Tango 189 Recruit Journal: Week 02

International Maritime Signal Flag Tango

International Maritime Signal Flag Tango


Tangos First Sunday
This morning, most of us were already awake, anticipating today’s schedule, before we heard the whistle blow, “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!” Here we go, incentive training first thing in the morning- push-ups, squats, crunches and flutter kicks. Most of us can’t feel our legs and arms; or at least we choose not to. The most exciting thing about Sunday is our divine hour’s time. Time to get the things we need to do done (except for today, because for now, we are the Tango turtles) and time to go to chapel service. Right after divine hours, we went to lunch thank god! By lunch we were all starving! For the first time, we were able to drink something other than water, but two full glasses at every meal! After lunch, we went to class, had a lot more incentive training, and a lot more yelling. After evening chow, we went on a tour of Cape May Training Center and were assigned our company jobs. Most of us are pretty excited about our jobs. Giving us more responsibilities will help us become better Coast Guardsmen, along with the constant yelling and teaching from our Company Commanders- “Aye, Aye Captain Crunch!” We finished off our day with a very motivating speech from our Lead Company Commander, Chief McKenna, reminding us that no matter how bad of a day we’re having, we are all in this together and we are all working towards the same goal. Tonight, as we lay our heads down to go to sleep, we are all wondering what’s in store for our first actual day of training tomorrow.
So, unlike most of our tasks assigned today, we survived week 01- Mission Complete, Tango-189!

Warning: Petty Officer Williams and Petty Officer Russo have entered the Building
What a day!!! This company has been taken to a whole new level, physically, mentally and emotionally. It all started in the gym after morning chow; we were getting familiarized with the place and the equipment, that’s when we met Mr. Hingston who played a role in our very physical day. He had us on the floor… literally doing stretches, to different exercises, to these things called burpees. Basically we were all tired but it was just getting started. Shortly, Chief McKenna was marching us back and showing us a couple of drills and to be honest we need a lot of work and Chief knows that too. Petty officer Williams and Petty Officer Russo took charge and my god they turned up the heat on the company! They were straight ruthless today and we all know that put a smile or two on their faces. Remember that physical day I said we had? Well, PO Williams and PO Russo sealed the deal. For everything we messed up on they made sure we paid for it. Incentive training, repeating things a thousand times, holding things in the air, they basically just pounded us today and everyone was wondering when the madness will end. But hey, it’s all in the nature right? Maybe this time we’ll wake up and start doing things right.
I have advice for anyone who comes to boot camp and has these 3 as their Company Commanders:
01. Be really loud!!! Lose your voice if you have too
02. Just do what they say quickly and things will go a little smoother
03. Keep your eyes in the boat!
I’m sure my shipmates will remember that tonight as they sleep… sore.

Shower Drills
Today started just as every day has started since we got here’ quick, sleepily and with a workout. We realized today that we’re quickly starting to lose shipmates, either due to injuries or they’ve realized that Coast Guard Basic training just isn’t for them. We took another trip to the gym, and that workout was a good, sweaty one. Today was definitely a day that all we were focused on was making it to the next meal. At lunch, some of us were quizzed for the first time on some of our required knowledge. For the record, an E-4 is a petty officer third class. After lunch we made it to a brand new classroom with Senior Chief Purifory as our instructor. We like the classroom environments, but the incentive training definitely helps in keeping us awake. After class, we were reunited with PO Russo and PO Williams, who weren’t with us on our morning adventures. And we certainly paid for all of our morning mishaps. Incentive training is their favorite things about being Company Commanders. Evening chow time finally arrived, and we all, thankfully and sorely, marched our way to the galley. Roughly three hours of incentive training for all of the small things we keep screwing up- hopefully, we learned out lessons. The most stressful thing about tonight was our shower drills. Petty Officer Williams took the males, and Petty Officer Russo took the females. We quickly took our showers, washing, moving, rinsing, moving, and feeling rushed and very stressed out. Thank God it’s finally time for bed, and all we’re thinking about now is getting enough sleep for tomorrow’s adventures. We made it through today, barely.
Mission Complete Tango- 189

Guns and Glory… Kind of
Morning gym sessions seem to not be getting any easier. For today’s workout, we got on the bikes, where we peddled until our legs felt like they were going to fall off, then we peddled some more. Afterwards, we had a class on ranks and rates taught by our very own Petty Officer Williams, who was with us most of the day) bless his heart). The company and he have some interesting chemistry. We never know what can happen. The really hard part for most was staying awake after that timing workout. But, we managed to make it out alive. A little bit after we reunited with our favorite lead CC, Chief McKenna, and he took the company on a little trip. After marching for a good bit we ended up at Goff Hall. Where we were issued our M-16 “non-gun” piece. Don’t worry they are not real, but we treat them as if they were. The march back to the house was actually soothing, fresh air, birds chirping, quiet, just something everyone kind of needed. After evening chow the Chaplin paid us a visit and together he gave us a peek into the outside world. Telling us what movies were out, what songs are popular, what’s happening in sports, basically just things other than boot camp because since we have been here the outside world has been cut off and it felt good getting to know ho things are on the other side. It got a bit better because some of us got mail which makes our spirits higher because we don’t feel like we’re alone here. But just one thing, don’t ever write letters in your rack or else Chief McKenna will get you, trust me that man has eyes everywhere, plus it can get you instantly reverted. So all in all it was just another day in the life of terrible tango 189, were going to sleep getting ready for tomorrows adventures.

Slippery When Wet
Today Tango-189 got its feet wet by going in the water for the first time since we came here so you know everyone was excited for that. What we had to do was swim 100 meters and tread water for 5 mins. Seems easy right? For some it was a piece of cake, for others it was probably one of the biggest challenges they had to face. But mostly it was a pretty good swim. Petty officer Williams was watching over us mainly that morning and you know, it was business as usual, a lot of sounding off, screaming at the top of our lungs, etc. but, that’s not what we do all day. After we had 2 classes taught to us, one about work life by Mrs. Grant and Saluting Rules and Inappropriate Relationships by our Company Commander PO Russo. Day by day we are being taught the necessary things we need to be successful coast guardsmen, and it’s up to us recruits to apply that knowledge. That’s what the purpose is, to learn and grow every day, learn from our mistakes, big or small, wise up and take responsibility for our actions. If we can do all of those things then we will be just fine and Tango-189 will be one step closer to Jun 20.

The Top gets Higher, the more we climb
Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second things seem to be getting tougher and tougher for Tango. We must never ever think that we’re a step ahead of our Company Commanders because they can flip the script on us out of nowhere. We must also realize that we need to stick together and to not turn on each other even though things are getting rough. We’re starting to see it because of all the I.T. sessions we’ve been getting and I’m not going to lie, it gets frustrating. Doing the same thing over and over till we get it right, and with us starting to get that hopeless feeling we start getting at each other and we can’t let that happen, we just fight through everything being thrown at us and show we are stronger and can overcome anything. But other than that, today s just another day. Wake up, do what we got to do, chow, class, and deal with PO Russo all day! The usual but it’s never a boring day here in Cape May, maybe because we’re constantly occupied with something. The majority of it is fixing our mistakes and we have lot of mistakes. Sometimes we don’t seem to get it and it pushes us back a bit. But I mean hey, we got to get it down somehow. Tomorrows Saturday and we are all wondering what lies for the weekend. Hopefully it goes good and we can say some things happen but I’m no fortune teller so I’ll just sleep it off and let you know if Tango-189 survived.

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.