share the holiday with them as we continue our training to become Coast Guardsmen. It was a very Merry Christmas, indeed!

26 DEC 13
We were supposed to have pugil stick bouts today but the company commanders assessed that the operational risk was too high.
Later, Petty Officer Evans asked if we were excited to fight someone and we all immediately raised our hands. She asked shipmate Torres who she wanted to bout with, and she replied someone from our sister company. The way she said it made us all laugh. Torres’s justification was that this shipmate is usually very bossy. Petty Officer Evans said she is bigger than her, and asked Torres if she was scrappy. Torres said she could take her! The whole evolution was hilarious and we had trouble containing our laughter. We know that our company commanders understand that some things are just too hard to bite your tongue over!

27 DEC 13
Today was incredibly long. It had its ups and downs but to us, the ups outweighed the downs. We had shots at medical, a uniform fitting, and we contacted our units, all before noon. Then, we had our manual of arms test, following which we were awarded with coffee, a huge incentive. Hopefully, no more shipmates fall asleep standing in class. After chow, all of our company commanders came in the squad bay and were mad as can be. They told us to pack our sea bags, then we went on a really, really long march to the beach with our sea bags. We marched with our heads down, reciting page 200 from our Coast Guardsman Manual by memory. DISCIPLINE! We know that whole paragraph by heart. We finally got to the beach and it was a nice relaxing day at the beach…PSYCH! We did an INTENSE incentive training session as we were ordered to gaze at the horizon…our future home. As we looked out onto the sea of blue, we anticipated what was to come next. We got on our feet, covered in sweat and sand, we hear the command, ABOUT FACE! As we complied, the hairs on our necks rose as we saw Delta’s colors in the distance. They told us, “go get ‘em,” and we charged like bulls. We cheered and jumped, we were ecstatic as we realized we finally did it…we “earned” our colors. It was a huge moment for Delta company! Who are we? DELTA-189!
The night ended with a swim circuit and choir. It was a busy day but the training was incredibly productive and it was a day few are all very proud of. We know what we have accomplished, and it is no small task.

28 DEC 13
Since earning our colors, we’ve started to sing cadences which are a lot of fun. There is one about Chuck Norris, another about Yogi Bear being dead, and to top it off, there is even one about us being ugly. The company commanders will say “ugly ugly ugly you,” and we say “ugly ugly ugly me.” They say, “two more weeks and you’ll be through,” then we say, “two more weeks and we’ll be through,” then, “I won’t have to look at you…” Believe it or not, it’s a real morale booster! They are a lot of fun, and as long as we stay on top of our training, these last two weeks should be enjoyable!

Before we began on-base liberty, we practiced close order drill (the test is coming up) and tried on shirt stays with our tropical blues. We all looked funny in shirt stays with physical fitness shorts, black socks, and low quarters…and man, are shirt stays uncomfortable! Sometimes pain is a name of the game…this is the price we pay to look sharp!

On base liberty was good; it helped us all decompress from the stress of training. It was good to see shipmates laugh and enjoy fried food, while talking to family. If you saw what some us bought from the Exchange, you would think at least half of us were going to come home and be diagnosed with diabetes. Holy sugar! We are going to be tested a lot over the next weeks, but as long as we are SEMPAR PARATUS, we should be alright!
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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One Response

  1. Paul Bonelli says:

    Great post. Thank you for lifting up our spirits.