Hotel 189 Recruit Journal: Week 07

Hotel 189 Recruit Journal: Week 07
Formed: Dec. 17, 2013
Graduates: Feb. 2, 2014

International Maritime Signal Flag Hotel

International Maritime Signal Flag Hotel

Phone calls, emails, paperwork, repeat. Week 07 gave us its best shot to wear us down. Not to mention, we are training hard physically for our upcoming fitness challenge in Week 08. The fitness challenge has everyone’s stomachs in knots. However, Required Knowledge for this week made us sweat even more so. This week, we were granted off-base liberty. Well, let me rephrase that, we had the chance to earn off-base liberty as we earn everything in recruit training, at least in Hotel-189.

Required knowledge has been a point of struggle for many recruits. This week was nautical terms 02 and fire types. There is so much information to know in such a short period of time. In these last few weeks time management and self-discipline is what will carry you through. Every spare moment we have as a company between classes or in the Squad bay, required knowledge questions are running through our minds.

Off- base liberty was well spent time sleeping, taking long showers, sleeping some more, calling loved ones, and a then heading out in our Bravos for a nice dinner. We all felt extremely proud as we walked tall around town in our Bravos. It was great to have so much support from the local community as people kept coming up and shaking our hands or telling us congratulations for making it so far into training. We all came back to the squad bay and hit the rack with high spirits that night until something out of the ordinary happened.

About 02 minutes upon hitting the rack, the lights came on and the order was given to get up and get online. For the next 4.5 hours we found ourselves outside in the cold rain for an extremely challenging evolution. We had seconds to make decisions. The catch for this drill was that our yeoman and squad leaders could not talk the entire time. This made it very difficult at first because we had to think fast to establish new direction and leadership. Shipmates stepped up to the task and we made it happen.

About 04 hours in, I think we were all feeling the exhaustion and wondering what the end result of this drill would be. The company was drenched, cold, and honestly just plain irritated. Finally, we were given the order to pack it up and head back to the house. When we arrived, we were called to the regimental flagpole and debriefed by our company commanders on the purpose of the drill.

We then ran up our company colors for graduation week. This was one of our proudest moments. This week, we all learned about how to take initiative and think on your feet. These lessons will be essential to life in the fleet. Week 08 is going to see a stronger and more united Hotel-189.

Hotel 189 Week 08

Week 08. It feels strange to even say it. Everyone is obviously excited to be at this point in training. Spirits are high now, but Monday afternoon was what made the experience here worth it. Monday was our week 08 physical fitness challenge. Everyone woke up and went through the morning routine as normal except you could see it on almost everyone’s face; we knew what was expected of us that day.

So, we hit the gym and gave it everything we had. Bike, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, swim, and then we completed the run. The run was a perfect ending for our greatest achievement as a company yet. When it came time to run, it started to rain considerably harder, the wind picked up, and the temperature dropped. For a moment we were given the option of skipping the run portion if we were not competing for the physical fitness award, but after a challenge by one of our Company Commanders to tough it out and push through with our shipmates, we all headed out to the track for what was a grueling 15 minutes.

In the end, we pushed ourselves and everyone finished. By the end of the day, we were told our scores on the week 08 test were the best they had seen from a company in this past year on the bikes and almost the best in every other fitness category. This meant more to us than pennants or scores; it meant that we had accomplished what we formerly thought was impossible.

It is true that the Coast Guard will push you beyond what you think you are capable of doing. It is amazing how far you can push yourself if you but just apply all that you have to a goal. We have learned this through literal blood, sweat, and tears. This week, we also received more face time with the Commanding Officer of Cape May, Captain Prestidge. To hear him tell us congratulations felt great.

We were full of questions and we held onto every word of his advice. Not to mention, the galley treated us to steaks and mint chocolate pie for our lunch with Captain Prestidge. We are in shape, we are mentally prepared, and we look mighty fine in our dress bravos. Hotel-189 has seen its fair share of long nights and early mornings, but perseverance and a desire to be above average has led us to this moment on Graduation Friday. Being above average was what were instructed to be from the moment Hotel-189 formed, it is what we strived for so hard all these weeks, and now it is what we are.
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.