Quebec Company 189: Week 02 Recruit Journal

International Maritime Signal Flag Quebec

International Maritime Signal Flag Quebec

Before most of us got off the bust that fateful Tuesday evening; we had little idea what was in store for us. Instead we all looked forward to life outside graduation. But as soon as the company commanders boarded the bus, those thoughts quickly vanished. The beginning of the week was a blur of medical and dental appointments, but the Friday afternoon we met captain prestige who talked to us about our training and the expectations that were expected of us. He then introduced us to our company commanders, Petty Officer Petrenko, Chief Hickman, Chief Blackman, and our lead Company Commander Petty Officer Smith. It was then we realized what a big shock we were in for.

Indoctrination weekend had started. That first night was a blur of physical fitness and drills. And as our heads hit the rack that night some of us thought how could this get any worse. Then Saturday morning with a jarring wake up of bright lights and yelling. We began our Saturday. After breakfast we visited the coast guard exchange getting things we would need for training. All the while learning the fine points of close order drill after lunch we learned more, close order drill. After drill we learned to make our racks and our beds. The class was not taught by our company commanders but by recruits later in training. All the while having classroom sessions on what was expected of us while we are here at Cape May. Divine hours what a glorious time. We had about 4 hours to ourselves in our squad bay or time to attend chapel services. While some of us stayed behind to fold cloths and make our beds some went to the chapel. As divine hours ended we went off to chow and went on a marching tour of the training center. Then more physical training and classes where we were assigned jobs.

Today was a day of learning painful learning. Many of our shipmates during succumb to their civilian creature comforts. We are learning to break old habits which started a lifetime ago. The day started on a brisk April morning with the wind coming off the ocean. We experienced Mother Nature first hand as we bolted from the ladder well. After an invigorating morning physical fitness rooting we marched off to chow. After our breakfast we marched our way to the gym. Upon entering the gym we did an extensive core workout. Hopefully we will leave strong or smart, or both. Then we marched back the squad bay to learn a lesson on keeping our eyes in the boat. Subsequently we marched off to chow in a fold rain. Upon finishing our food we made our way to the chapel once inside we were exposed to an atmosphere in which we could relax maybe too much. Where we had two classes. The first one we attended was on stress management taught by an upbeat chaplain. The second was a more important something that plagued the armed forces. Suicide Prevention. After which our company commanders ran us out and we spend the rest of the night working on our fitness inside with a slight break for chow. We marched with our company emblem “q” emulated on a white flag. The amazing chow they make here on base we had pizza and pasta. And after supper we burned off all the calories we just eaten.

The day began with the usual way, a jolt. Our lead company commander woke us up with “fire fire fire”, we rush down the ladder well and run outside at top speed and stop to take morning roll call out in the blistering cold. But instead of our usual pushups sit-ups squats and leg kicks we had a longer bathroom break. After a productive break, the company made way to the gym. Where we got into the groove of weight lifting. Upon entering the weight room it was apparent that our of all the places in the world we could only be on a coast guard base. Murals lined the walls of recruits enduring physical training in various forms. In addition the coast guard ensign and two national ensigns hung from the walls. An array of state flags could be seen. The amount of workout equipment that could be seen would rival any other gym in the world. We divided into groups to learn the various equipment. After the gym we were given a time objective which half of us missed and therefore missed formation back to our squad bay. After chow we had sexual harassment and prevention class for 3.5 hours. After that we went back to the squad bay for incentive training and remedial training.

So the day started off pretty normal for members of quebec-189. With physical fitness until 0930. After we attended classes that would help us during recruit training and our futures in the coast guard.

After which we had close order drill practice while we drilled we started to mesh together as a team for a little bit. The close order drill that we worked so hard on led us to the armory where we were issued our pieces. We marched back to the house to drop off pieces and a head break. After which we had a visit from the chaplain. The chaplain brought us news from the outside world. Most people were concerned with the sports scores and baseball standings. Another thing the chaplain brought was current events. The important news was spent talking about the deployment of naval ships, which hit us all that we joined a military service. But fears subsided as news of the outside world was told. Popular movies top ten songs, sports and more were listed bringing our thoughts even closer to home. After the chaplain read a few jokes he took our questions. When our curiosity of current events was satisfied he laid down some final words of wisdom. The chaplain made strong note that in order to get through basic training we had to put aside the self and apply our efforts in teamwork; otherwise it will be a miserable experience. When he finally departed something amazing happened it appeared as though the company was working together. When Chief Blackman called attention we sounded off while it has raised the expectations of the company commanders it has impressed pride in the company. A short period of time.

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.