Lima 189 Recruit Journal Week: 07

Lima 189 Recruit Journal Week: 07
Formed: Feb. 11, 2014
Graduates: April 4, 2014

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

24MAR14 Week 07

There’s nothing quite like hopping out of a rack at 0500 in the morning and sleepily trying to dodge goose poo on your way to a morning workout. Actually, morning is a pretty strong word for such a crazy time to do strenuous activity, but there Lima-189 was during their first hours of week 07, pumping some iron like this was always their morning routine.
Monday consisted of a First AID/CPR class where recruits were first asked if they were squeamish, then show some horror movie style “example” of injuries they may need to treat. After that, Lima-189 piled into the gym and grabbed themselves a torso and a plastic baby from some official looking duffle bags to practice CPR. A few chest compressions and some awkward baby cradling rounded off the class and the company dutifully stowed away the creepy dummies and headed off to chow.
At dinner, something crazy happened…Chief Johnson stopped the efficient eating madness that are Lima-189 recruits to tell them they’ve earned dessert and coffee (!!!). In as mad a dash as the senior company could manage next to the galley CCs, recruits scooped cake, pie, and cookies off the rack faster than a fat man at a buffet. Sweets never tasted so sweet!
Not to say that the day was a piece of cake, but it went down as smooth as those cherry turnovers. Lima-189’s week 07 is off to a promising start.

25MAR14 Week07
Lima-189 had a day the average New York City taxi cab driver would consider “way too busy”.

Straight from Seamanship class, Lima-189 went to a swim circuit at the gymnasium. After diving off a platform for 30 minutes and doing 50 meter sprints, Lima shot back to Healy Hall to dress out in their Tropical Dress Blue uniforms. Starched and reeking of chlorine, the recruits stood at attention while the regiment’s Battalion Officer, Ms. Stiefel, quietly pointed out the discrepancies of their attempt to look like real non-rates for an hour and a half while standing at the position of attention.
After tarring off the formal wear, Lima-189 got ready for the “gun show”. This is the close order drill and manual of arms test the company has been preparing for. The Section Commander, Chief Fredrickson, stands on the stage in front of the formed up company, MIG’s in exposed knuckles. Lima then goes on to nail the manual of arms, screaming commands and snapping the rifle movements like the terminator, earning a 10 score out of 10. The close order movements could have been snappier, but with a score of 08, Lima still reaches the score for the Section Commander pennant. That’s 02 pennants for Lima-189 in 01 days. The other one was from the Seamanship final, which Lima nailed as well. Nice!

26MAR14 Week 07
Wednesday of week 07 and Lima-189 truly looked like they were ready to graduate. Chief Johnson himself was impressed when he pulled his truck into work in the morning and saw his recruits “turning and burning” already at 0530.
The day passed slowly with no real items in the schedule. Recruits felt a soft whisper of life as a non-rate as they tended to everything and anything they needed done without direction from ironing uniforms, to emailing units, to cursing as they scrubbed the annoying salt stains off their precious boots.
In the evening Chief Arseneaux sat down for his debrief with the company, smiling, laughing, and joking with his recruits like he’s actually human and not the muscle bulldog they’ve come to know and love (as well as fear). After many questions and some tough but entertaining answers, Lima turned in for the night eager to keep marching uphill the next day.

27MAR14 Week 07
Another day in Lima-189…another smooth 17 hours of training. In their infinite wisdom, the designers of all the recruit halls put up large tributes and walls of historical information in the midst of recruits whose one job is to stare ahead at absolutely nothing. Brilliant. And though brave recruits have been able to sneak a peak out of the corners of their baggy eyes during midnight watch, this Thursday Lima-189 went on a history tour with Petty Officer Russo where they could stare as much as they wanted.
In the afternoon, the company signed their official orders, and of course, the thoughts of life after boot camp churned back to the forefront of their weary skulls.
However, after orders were submitted the recruits had to focus on keeping a straight face as they were counseled on safe sex practices, awkwardly enough by an instructor who is actually an Avionics Electrical Technician. But they made it through crazy images of “playing Star Wars” with glow in the dark “…” things and all.
On the eve of their final exam Lima-189 laid down worried and eager at the same time, amazed at how time is flying and getting psyched up for the days ahead.

28MAR14 Week 07
A day like no other! Friday of Week 07 is a departure from an average day in Cape May, but with the days winding down Lima is finding the training schedule regimented more towards making the finishing touches on non-rates rather than drilling recruits into the ground. Lima was lead by Master Chief Berry in an all out sprint for the “Munro Mile”. Lima then had Petty Officer Saporito, Petty Officer Russo, and Lead Company Commander Chief Johnson speaking to them in the main muster squad bay.

No screaming, IT or BO could be observed this afternoon with the CCs. They, as individuals, addressed the company. Lima spoke about their opinions, funny memories, and questions they had. Petty Officer Saporito had the sunshine almost beaming out of his face as he received multiple stories from recruits of their ongoing fear of SK2’s training tactics and terrifying gaze.
Petty Officer Russo’s intensity was brought down just enough to show the recruits with a surprisingly genuine smile that her attitude and personality are just as, if not more, hardcore than the company suspected. Training or not.
Chief Johnson’s debrief was a more humbling exchange. Lima’s lead explained and conversed about the events and obstacles Limas faced. As individuals a training staff member, Coastie, recruit and as human beings. Chief Johnson reiterates the responsibility of pushing one’s self and abiding by the Coast Guard Core Values. He finishes by stating his last company is Lima-189, and riding into the sunset with them feels more than right.

Week 07 Summary
After this defining week, Lima Company feels as if their transformation into beautiful butterfly non-rates is complete. Days filled with frank talk and personal interaction with their suddenly not terminator-style robot CCs and hours of serious time set aside just to get squared away with their new units felt awesome.
Not to mention recruits really started to strut what they’ve got in formation after earning two more revered pennants; the Section and Company Commander pennants.
Saturday, recruits were amazed at a true taste of freedom on off-base liberty, as well as humbled by civilians thanking them for their devotion and covering their meal out of gratitude. As recruits, it made them very proud of their new organization, and determined to earn the respect those people had shown them.
With week 08 looming, and the last major challenge, the Master Chief Berry Challenge(s), the only thing darkening a horizon, Lima is getting ready for takeoff and already feeling like the top of the world.

30MAR14 Week 07
A slow day, as most Sundays are at Cape May, Lima Company for the most part squared away their racks and squad bays while trying not to think about the freedom that lies so close and yet so far away.
One large event this Sunday was the turning in of the company’s pieces at Goff Hall. After 05 weeks of practice and most memorably, sniper sessions and piece IT, it was a bittersweet feeling to place that hunk of metal back onto its rack.
With an early wake up the next day with the biking portion of the Master Chief Challenge, “Oh, crap!” Lima lays down to sleep eager to burn pedals off machines on Monday.


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.