LIMA 189 Recruit Journal: Week 04

LIMA 189 Recruit Journal: Week 04
Formed: Feb. 11, 2014
Graduates: April 4, 2014

International Maritime Signal Flag Kilo

International Maritime Signal Flag Kilo

02MAR14 Week 03

If LIMA’s time at Cape May could be broken up like a sport or action movie training montage (Rocky), the first notes of “Eye of the Tiger” could be heard ringing through Munro Hall this past Monday. LIMA isn’t quite able to say they’re ready to run up the courthouse steps but with every morning time objective met, the recruits are noticing a change in themselves.

The company must have been doing well, because our company commanders (CC’s) decided to reward us with a company run around the regiment. Though that sounds like a joke it felt like a treat for the recruits as they stomped through the muddy back trails at double time in formation, bellowing along to the song-like cadence, the whole experience pumping up LIMA rather than wearing them down. The thunder of one giant company football team echoing through the regiment said “this is LIMA, here we come!”

The rest of the day was spent training; Chief Arseneaux gave the company tips on manual of arms as he twirled his piece about, ensuring his students will be the “baddest company on the regiment”. The learning and cohesion of their movements was much preferred to the recruits than the usual remedial punishments. All in all, the whole company would agree that the last day of week 03 was one of their best yet, and the pride of earning it refreshes the weary company even as the hairs continue to fall out over what could be over the horizon in week 04.

LIMA LIGHT – Today we’d like to shine the light down on the whole company for its performance, but that’s not the point of it so we’ve gotta narrow it down. Recruit Squires gets this one for his ridiculously shiny boondockers. I mean those things are like a funhouse mirror, don’t look directly at them, you’ll go blind. Squires blew everyone out of the water during a shoeshining session today and he looks pretty darn sharp marching across regiment in those foot mirrors. Too bad he’ll have the whole company begging him for his secret recipe from now on.

03MAR14 Week 04

Monday, LIMA woke up with snow on their heads. The whole regiment was coated in white and a veritable blizzard was going strong all throughout the morning. After chow, the company split up into port and starboard halves to go to class. Port marched their icy boots down to Goff Hall for firearms courses, and Starboard tramped into their own classrooms for tips on commitment and an official course on the ins and outs of everything flag-related in Colors.

Port enjoyed the lights suddenly going out in the shooting range, but their sleep preparations were quickly cut out by shooting sound effects that sounded suspiciously like and 80’s arcade game found its way to Cape May. Meanwhile, Starboard learned how to properly case and honor the national ensign.

With an evening of photos and uniform readying, and one unfortunate recruit’s wardrobe malfunction turning into a session of wearing his shorts on his head, LIMA’s first taste of week 04 held more freedom, but also more responsibility.

04MAR14 Week 04

LIMA finished up their class rotation today with half the company learning about commitment in the Coast Guard and the other getting their chance to fire guns at a computerized range. Something LIMA shared was a quiet night of shoe shining, broken up by more sniper position and some Recruit Aptitude and Motivational Program(RAMP). RAMP begins with a group of individuals from LIMA (cited for their less than disciplined demeanor) skipping evening muster to op for an hour and a half of sweating like tuna steaks over at Healy Hall.

Anonymous CC’s rip into the E-1’S with back to back incentive training. This can only make a seaman recruit feel like they’re getting garlic salt rubbed into their wounds. The event has an effect that would be explained by a recruit’s fiery desire to never ever return to RAMP or any other painful acronym Cape May is going to come up with.

05MAR14 Week 04

Whether you had RAMP the evening prior, watch in the middle of the night, or a combination of both, midday physical fitness test sounds as healthy as pulling up a chair at the Company Commander table during chow. Throw in a prep IT session of epic proportions, Chief Johnson standing atop a storage shed directing pain as he almost swings from nearby pine branches with enthusiasm, and it’s no wonder LIMA’s march to the gym was a dreaded one.

However, with the whole crew of CC’s looking on, weary muscle and shaking limbs pulled through as most recruits surprised themselves in their resilience. Any victories were short lived however, as the rest of the night LIMA was punished for its avoidable mistakes. A rough night, and a long one, but Petty Officer Saporito said it best as he called lights out for the squadbays. “Today was bad, it sucked, but tomorrow is a new day. Don’t screw it up.” Harsh but true.

LIMA LIGHT – Quick one here, it was brought to our attention that our company yeomen, all had leg injuries that extended their time here at Cape May. However, today all three of them ran their mile and a half in 13 minutes, a great feat and an awesome comeback story, kudos to them.

06MAR14 Week 04

On perhaps the coldest, most miserable morning at TRACEN Cape May yet, LIMA roused their aching bodies for a frigid popsicle treatment as they marched down the bay to seamanship. A whole morning of knot-tying and commanding a computerized helm slowly let the frozen recruits warm up to the day.

After lunch, excitement buzzed through the air as the company sat down in one of their most important and anticipated courses: Assignments. They learned about all the open billets in the Coast Guard, from cutters to shore units and more. Sweaty fingers quickly filled in their four requests for district placement. The recruits were reminded by the instructor, Petty Officer Buchannan, that no matter how many ways they asked “How do I not get on a cutter?!” most would end up on afloat units.

Whenever the orders are to come through, it’s guaranteed that a major percentage of LIMA’s ideas of how they’re best suited for a small boat station are going to disappear in a cutter’s wake. But with the majority of LIMA averaging at 19 years old, able bodied, and completely clueless on what’s best for them, nobody should be worried at what’s to come. The Coast Guard will give them all an opportunity to succeed.

LIMA LIGHT- Tonight the light shines down on shipmate Gleeson, a brand new father as of this week. A company-wide congratulations to him and his wife for the growth of their family, and we hope he makes it home double time to see his newborn son.

07MAR14 Week 04

On a windy Friday morning, LIMA company found themselves in a peculiar situation: marching back and forth across the regiment like a broken record as the Company Commander class tried their hand at “driving the bus”. After each frosty outing, the recruits got to stand in a daze as the impossible took place, they got to critique CC’s (well future ones anyway). However, even though it feels good to give back a bit of what they take, recruits have to keep in mind that there will be IT practice too, and CC students have excellent memories.

After chow, the big week 04 Midterm took place. Well, after every computer went down and 03 pencil sharpeners were lost in the line of duty at least.
A quiet night ended with Chief Johnson breaking the news that the company didn’t make the 93% cut for the academic flag pennant, but he said that doesn’t measure the company, and that his recruits were coming along very well. Moving into week 05, where “nose dives” are common, LIMA needs to keep upping their game.

08MAR14 Week 04

LIMA was tested today by being ordered to bring down all 100+ rack mattresses to the front of Munro Hall to be cleaned. With no time objective, the CC’s looked on as a slew of recruits attempted to send the mattresses down 03 flights of stairs, spray them down, and send them back up. The crusty sailors-in-training spent the next hour passing, spraying, cleaning and screaming with the organization of an elite ant colony. Eventually all the racks were made and the thick stench of teamwork was as rank as the recruits’ underarms. As one recruit very wisely put it: “Imagine if they made us do this forming week, we’d be here all day!” But instead the task was mission complete in an hour or so, a quiet testament to the growth LIMA has seen in its four weeks of training.

Week 04 Summary

The fourth week of training for LIMA company saw major changes for the tired recruits. Shipmates tried their hands at pistol marksmanship, made sweat slam the deck with effort during their PF Test, and, most enthusiastically, filled out their dream sheets to try to direct their bright future as Coastguardsmen.

Week 04 felt different, there was still IT and punishment, but much more training, learning, and successful time objectives. Recruits had time to learn manual of arms, square away their racks, and study for their midterm knowledge test. More military bearing was asked of LIMA and the company for the most part gave it better than ever, with focus and teamwork becoming of week four recruits.

Though the coming week 05 is an exciting time, it is also more demanding and dangerous. LIMA is determined not to take the “Week five nose dive” and they have what it takes to make it through, only time will tell.

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.