Juliet 189 Recruit Journal: Week 03

Formed: Jan. 14, 2014
Graduates: March 7, 2014


14 JAN 2014

Hello from Julet-189! Friends and Family, we are alive, sore, but alive. We were all anxious and nervously chatting on the bus ride to Cape May, but when we turned the corner to the entrance grate…. Chatter stopped dead. Arrival at Cape May was like nothing we’ve ever experienced stepping off the bus, we felt like trapped prey being encircled by vicious predators. Everyone thought “What did we get ourselves into?” We were shaking like leaves, unsure if it was from the cold or from fear, because Company Commanders were screaming from all sides. Forming week has

International Maritime Signal Flag

International Maritime Signal Flag

been tough. Imagine how tough Boot Camp is, now multiply it by 10… It’s that brutal! We’ve never done more pushups in our lives. Flutter Kicks are the Worst! We are learning a ton of things, and are expected to pick them up quickly. After many mistakes, yelling, and push-ups, we’re starting to step-off with the left foot, March in cadence, and more through the Galley correctly. We have a long way to go, but we’re determined to get there. We started wearing our Operational Dress Uniforms or ODU’s (The Navy Blue Ones) today. It’s pretty cool to see your name on your chest. We’re hopeful that our team will be able to work together quickly and efficiently someday soon. We are still working on becoming one unit. If one is late, the whole team is late. Hope all is well on the home front. Send us letters! We will certainly need them to help us get through this. Our first letters may be short, but they will get longer as we learn to accomplish tasks quickly and efficiently.

20 JAN 2014

WOO-WEE! We made it through Indoctrination/ Forming Week. There have been a lot of lows, but a couple of highs as well. I think the motto of the week could be: “Let the games begin!” Unfortunately, unlike Petta and Katniss in the Hunger Games, the odds will never be in our favor… At least not for quite a long time. We woke up with a fire drill with our CC’s yelling “Fire, Fire, Fire” into our Squadbay. After freezing for a bit, we were ushered inside to do our usual, loud routine of Push-ups, Crunches, Squats, and Flutter Kicks. Other “Games” throughout the day included changing from our ODU’s in increasingly less and less time… over and over again. Clothes flew everywhere, belts were torn in and out of belt loops, and we literally ran back and forth from Head (Bathroom) to Squadbay. We also held our hands over our head to walk to chow because 01 shipmate forgot her cover; spun around doing “Right Face” movements reciting our Core Values Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty; held full canteens in front of our faces for 10+ minute intervals, shouting things, as always, and stood and sat from our classroom desks for 10 minutes straight, yelling “Attention on Deck” and “Aye, Aye when told to sit. Maybe someday, we’ll look back and find it hilarious… Right now, it HURTS! On the bright side, I think many of us are getting used to the yelling and realizing that 99.99% of the time, we will FAIL. Also the Chaplain gave us a warming welcome to our reprieve, when he took us through his stress management class and suicide prevention lecture. We were allowed to relax and finally get to know one another a bit. He even brought his dog named Shipmate, and allowed us to play music on our break! His encouraging words and wisdom helped a lot of us pick our heads up once more. We were still yelled at upon pick-up from the chapel, but I saw a few smiles peek though right before. Finally, the Section Commander, Chief Frederickson gave us a pep talk tonight. It was much needed. It served as a nice reminded to us that ultimately, we are lucky to be here, and we will make it through this. Anyways bedtime! Lights out at 2200 and our watch rounds begin tonight. Send us letters!

21 JAN 2014

We had core training at the Gym today. We learned about a lot of different exercise machines and how to use them properly. We then went to the Open basketball gym deck where we did a variety of exercises in stations. There was an arm station which had a variety of pushups, and abs station, a leg station, and a core/combo station, it was very tough and tiring morning. It was also snowing today! It was kind of hard to march in, and at one point we were told to just walk because people kept slipping. We also had a few classes today. We had discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Prejudice Class today. It was a good break from all of the exercises but it was tough not to fall asleep. Some of us had to stand in the back in order to stay awake! Today was also laundry day. We had to take our laundry piece by piece and stow them in our rack. There was a lot of moving around to scramble and get things in there quickly. We have a long way to go though. We have to move faster and be louder. We have to start coming together as a team and realize that if one person is late, we’re all later. Hopefully we all realize this very quickly. I think that things will get a little better once we do. Well we have a few weeks to figure it out! Hope everything is good back at home! Starting tomorrow, we get mail. Everyone is looking forward to open letters and packages from home. So start sending us letters!

22 JAN 2014

Today was an okay day. There were a few ups and downs, but I guess that’s going to be every day. This morning some of us had Physical Fitness Enhancement. Boy that is a workout. Hopefully it will help those of us who need to still reach the pushup, running and crunches goal. We all need to meet the standards in order to graduate. We ate chow and then went to a stationary bike workout. Boy that stuff is hard! It will help us on our way to building our leg muscles though. I think people are starting to realize that our Company Commanders and other Permanent Party Members do everything for a reason. We have to be fast because in the future (hopefully), lives will depend on our quick reactions. I hope the rest of the company that doesn’t understand that realizes it soon. Either way everything they do only makes us stronger. We also had our Rates and Ranks class today. We are now expected to properly greet and identify Permanent Party Members by their collar devices. We also got our pieces today (an M-16 Non-Gun). There is a certain way to hold them, walk with them and even rest with them. None of these positions are comfortable. I think we will all form a love/hate relationship with our pieces because they get heavy after carrying them for a while! The best time of the day was when the Chaplain came in to speak to us. He let us relax (well, as much as we could let ourselves), talk to him, and a little bit to each other. He shared some current events, and we were all able to laugh, and cry during that time. He told us that he was proud of us and to keep the Goal in sight. The goal is graduation, but he made us realize that in order to reach it we would have to focus on the task day by day. So that’s what were going to do. Hope all is well back home. I’m going to say this on behalf of the rest of my shipmates, we love you! We miss you! Send us letters! We need them!

23 JAN 2014

Today felt like a good day! The only part that was pretty awful was the end of the night, but I’ll touch on that at the conclusion. The day was a little brighter because we were starting to feel ever so slightly more like a coast guardsman. Our classes were interesting today, and things are starting to “click”. Our first class was on the “work life” program in the Coast Guard, led by a prior service Army woman. She seems to love her job and emphasized that the Coast Guard will take care of you. One of our Assistant Company Commanders (the guys who lead us…yell at us…train us) the one that’s a Chief, lead a fantastic class on saluting in the Military. It was nice to see a Company Commander in Instructor Mode, especially because he was a great teacher. He emphasized the important points, gave us a few glimpses into his own Coast Guard career, and made it so I had to stifle a smile and laugh once or twice. On top of it all, learning how to throw up a proper Military Salute felt pretty good! Oh! We also had our swim assessment today, 100 Meter swim then 05 Min. of treading water. There were mixed reviews amongst Shipmates, but I had a blast and enjoyed hopping into the water for a bit. The part of the day that was terrible was when Another Assistant Company Commanders one of the First Class Petty Officers had us from dinner to bedtime, taking us through more of his “Games” I know they are all supposed to have a purpose but it felt so mindless and I couldn’t help but think of so many other things we could be doing with our precious and limited time. Frankly I’d rather do pushups! I think we are collectively getting better at those, by the way. Only 05 Min. of mail time tonight… Sorry in advance if we don’t get much out to you letters are always welcome 

25 JAN 2014

Today was a bad day. Actually it was two bad days. Today plus yesterday were a bunch of 19-20 some things being baby sat by two of our Company Commanders, while playing mind numbing, unfulfilling games for the vast majority of our day. I probably am beginning to lose a few brain cells. The vocal chords are already shot. Today was the first time I really allowed my mind to wander to things I miss doing at home. They are simple things, like sitting with my coffee and a book, going for a run, or having a conversation with someone that I miss the most. I wonder what my Shipmates think about as they’re screaming and spinning. But we won’t have time to ask each other to find out. We would all find the day more tolerable if we actually felt like we were moving forward in our training. Right now it feels stagnant and wasteful. The one saving grace in our day was the visit we had from Admiral Neptun the Company Mentor. He was full of wisdom and Coast Guard insight. The two hours we had with him flew by, as he told us stories from his 20 Coast Guard Assignments and answered our dozens of questions. It was quite an honor. Thanks, Admiral Neptun! (and to the folks who set the visit up). There is nothing else exciting to share. Sorry, hopefully tomorrow will be better. Letters Please!

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.