Juliet 189 Recruit Journal: Week 06

Juliet 189 Recruit Journal: Week 06
Formed: Jan. 14, 1014
Graduates: March 7, 2014

International Maritime Signal Flag

International Maritime Signal Flag

20 FEB 14

Are we allowed to say that “Today was a good day at boot camp”? Because for Juliet-189 today was a great day at boot camp! It was one cool thing and one small victory after another. From morning chow, we marched straight to our fire-fighting practical at Goff Hall. The goal was to simulate an actual fire, with our group divided into several small fire teams. It was chaotic, awesome, and an eye-opening experience. But one of the other historians will be writing about it later. After class, our instructor told us to “go march yourselves back to the squad bay”. We all looked at each other in surprise and mild confusion, as we are usually picked up by one of our company commanders.

However, Juliet-189 stepped up, locked on, and marched back to the squad bay, led by one of our fellow shipmates. Marching back on our own gave us a little pride in ourselves… but the next couple of hours in the evening were ones that made the past 06 weeks at boot camp worthwhile, and are the ones that we’ll always look back on fondly and with phenomenal pride. Things started out on the right foot (or actually the left foot, because we always step off with our left foot), with “Pugil Sticks”.

Essentially, we paired up, suited up into padded armor, and battled it out in an arena against our opponent, surrounded by our cheering shipmates. It was a funny progression, because as time went on, there were more and more grins and cheers let out as each person stepped up to the plate. Everyone got into it- Petty Officer Matthews and Petty Officer Smith took one corner to coach, Chief Hickman took the other, and Chief Cain refereed. Competitive streaks kicked in and it turned into a lively sporting event that was a blast, the area alive with excitement and camaraderie.

At the end, we formed back up and regained our military bearing, ready to return to Healy Hall. But then, Chief Cain told us we were going on a “field trip”. My heart skipped a beat when I realized we were finally going down the ocean-side. We lined up in two lines alone the beach front, silently, as the waves crashed ashore and out company leaders stood by our side. “I’d like to take this time to officially welcome you to your new office”, said Chief Cain, directing our attention to the ocean. Its certainly and awe-inspiring, vicious and magnificent office to have.

However, as Chief Cain said, we will never own the ocean… the ocean owns us, and the ocean always wins. His inspiring speech that followed set the stage for the career that we have ahead of us. We have a lot to look forward to, and right now we have a few great mentors with a lot of unique experiences under their belt. Finally: “Juliet, you’ve been through a lot here these past few weeks, about face, (180 degree turn). Juliet do you want your colors”? “Yes Chief Cain”!! “Go get them”! Standing before us, about 50 yards up the beach, was our beautiful blue and while Juliet flag, waving proudly in the chilly wind. We raced up as a company, everyone reaching for a grip on the post. Some had tears streaming their face, everyone was filled with a pride and joy that in indescribable. “We are Juliet-189! We are Juliet-189!” we shouted, and it felt pretty good to march home with those new company colors.


“Fighting for your dreams isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it”. That’s exactly what Juliet has done for the past 06 weeks. And now with a week 07 quickly approaching we are all striving to do our best and finish strong. Looking back to week 02, 03, and ever 04, Juliet-189 has without a doubt matured and grown together. These past two days I have heard many shipmates comment about how they are sincerely going to miss everyone when we part in just two weeks. I have also heard them discussing staying in touch throughout our careers.

Recently, more so than before I have witnessed shipmates making it a point to go out of their way to help one another, and of course that’s how it should always be, but it can be tough at times here at boot camp. Needless to say the transformation from civilian to juliet company has been incredible. I consider myself blessed to have had this opportunity and cannot wait to see what our final two weeks bring!


Two evenings ago, we went on our first company run. In the historian’s opinion it was the best moment at boot camp thus far. Our formation was small, as half our company was in the ward for dental work or elected to ride the stationary bikes instead, but it felt like a tight knit group. We silently ran a route through the regiment, aligning with one another and trying to keep each step in rhythm with our shipmates. Running back alone the bay, they scenery was magnificent, the air cool and crisp. A storm was brewing in the distance so the setting sun rays were shined around the water surface like a prism, peeking through the darkening clouds, creating a beautiful array of color.

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.