Lima 189 Recruit Journal Week: 06

Lima 189 Recruit Journal Week: 06
Formed: Feb. 11, 2014
Graduates: April 4, 2014


International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

Knee high drifts of snow and bitterly cold wind set the tone for LIMA’s first day of week 06. Disregard all previous comments about the nastiest day of weather; they don’t hold a candle, or an icicle, to this Monday, as recruits were rolled out of bed at 0500 to shovel snow until chow.
After a whiteout style trip to seamanship and back, week 06 smacked LIMA in the face hard. 02 missed time objectives and some gear adrift caused an entire evening of IT and remedials. Evolution rolled into evolution of suffering, culminating in a two hour stand at attention session with the week 02 OSCAR-189 company, adding insult to injury for the senior recruits.
While humiliated and frustrated, LIMA feels almost as if the whole day was a reset button, locking on the recruits and helping them refocus on the challenging day ahead. The debris field of the nuclear blast SK2 Russo unleashed this evening makes every recruit remember that as long as they are in Cape May they are a Hauser’s thread away from being labeled as the undisciplined echo- 1s they started as.

Tuesday of week 06 gave off a few mixed messages as LIMA tried to lock it back on. The day, let’s call it the “week 06 fix” started with the company marching down to Goff Hall for their firefighting prep class. Recruits donned their air masks maturely. Not one Darth Vader impression or maybe a few breaths were deeper than they had to be, as we learned about the protective gear.
After lunch, Chief Johnson rushed the company over to their old home, Munro Hall 02 deck and spoke about getting rid of the companies “bad juju”. He had recruits grab whatever discipline they had left out of the air and rub it back on themselves, a very serious and spiritual ritual. Part of the 06 fix.
Later, LIMA had its travel preparations class, working out all the details for the big trip to their first station. However, the excitement got to them a bit and military bearing was lost by many recruits. Chief Arseneaux identified this at evening muster, another 06 fix moment and hopefully the icing on the boot camp cake for recruits who didn’t quite get the picture before week 06, time to start acting like it.
The next days are big: firefighting, getting IDs and more, but it’s up to LIMA to keep their word and lock on even through all the intrigue and distractions.

Another day in week 06 another fix. One last big one. Recruits couldn’t get it together in a turbulent morning and it proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Chief Johnson called in the big guns, LIMA’s new section commander Chief Fredrickson. In one fell swoop, Chief sent six recruits packing for Mike Company, many good young people who will be missed.
That’s what it took to open the company’s eyes, as proven by the performance improvement the rest of the night, and hopefully they can stay locked on the rest of their stay at Cape May.
On a more training related note, today LIMA again split in half, one side going to shake their head and sigh at their military ID photos that seem to be photoshoped to look like zombies, the other to gear up and fight fires in Goff Hall.
Dressing out in full fire fighting gear and rushing into a dark, smoke filled room felt very intense that is until each team crouched in front of a fake compartment and sprayed water at a big wall of red LED lights. Not exactly the most realistic experience, but a valuable and interesting one.

On Thursday the company flipped places, more IDs and plastic fires. LIMA just barely missed their morning time objective, but they made sure they broke that pattern as the rest of the day went pretty smoothly.
However, the gravity of LIMAs situation was realized as Petty Officer Saporito marched the company across the regiment to show where to stand for graduation watches. As in the last company ahead of LIMA, KILO graduates. Come 1200 Friday, LIMA will be top dog on the regiment, and the pressure will be on. With only two weeks left, and lots of heavy lifting events to prepare for, LIMA has to pick up their feet, stand tall, and do their absolute best to set the example for the younger companies.

LIMA LIGHT: Today we’d like to highlight shipmate Alaimo, who is the primary watch coordinator. She’s like the person behind the curtains pulling all the strings of LIMAs night life, and she does an excellent job at such a difficult task. Today she had to make the schedule for the graduation watches and with half the company at appointments all across the regiment I have no idea how she could have put it together, but she got it done, buzzing around squad bay to squad bay making sure people signed their time slot. Good job shipmate! (How about a night off, huh?)

Friday the regiment was a flurry of activity. In the early morning LIMA covered the grounds like a sweaty dust cover as recruits hurried from ID appointments, dental, overseas screenings, and more. Afterward the base got dressed out in brass as countless big wigs turned up for KILO graduation. As big as LIMA is, it was stretched thin to cover watches directing stern faced captains strolling behind ambling groups at gawking family members.
Beaten stressful salute filled watches, recruits were able to contact their units, talking to their new sponsors for as short or long as possible, depending on each recruits comfort with actual speech instead of poking their superiors on Facebook.
Speaking of which, LIMA broke out its big bin of iPhones and like Christmas in Cape May, they weren’t’ allowed to interact with them other than walk past as they charged up on the quarterdeck, ready for on-base liberty. Tomorrow will be the first taste of freedom LIMAs had since before training began and with week 07 just around the corner it can lead on opportunity for LIMA as individuals to recharge and tackle all the pressure of coming so far in training but still being so far from graduation.

LIMA stands lined up on the quarter deck dressed in their tropical blue dress uniforms. Tailored pants and pointy garrison covers are making LIMA look sharp and proud as Chief Johnson bluntly points out the major problems individuals have with reaching uniform regulations. The recruits accept the criticism graciously since, one that’s how you survive messing up in week 06 of training and two, the rest of the day’s events are sure to make it impossible to feel unmotivated. 15 minutes later LIMA is headed down the road to the small boat station and pier where the 210’ and 87’ cutters are moored up.
Some hands on experience with operation Coast Guard equipment is mouth watering for most of the recruits since a majority of them are headed to stations and cutters but also since LIMA gets a chance to remember where they’re heading other than more pain next week.
Speaking of pain, after chow LIMA gets to stuff their faces with candy, talk/ tweet/ text on their phones and sit in the Harborview restaurant “smokin’ n’ jokin’”. On base liberty refreshes the recruit’s mushy spirits to the optimistic and resilient energy levels a group of crafty zoo penguins probably operate on. LIMA is heading into week 07 with some traction. Boo Ya!

A week with more ups and downs than six flags, 06 put LIMA through the grinder and then flattened them out into a more mature state.
Fresh off receiving orders, the company took a nose dive Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; forgetting how to respond, missing objectives, and more simple things.
However, after the shock and awe that was Wednesday’s inspection and group of reversions, LIMA corrected their course and sailed off into the sunset that was on-base liberty by Saturday. Recruits that for the last week couldn’t even use a chairs backrest were able to unwind, pig out and contact loved ones.
Amazingly, like “that’s so crazy it must be a dream” type of amazing, Chief Johnson showed how much he trusted his company by leaving them alone Saturday night. Instead of sneaking off base and throwing a rager at Walter’s house (who conveniently lives here in Cape May) the company displayed their non-rate qualities by carrying on like normal.
After a week best described as finishing strong, LIMA has to look ahead to the intense tests of week 07 and lock on. The last few weeks of training has the company walking the ridge of a mountain, they could either walk tall at the top of the world, or fall off the face of it. Only 12 more days to prove which will happen.

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.