Recruit Journal Quebec 189: Week 02 – 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Quebec

International Maritime Signal Flag Quebec

Formed: April 1, 2014
Graduates: May 23, 2014

10APR14

With the sun cresting the horizon April10th began, and so did the qualifying swim assessment. Quebec Company dressed in their swim wear and lined up behind the 1.6 meter high platform into the pool. After lining up behind the platform, the company learned how to jump from a sinking vessel. Then swam 100 meters followed by a five minute treading of water. After the test we marched to a class that taught us how to balance work and life. It was a class that would help us in the future. After which we had a class on how to salute people. And then learned how to aim our rifle.

11APR14

It seems as though during every class or educational seminar Quebec-189 losses its focus on Military Bearing. Time and time again the CC’s step in and sober things up with whit sharpening Incentive Training sessings. Being brought to par seemed to be the game to play today as Quebe-189 had several classes. “Expectations during dental visits” was the first sit down lesson of the day. Apracticing dentist laid into detail the particulars of dental health, cavity prevention, and mitigating bad breath. Following closure of the class the company failed several time objectives all of which would be paid in full for later. Similar behavior followed into the anti terrorism class, which explained procidures fo handling threats and terror on a case by case basis. The new relaxed positure was not tolerated however. Manual of arms ( MOA) training brought the gumption back to Quebec-189, and while it was unpleasant maintaining given positions upon command the experience was surprisingly educational. New MOA motions were added to the company repetwar and required knowledge was drilled on at recruits expense. The grand daddy of events which occurred today was the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) seminar. Several companies from all around the Regement joined under one roof to learn about the CGMA program. CGMA has the ability to give interest free loans to Coasties in their time of need. It is help for Coasties supported by other Coasties. As the lecture transpired recruits got to comfortable and paid for it immediately following the presentation. In parallel four companies did a thourogh Incentive Training session. It was perhaps the largest group of people enducing self inflicted pain anyone ever saw. In conclusion the day was earned with strong physical effort, but kernals of knowledge as well.

12APR14

Who is the most important person you’ve ever met? The Mayor of your town, a senator? Perhaps an influential business person. All are impressive, but likely don’t compare to meeting The Master Chief Petty Offier of the Coast Guard. Quebec-189 had the opportunity to have a sit down with Master Chief Leavitt, and take in some knowledgeable experience. The Master Chief took the time to talk to everyone and learn about them. The whole company learned much about itself, goals, ambitions, hobbies, ect. The Important statements were in his observations. Many said that they would want to be stationed near home, but the Master Chief advised against it. His logic was that personal growth doesn’t occur in places of comfort, furthermore he noted it increases the chance of reforming old habits made over a lifetime of civilian living. His biggest reasoning was for that of experience and seeing the world, while the opportunity still presents itself. His final words were filling in for nuance questions posed by the class. After the excitement of meeting Master Chief Leavitt. The rest of our afternoon was pretty dull compaired. However, after evening chow all broke lose. It began with our colors being thrust into the ground upside down to announce that the company was in distress. Our constant failures to live up the the standars that have been set. And because of this we usually spend most of our time doing Incentive Training.

13APR14

Another Sunday morning where half the Batalian goes to Church and the other Half spends their time setting up there racks and writing their loved ones. After Devine hours the hole company feel apart and was constantly doing this wrong even after paying for it with Incentive Training.

14APR14 (WEEK 03)

We started the day off at a running pace, literally: After morning Muster the Company jumped into a mile and a half run. Though it was exhausting it gave a good impression of where each recruit was physically. The majority made Par time or better. Following the run, the company caught a break for about half the day getting involved in class room activities. Lectures began with Sexual Assult Prevention, one of a litany of familiar material previously covered. While important, most could not help but have weary looks and drooping eyes. Luckily the perpetrators fought off their impulses long enough to stand in the back of the class. At the end the instructor talked about education benefits. Recruits had the Choice between the Montgomery and post 911 GI Bill. The MGIB option was more complicated, required an initial investment, and ended with what was essentially the same result as the post 911 bill; a free four year education. In the end the whole class opted for the 911 option. Classes on core values and mission objectives followed, which lead neatly into supper. After that the rest of the day was a blur of Incentive training. A fair chunk of the company was sent to Recruit Aptitude Motivational Program (RAMP). When they returned after taps it was clear that their experience left little to be complained about back at the barracks.

16APR14

Following the continuing trend this week, recruits started their day the strenuous way, with exersize. The company participated in a circuit training course which was challenging, but landed some perspective the instructor to the class, Mr Schena reiterated several times the fact that in order to be a guardian you need to have strength to save those in beed but not be a victim as well. As he said “quitting here and quitting out there have vastly different consequences. Following our very sobering pt session the company found itself in classroom desks once more. This time classes covered military advancements family benefits, and leave liberty policies. It was a very educational day to say the least the class laid down great foundation knowledge for military benefits and growth in the organization. It was also a learning day in more “incentive training”, as the company could not keep its military bearing. In between classes and later in the evening Quebec knew the wrath of the cc’s. The Chaplin coming by the barracks offered brief relief and was terribly good for the heart but was tease of the things occurring in recruits old lives. While not known, it can be assumed the thought of home will linger on home.

17apr14
Quebec-189 has been attending classes all week, but if feels like class began at a new level today. The company began seamanship class which consisted of understanding a plethora of seagoing jargon. The recruits had to draw in mental lines for an entirely new field of thought. Even at the conclusion of class it was clear that work was still needed to cement the concepts
Later in the evening a rucksack inspection was conducted. Most of the company was failing the standards in one way or another. Whether trash was in the pockets or materials were out of place, the inspections proved what will be a grim recompense brought by the cc’s at a later date. The remainder of the night was characterized by unprecedented success. The company was making time objectives and following orders much more fluidly. What was perhaps the most selemnious occasion in the evening was when SR White was prompted on his chain of command. The company was at attention as white recited the information. Everyone in the room knew what was at stake, if he failed, another incentive training session was certain. White ran through the information fast at first, but then slows as if trying to remember a distant memory. On the fringes of his recall he summoned the remaining information. There was a pause as Chief Hickman assessed SR Whites answer. In that moment the tension was palpable and when Chief Hickman Gave his indication of approval, Relief flushed over us all. Without delay the company washed up and made haste to their racks. Not a bad way to end the day.

18apr14

It is desirable to be strong but not many come across the attribute through chronic error. Quebec started from slumber to repay a day’s mistakes prior. The company held sniper position with their pieces until morning chow.
The morning coasted along in an uneventful fashion, encompassing a class on Coast Guard reserve and Auxiliary units. Following lunch the company was afforded a moment of brief religious reflection. Good Friday mass was a welcome interlude in training but was short lived. When the company rejoined in the barracks, we were surprised to find head hunters from the honor guard to be soliciting memberships. After a brief video showing what the honor guard is about, most of the class was waved out when they did not meet the height requirements. Of those that remained, the majority receded from the ranks when more information was presented. But those who stayed filled out a questionnaire and took pictures.

19apr14

The company did not do much today besides sitting in class today. But the more interesting things to report were that the company is starting to come together as a team. But we still struggling to meet time objectives and to stop talking and moving while in formation.

20apr14

Freedom is a very relative term based on the perspective of the person is defining it. The recruits of Quebec-189 have experienced the relinquish of normal petty freedoms, the ability to talk, scratch an itch mill about, or do general tasks of our own violation.
The company commanders strict grip on our actions has proved uncomfortable, but with great purpose. Key ideals have been reiterated time and time again in attempt to instill the values that allow the coast guard to function at the capacity it does. As the company has assimilated further into this high moral and accountability-based system of ideals Quebec has retrieved more freedoms, recently, and in quick succession the company has gained the ability to drink flavored drinks and coffee. Furthermore recruits no longer have to “square meals”, which was a time consuming process of eating meals with lots of right angles.
Incentive Training sessions have also seemingly become less frequent. A recruit might think the ccs are getting soft or easier but it is quite the contrary. When the Chaplin came by on Wed he made a comment stating” Company commanders don’t get easier you get better. The statement was easy to take at face value, but it is another thing to live the results. Some days the company cranks out full effort evolutions and the day flows very well. On the other hand when full effort is not achieved and dilly dallying occurs, the day is usually long and interrupted by incentive training. So it is clear and the pattern is well established, really it is up to the company and its members how they want their stay at Cape May to be.

21APR14.

The beginning of week 04 started with a day baptized in sweat. The bar has been raised on recruit expectations, and the consequences for falling behind have followed suit. When the company woke to another fire drill this morning the cc’s had a surprise for the company formed up out front. In the addition to our normal four cycle incentive training two more cycles were added. The morning was just a taste of things to come. After classes and meals the company was back in the thick of incentive training with a slew of physically straining activities, Quebec endured canteen squatting sitting and raising to the position of attention, piece incentive training and lots of sniper position. With most of the company crammed into the quarterdeck the sweat started to drip off our bodies and stem up the windows. At least when the company is doing incentive training with the pieces, were outside and have the air to cool ourselves down. But with sniper position, there is no sweat only pain. Holding up an M16, for an extended amount of time may seem easy but after 10 minutes the pain kicks in and after 15 minutes your shoulders start to feel like jello but if you drop it you got more time added on. On the upside with all of our incentive training we had our military portraits taken today. Posing for those portraits helped us realized that we are half way there and there seems to be a faint flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.

22APR14(WEEK04)

Never had the idea crossed my mind, or that of any other recruit, that a good day could occur in boot camp. Perhaps it was the stress relieving activity throughout the day. Half the company went to Golf Hall and learned about firearms safety, operation, and mechanics. We field stripped (took apart) a Sig Sawer P1292 DAG, and got a feel for the pistol’s action and handling. We were shown different types of ammunition and their characteristics. While the company did not have the chance to fire live rounds, recruits stepped into a stimulator and took a basic marksmanship course. When our time was done at the range, we marched to the barracks and received strange orders. The Company Commander on duty gave the order to trash our bathrooms. He even taught us ways to be creative in our deconstruction of cleanliness. The whole company had a thoroughly good time making it look like a tornado had come through the head, but we couldn’t shake the feeling something not so pleasant awaited us upon completion of our task. Our premonitions came to fruition moments later. A senior company, PAPA-189, was being punished for leaving their heads in a state of squalor. Their job was to clean the mess we had made. All the while, we had to cheer them on and do “canteen squats”. It took PAPA a long time to clean up our mess and QUEBEC paid in sweat and pain. The Company endured and the remainder of the day was far more relaxed.

23APR14

Quebec managed to disappoint CC’s thoroughly today. The Company was missing time objectives left and right, recruits did not gold military bearing. It just had the makings for a bad day. The trend continued through morning classes when Petty Officer Smith came to pick up the company from an instructor. Recruits were still in classroom mode and were sluggish to sober up to the change of atmosphere. For our trespasses, we paid the price with exorbitant physical activity. I could draw out a list as to what was entailed, but the raw fact is that it was painful, uncomfortable, and time consuming. Compounding our exhaustion was the physical fitness assessment. Every recruit was to max out on pushups, sit-ups, and speed through a 1.5 mile run. The end results were disappointing. Around 11 recruits had to start remedial physical instruction because they could not make time, or adequate number of reputations. Come the end of the day we were sore, dejected and tired. With any luck the company will be motivated to make the next day better.

24APR14

If today was a game then QUEBEC lost badly. The company just could not pull out their “A” game and fell on old patterns, and bad habits. The company would make attrition for their actions all throughout the evening but before we got to that miserable state, with sweat soaked threads we did manage to go through some productive evolutions. The company took their helmsman test on the small boat simulators, and followed it closely with a practical knot test. Everyone did well and passed their requirements. The company also filled out their ‘dream sheets” which details possible duty stations, and which are available to request stationing. The results and orders that come of it will be available sometime next week, so expect a brief phone call about where your loved one is headed. Returning from a company-wide work detail, our CC gave us practical marching advice that made everyone feel more like a team. The problem is always maintaining what we know and staying motivated: Which would be why we end up doing incentive training every evening. What made for an interesting break in routine was the fact that time was set aside for study. Midterms are on the 25th and the CC in charge wanted us to be ready so that we have a chance to earn an academic pennant for our guide on. Hopefully when we put our minds into it we will end up with something to boast.

25APR14

Week four is not yet over, but it is quickly coming to a close. Since today was Friday we got to see yet another senior company graduate. They are less than a month ahead of QUEBEC but they seem more collected, calibrated and refined. There is concern as to whether the company will ever reach that level of uniformity. Seeds of doubt are imbedded deep with every setback. The company recently had to go back to squaring meals in the galley and we frequently made the comparison piece to how forming week (week 01) recruits behave. What has left the company most dejected has been the loss of pugil sticks. What would likely have been a fun day of beating the tar out of one another, will likely end up being incentive training or a run. For some it has not yet kicked in that you must do what you’re told and do it with maximum effort. If the lot of us ever manages then we may actually start moving forward again.

26APR14

Expressing the stagnant state of QUEBEC Company is an exhausting task. We always begin the day of a relatively good note, but as the day progresses our song always turns sour. Shortly after morning chow we fell right into incentive training, in place of time that would have otherwise been used for pugil sticks. Fortunately, CC’s thought the remainder of the time was better spent on a run. The company ran in formation for, give or take, 2 miles. Recruits seemed to get a sense of pride from the consistency and uniformity displayed. Proceeding the run, squad leader made excellent use of their authority and formed up the company so we could march back to the barracks. But for each good action QUEBEC takes, we seem to make a myriad of poor choices for our CC’s to have discrepancies with. When given the chance to practice manual of arms movements, as well as piece nomenclature, the company once again failed a directive. We were not to talk, but we did anyways. Furthermore, recruits had the audacity to laugh as though they were at a joke and smoke social. Needless to say, we were laid out for that. Mistakes and disobedience tallied as the day went on, and ended getting a group of grown adults put in a “time-out”. The CC’s had us press our collective noses to the wall and think about why our company is not functioning correctly. The Company Commanders in their wisdom actually gave us a few moments to make a game plan to make things work. To a degree, it worked: But due to integrity issues of some recruits QUEBEC was thrown back into the crucible of intense training.

27apr14

What a great feeling it was this morning. Not to wake up to a fire drill. Instead we woke up to you have ten minutes to get changed and outside to go to chow, which a lof of people missed. This was our first taste of what it would like in the the following weeks. With the relazing time that we had with divine hours, we had remedial training after some mistakes that we had during divine hours. One of our mistakes was not standing up when attention on deck was called. So we spent 20 minutes practicing attention on deck. After that we did more eyes in the boat drill.
After all of that we went and did close order drill for about two hours. Which was something the company did do in a ling time. But after chow we screwed up so badly that the company commander just told us to get out of his face before he lost it. When we Calmed down a bit we spent the rest of the time doing water bottle squats or rack making drills. The highlight of the night actually came from the rack drill. In which we had to take everything off our racks and remake them. After running around on the quarter deck with them we were failing to meet the time objective until the final try, in which we made 79 racks in 5 minutes and 16 seconds, beating the rime required by a full minute. It looks like things for Quebec 189 are starting to look up.

28apr14

For the first time in q-189’s history we had a problem free day. Sort of. Uniform inspections were performed today a moment many were dreading and for good reason. A sub par review on your uniform could put you in a world of hurt or instandly set you backa week by getting reverted. Much to the companies surprise most recruits had adequate uniforms, for those that did not were quickly put on probation.
For the rest of the day things just flowed from one moment to the next. Quebec did hit a huge snag when out lead cc conducted rack inspections. As he went from rack to rack his frustration progressively gew with the abysmal state of our racks. Our lack of attention to detail ended with a beat down. The gods must have been with us though because our lead cc deemed our effort through out the day worthy of grandting us evening routine. It was a muh more relaxed evening with the exceptin of those who went to ramp which was an hour and a half of complete mayhem. The rest of us have a creature comfort to strive for in the evening

29apr14

Compared to most days in recruit training today was on the better side. It was one of those uneventful days wehre it was all hurry up so we don’t have to push. Surprisingly for the most part it worked. We were issued our dress uniforms today so now we can look like real coast guardsmen and women. With only 02 incentive training sessions and remedial it was a good day from a recruits point of view. From company commanders point of view I can only guess what there thinking, good but ive seen better.

30apr14

Week 05. In the spirit of the theme of the company wake up dress take company muster for 74 people and march to the galley for morning chow. It is quite a task prepint that many people in fifteen minutes. That being said quebec has developed a punctuality problem after several people were late to morning movement the mood was set for the rest of the day. While working well in many ways being on time is a constant struggle. We also had several snags with following orders but in the evening the punishment was minimal and further mitigated by a chaplain appointment all around it was a fairly easy day.

01May14

Only 22 days left to go in recruit training and people can sense it. And we seem to be locked on more than ever. The cc’s are starting to look at us like we are something better than maggots. Even better, the training sceduale is starting to look the part of a company more senior. More responsibility is beginning to fall on our shoulders and we seem to be handling it fairly well. The events of the day must have been executed fairly well because come evening time when things were winding down we were told where our orders are by our cc’s. It was plain to see that everyone in the company was thrilled at the news. Upon hearing where we were to be stationed cc’s made funny wry, or sarcastic comments as to given duty station. Everytime recruits couldn’t help but chuckle or snort and everything was in good nature. We were given a pass for laughing but managed to annialate an attempt at a closs order drill movement. So before bed we did IT but the day felt more complete that way anyway. Tomorrow the stakes get higher and consequences more severe with graduation assistance and security. Hopefully we all manage an excellent job performance tomorrow best of luck quebec.

03may14

The day encompassed the best and worst aspects of quebec-189. The company finally got a swing with the pugil sticks and confidence course. The confidence course At first glance it seemed very manageable but became quickly more fatiguing as the course progressed. Everyone was in high sprirts and the situation only seemed to improve. The Master Chief Petty Officer Of The Coast Guard even participated in the days activites. He was even there for when we did our IT session on the beach. It was tough and it felt like the crap had been kicked out of us but when we were done our lead cc gave the order to about face. When we did we were facing the Quebec company colors. The already silent group seemed to somehow become even more mute upon seeing the staff in the sand.

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.

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