Mike 189 Recruit Journal: Week 01

Mike 189 Recruit Journal: Week 01
Formed: Feb. 25, 2014
Graduates: April 18, 2014

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

Week Ø1

Week Ø1 has been a stressful time for recruits in training company Mike 189. Upon arrival at Cape May, company commanders stormed the bus, screaming at us to get outside. The yelling hasn’t stopped since. All communication is done by sounding off, or being as loud as possible. Even though many recruits knew this was how bootcamp would be, it is still hard to adjust to constant screaming (especially at Ø53Ø!)

Mike 189 is a group made up of about 73 people from all walks of life. Everyone is starting out strangers, yet we have to work together as a team. It has been very overwhelming as everyone starts learning their own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of other members of the group. We are given time objectives, and if one person is late the whole company fails the mission. People are finally figuring out that if you have time to yell for someone to hurry, you have time to help them.

When we do not meet a time objective, we are forced to get in shape. After the first few days a lot of people were sore! However, after just a short period of time people in the company are discovering they can do more than they thought possible when pushed to the limit. Sleep is very limited at Training Center Cape May. Classes have started, and even though we are interested in the information, many recruits are having a hard time staying awake in class. Once we are taught information, we are expected to know it and put it to use almost immediately. With every minute planned for us in a day, there isn’t much time to study.

During meals in the galley, (cafeteria), company commanders will put people on the spot to answer questions. As recruits go to the table with their trays, each hopes they do not get called out. Everyone refers to it as the “Shark Tank”, and tries to get in and out as fast as possible. No talking is allowed amongst recruits while eating. Everyone sits quietly, listening as other people get yelled at. To top off the craziness going on, many people are adjusting to being away from loved ones. We just started receiving letters, and this is a time everyone looks forward to in the evenings. Being at Cape May for Coast Guard boot camp is physically and mentally exhausting, but most try to remain positive and lean on each other to get by. It will be an interesting Ø8 weeks!

Week Ø2

This past week was a difficult one. We are starting to get to know each other as shipmates and learning to work together as a team. Our days are always the same, it starts at Ø53Ø with whistles and sometimes (if we are unlucky) the words “FIRE,FIRE,FIRE”! In which we yell back at the top of our lungs “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE” And rush to put on our socks and “Go Fasters” (running shoes) so that we can hurry down the ladder well and form up as a company outside. This drill sucks!..Actually, all drills that we do here suck!

Our training throughout the day is tough, not only on our minds, but our bodies and our spirits. We all miss home and try our hardest to keep each other going with the limited contact we have, but what we all need to realize is that all we have is each other right now, and that’s all we are going to have for the remainder of our time here at Cape May. Some positive things that have happened for Mike 189 are the we are meeting a good “Grip” of our time objectives, which has lead to some rewards such as not having to eat like robots or “squaring our meals”. Another positive thing that happened recently is we all got to meet our company mentors.

Admiral Thomas and Master Chief Pearson. These two great leaders opened our eyes even more by giving us advice and telling us their success stories. It was quite motivating for all of our company, and a great way for us to spend time away from our company commanders. Some of us were even lucky enough to sit down next to them and have a conversation over lunch. It was a great experience for all of us during this challenging time. We still have a long way to go as a company and short Ø6 weeks to come together as Coast Guardsmen.

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.