Lima 189 Recruit Journal Week: 05

Lima 189 Recruit Journal Week: 05
Formed: Feb. 11, 2014
Graduates: April 4, 2014

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

The first day of week five began with a 0515 wake up call. LIMA’s first S.A.R. morning gives the recruits around 15 minutes after morning muster to be formed up outside and ready to step off for chow. As everyone rushes to brush their teeth with one hand and pull up their socks with the other, freshly pressed uniforms lay inspection ready for Master Chief Berry’s visit to Munro Hall.
When the inspection does come around, the recruits stand, sweaty palmed with words like “on the spot reversion” racing through their head. Everyone understands how real things are getting. Screwing up when it comes to a recruit’s duties (watchstanding, gear responsibility, not body checking a company commander into the bulkhead because you’re running through the quarterdeck) will now be met with a “bye bye” from Chief Arseneaux, which sends a recruit packing two weeks back in training. No more cozy incentive training, regimental humiliation or verbal lighting storms. The actions of the recruit, and the amount of luck they have, will decide if they have proven themselves worthy of being in Chief Arseneaux’ “lovely Coast Guard”.

LIMA’s week 05 Tuesday started off as crazy fast as the day before as recruits hopped out of bed and tramped down the ladder well in a tornado of clothes, shaving cream, and hair gel. Recruits then went over to receive their official dress uniforms. The company felt like a product on an assembly line as they were ushered from room to room, their legs measured for tailoring at one stop, shirts in the next and their jackets after that.
After lunch, LIMA stepped off for seamanship, burning to a crisp in their winter jackets because suddenly Cape May decided it was springtime and let the sunlight shine. Upon return, brains freshly stocked with radio procedures, Chief Johnson entrusted the company to stow their dress uniforms alone. Unsupervised. As Admiral Akbar would say, “it’s a trap” but low and behold the recruits kept their military bearing and got the job done with no nasty hiccups.
By the time main muster rolled around, everyone was realizing there hadn’t been a single incentive training session all day. Chief Johnson must have too because “Fire, Fire, Fire” was called and soon LIMA was pushing the deck. KILO Company was IT-ing across the way and LIMA decided to leave and impression, screaming KILO back into Healy Hall, tails between their legs.

LIMA Light:
Today Shipmate Carson was an awesome teammate, visiting each squad bay to ensure everyone knew how to properly stow their new items, helping fold shirts, clarifying various discrepancies. She got all our racks looking pristine and we thank her for her effort.

LIMA was tested on all of their seamanship skills today in a written test. Not exactly hands on experience of a search and rescue case on a 110’ patrol boat but since LIMA scored an average of 93.7 on the closed book exam; they are definitely taking a step towards understanding the basics of being a sailor.
Later that night, as LIMA listens to the regimental Chaplin counsel them on the challenges to come; one word could describe the recruits minds; anticipation. Whether the “light at the end of the tunnel” graduation presents is motivating the recruit or the idea of receiving their first duty station this week, LIMA is ancy. This is what will probably get them into a tornado of un-needed attention from their CCs as they slip away from their military mindset. Day dreams of traveling the world can dwarf the lessons taught at TRACEN Cape May but, the first one recruits learned here was that anticipation and not living in the moment isn’t what the Coast Guard is looking for from the 100 remaining recruits of LIMA-189.

The rating or particular job the Coast Guard calls its tech support is an IT. This complex acronym stumped many recruits in the galley this past week as they were challenged to explain that IT is an Information Systems Technician. Ironically, that’s exactly what the company needed today in the learning resource center as they were guided through the Coast Guard Portal website. This allowed them to view how they would be contacting their units, making travel arrangements and asking learned questions like “will my flat screen fit in my compartment?”
Some disappointed recruits were hoping to learn their orders then, and though CCs and instructors keep hinting and teasing about welcome aboard messages, it was no dice for the eager recruits.
But if the recruits were to take Chief Johnson’s perspective regarding this week’s events, we could see “there’s a silver lining in everything.”
The company is marching alone more and more. Squad bays are given time to clean and do more rack maintenance then some are getting hours of sleep. And if LIMA can continue to stay speedy and disciplined, the move to Healy hall tomorrow might be the start of the company feeling more like non rates and less like a flustered youth boaters safety course.

“This is the moment you all have been working towards” bellows Chief Johnson as LIMA’s 101 recruits sat down in Healy Hall’s classroom. We got our orders!
Chief Johnson and the assistant CCs go slide by slide as each recruit’s unit is read aloud, with a harsh joke for those who find themselves in different climates and time zones then they had hoped for.
Some individuals are distraught by the idea of not going to the shores of Maui, but the majority of the company whisper enthusiastic words of excitement during the rest of the evenings head and water breaks. Which happen to be in Healy Hall after the morning move out of Munro Hall. What a day. LIMA is feeling the unity an individual drive of being a senior company. And it feels good.

It’s amazing how quickly things change at Cape May. Recruits fall asleep week 04 Sunday and wake up in a panic week 05 Monday, SAR week, with 15 minutes to get to chow. One day LIMA company is struggling to stay awake in a hot classroom as they fill out their dream sheets and the next they have orders and a set future that plays out in their weary skulls repeatedly in anticipation. One moment recruits are kicking butt and taking names on the confidence course, and the next shipmate Feniello is dangling from the top of the rope climb, LIMA’s colors hoisted in his triumphant fist.
That’s right, a week full of higher expectations, moving, and changes culminated in LIMAs biggest day yet, and the day they earned their colors. A week full of tests: master chief Inspections, seamanship, and personal quizzes. LIMA’s Saturday and effective end of week 05. Excited recruits rubbed the rubber bits of the confidence course and roared “Coast Guard” as they challenged themselves on the various obstacles. They screamed their lungs out as they sprinted to their colors, all pains suddenly forgotten.
Vice Admiral Parker and his crew (including the future MCPOCG, Master Chief Cantrell) stopped by for lunch and a Q&A session with LIMA again as well, providing valuable insight to recruits as they came down from their trip to cloud nine.
Afterward, the CC’s broke out Pugil sticks and shipmates tested their mettle against one another with encounters raining in intensity from grade school pillow fights to mortal combat as the rest of the company cheered them on. The day and the week as a whole, saw LIMA form together as a solid team, willing to help and motivate one another to succeed.
Earning colors is another instant change, where LIMA now has much higher expectations to live up to. But they can feel the winds changing, and are ready to get underway with their well earned flag flying high.

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.