Juliet 189 Recruit Journal: Week 07

Juliet 189 Recruit Journal: Week 07
Formed: Jan. 14, 2014
Graduates:March 7, 2014

International Maritime Signal Flag

International Maritime Signal Flag

Growing up, everyone seems to stand in awe of firemen.
Whether it’s the big red truck, sliding down the fireman pole, or the heroic nature of the career, firefighters are simply kind of cool.
Fires can happen out at sea too, and any danger that happens on a ship seems to be magnified by 10 when compared to it’s land based counterpart. So Juliet got some basic fire fighting instruction.
“FIRE FIRE FIRE!, our instructors called out dressed in red. We dressed out as quickly as we could and entered into our fire-simulated room, complete with smoke, flame (digital), roaring noises, beeping gear, and controlled chaos.
We got in, did our job and got out of there “Mission Complete.” It certainly got our adrenaline pumping and gave a bit of appreciation for a fireman’s work.

Failure. It’s a tough thing to get over… Especially when you disappoint people that you truly respect. Today we had our Manual of Arms/ Close Order Drill test. We have been learning and practicing everything for the past few weeks. Petty Officer Matthews and Petty Officer Smith dedicated a lot of time into teaching us all the correct movements of Manual of Arms.

Our test today did not go as well as we all had hoped. We weren’t loud enough, were sloppy with our movements, and didn’t pay as much attention to calls as we should have. We all knew it was not our best work, and that we could do much better. We are definitely a much better company than what we put on display.

The good news is that our section commander, Chief Fredrickson knew that we could do better. He is giving us a second chance to prove ourselves. We get to re-do the test on Friday. Hopefully we will be able to impress him, and show him how awesome Juliet-189 really is.

More importantly, we need to showcase the amount of effort and time we have dedicated to learning and practicing. Our company commanders have worked very hard to teach and practice with us. Our main goal is to make them proud.


Last week, we were given a really neat opportunity: Being the “Guinea Pigs” for the soon-to-be company commanders in Company Commanders School.

Maybe that sounds crazy. In the earlier stages it could be rough when a million company commanders surrounded you to “practice” incentive training with you and taking you through a rack inspection. However, our latest encounter with the school was actually….Enjoyable?

We practiced line drills. Basically lots of lines (ropes) of all different sizes were involved and were taken through many line handling exercises. It was high stress (naturally), required learning new skills, loud (of course) and had a fun element of completion.

Our company was divided into two squads and ordered race around the regiment, heaving and faking the lines as we went. It was team work at its finest. Under pressure we had to figure out our collective strengths and weakness. We had to figure out who had the brains, when had the brawn, and who was a good supporter? We looked like a bunch of loud bouncing fireflies (our penlights were attached to our backs). As per usual, we were exhausted afterwards, but the general consensus was that we had a blast.

In the ends, the senior chief leading the company commanders in training asked for feedback from us- on how the trainees did in directing us, and if the instruction was clear, and if there were things that they could have done better. It’s a really neat side of regiment life to see. You don’t sign up to be a company commander on a whim; it takes a lot of effort to get there. I’m willing to bet their training might be just as intense as ours is, but in a different way. It adds a bit of respect and a lot of credibility, ya know?


High Spirits for Juliet-189! Today we had off-base liberty. Off-base liberty is when we get to “Hit the town” and explore for the whole entire day. We all drank a lot of coffee, ate too much junk food, and tried to keep our eyes open during a movie. It was great to get into our dress uniform and go outside those gates. After that wonderful break we all have the strength and motivation to stay locked on, motivated and keep our eyes on the prize. Only 05 more days away!

In other awesome news, we have all passed our final exam, and we did well on our Manual Of Arms test. It’s such a great feeling to know that your hard work and dedication is paying off. It’s also a good feeling to know that your company commanders are proud of you… Even if they don’t completely show it.

Juliet’s flag is flying high on the flag pole now. We are officially the senior company. We WILL stay locked on, loud and proud for the next 05 days. The prize is within reach. The only way we can make it is by continuing to be strong as a team. We will all look out for each other, and never leave a shipmate behind.
We are JULIET-189


“FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!” Yes, the start of week 08 and we awoke once more to a fire drill. I speak for all of us when I say that we thought for sure we were past that. Standing our in the cold, muster completed, Chief Hickman waited a minute then finally spoke… “Left Face, Half Left Face.”

There we stood looking towards the ocean, staring at our flag along with a beautiful sunrise. Standing there in silence for what seemed like forever, we waited. Then Chief Hickman spoke again. “This is one of your last sunrises here, Juliet, enjoy it. But trust me, you will enjoy it more underway. There are no distractions or lights. Take it all in.”

It is sentimental moments like this that remind us why we pushed ourselves to the ultimate max, through all the pain and tears. Needless to say, we were all grateful for that particular “Fire, Fire, Fire.” The rest of the day continued to be wonderful. Sundays we all look forward to our divine hours. We have a little more down time to recover. Later in the day we did a run- well more so a race. It was a quick mile to compare everyone’s times. It was a beautiful day, so it was definitely enjoyable.

It’s safe to say that the start of week 08 has been awesome. Not just because of Hickman’s speech, and our company run, but because this week our company commanders start with debriefs. Today we learned so much about two of our company commanders. We were able to close the door and ask them questions about themselves, tell stories, and laugh. Yes, laugh! It really opened up our eyes to who our company commanders really are.

We already considered them role models, and respected them before this, but hearing their stories, opinions, and encouraging words doubled those feelings. Juliet is really blessed when it comes to our company commanders. They have taught us so much, and helped each of realize we are worth more than we ever could have imagined.
There aren’t enough words to thank them but we hope they all know that have had such a positive impact on all of our lives. We are forever grateful!


“Don’t do something until you can get it right, do it until you can’t get it wrong.” So says our lead company commander. Whether being beaten to a pulp, or being debriefed by our company commanders in week 08, who stayed up past TAPS (lights out) with us to talk to us about their lives, and experiences in the Coast Guard, they always seemed to know what to say.

Hindsight gives perspective. Juliet-189 can now look back and see the purpose behind all the craziness we were put through. Its funny to see a week 01 recruit walk by with his lanyard(piece of rope) hanging form his rucksack like a tail, or be deafened by other company commanders yelling at their recruits in the galley, and know that we were one of them

Now in week 08 everything seems to be coming together. Just today we pinned the Coast Guard Emblem on our Official Ball Caps. Everyone has passed the final and tasks that seemed impossible before such as responding correctly, sounding off, or even ordering food in the galley now seems second nature.

Moving forward, we can use what we learned here and apply it to our jobs in the fleet, whether on a cutter, at a small boat station, or on a patrol boat. Anticipation and excitement is high not only for our Thursday night pizza party, and upcoming Graduation, but also for our next chapter with the Coast Guard.

On behalf of the 03 Historians and our Shipmates in Juliet-189, we wanted to say “Thank you” and express our gratitude to our company commanders for leading us, sharing their own experiences, and preparing us to step out into the fleet as United States Coast Guardsmen. Semper Paratus.


Company roster:
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.