Uniform 189 Recruit Journal 02

International Maritime Signal Flag Uniform

International Maritime Signal Flag Uniform





Uniform 189 Recruit Journal

Formed: May 6, 2014
Graduates: June 27, 2014

It’s not uncommon to wake-up to “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE”. Every morning our Lead Company Commander barges in our squadbays like a lumberjack yelling it, every morning. When he yells “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE”, Uniform-189 takes off like a bat. We transition from our racks to outside in a timely manner. Today, we did not fulfill our requirement of timely. Therefore, we had to pay. If there is no respect for his time, we need to be disciplined. Trust me when I say there was sweat. We cried and sweat profusely, in pain from our “hell weekend”. As a group, we had to take the head for individual actions; therefore we struggled as a team, instead of as individuals. We fought and conquered week 01. It is a great feeling to say out loud and noticing improvements within your company. It gives one inspiration to be better than great, learn from mistakes, and challenge each other. Today was our first divine hours. We needed time to read our notes, observe how-to charts, and measure everything. Long story short, every shipmate failed but we know what items exactly to improve.

Today is officially our second week into bootcamp and our first day in normal classes. It is an exciting feeling to march on the regiment without the entire company. Shipmates stragged to medical appointments and company jobs in smaller formations. This gave us all a chance to greet appriopriately, and familiarize ourselves with the base. Our first class was weight training in the gym, but it was only an introduction class. The instructors were very resourceful and knowledgable. First class down. Immediately after, we had lunch at the galley. On the way to the second class, at the chapel, the birds were out marching with us. It gave us a small inward chuckle. At the Chapel, Chaplain McGraw spoke about stress management and suicide awareness. The class was a wake up call; we need each other and we are not alone. We miss our family and friends, we are sleep deprived and have never worked on our bodies now than we ever did. Therefore, we become stressed. Stress controls our mind and body, negative so we utilize our resources within us and each other. No one can make you do anything, it’s up to you and what you allow to stress yourself. We learned making our racks cuts down the time by a half rather than as individuals. Thing could be much simpler f we work together. Tomorrow is laundry day, we have 58 shipmates with 02 laundry captains. We might need extra help.

Week 02 and more classes today. Today was extremely windy . A shipmate lost her cover in the wind. Finally, laundry is on it way out. First class was an ab workout at the gym. Bittersweet, I tell you. You dread the exercises, but after it’s done, you feel accomplished and motivated to try more repetitions. After that, our Lead Company Commander gave us a review class to ask questions on anything we’ve covered to clarify issues shipmates deal with, i.e. greeting, marching, company jobs, chow times, etc. He believes in minimizing the problem spot-on instead of letting the issue linger. As followers, we see a leader serving. A leader isn’t always bossy and controlling; a leader must listen then make corrections. This way our company can grow and learn. Our second class was on equal opportunity. He spoke on effective communications, civil rights, and sexual harassment. All topics are real issues we may deal with. It is important we talk about discrimination, stereotypes, a division amongst ourselves because as a unit, we all come from different backgrounds and states. We have a few shipmates from California who have never been to the east coast. We have individuals from Hawaii, Guam, Florida, Ohio, Washington, Maine, Texas…the list goes on. No matter where we come from we are all people with similar goals, so we must work together as a unit. After chow, we slacked off, not individuals, as team. Thing could have been avoided but tasks were given and we failed so we were punished. If things aren’t done in a timely manner or we lack discipline, then punishment had to be necessary. There was lots of sweat and aching backs.

Usually cape may is gorgeous during the springtime, today it was gusty and windy but productive to say the least. Our first class was in the gym on stationary bikes. We peddled for 40 minutes, changing intervals and paces. Our next two classes were with our Company Commanders. We learned about Rates and Ranks and how to address military personnel. Now that we’ve spent time around the regiment, we must learn how to speak properly or else you will be embarrassed. So one must learn how to approach and say the right things. Throughout the day, we were using our head and water breaks to study. We are hungry for knowledge and must continue to practice, every chance we get. After dinner, we were punished again for shenanigans. Falling asleep in class, scratching our faces, not having military bearing, etc. Not fun, but shipmates are doing more repetitions than they’ve done before. After the punishment, the Chaplain came to our squadbay and presented us news: sports, music, cnn headlines, movies, and weather. We didn’t realize how disconnected we were from the world. The Chaplain was helpful. Just when we feel down about mistakes we make, or how much we miss home, he turn the situation into a positive. We fail for a reason. To get back up again and to try again. What I love most about this company is we try. We may be timid at first but eventually, we try and give our all. With time, progress will be made. It’s only week 02 but greatness is what we all are destined to be. Things may be hard here but we will not quit. We love our family and friends too much to come here and then come right back because it’s too hard. We’re just getting started. We received our pieces today, they can bring pain.

Today was eventful. First class was swim assessment. The test consists of two parts: 100 meters and tread water for 5 minutes. If you failed, you must take a “beginners glass”. Sad to say, only 2/3’s of our company passed. We weren’t making time objectives set by our company commanders, therefore we were punished. It’s embarrassing to hear from other Company Commanders that our company looked like garbage. Then we had two more classes including work-life balance. There are so many opportunities out there for us, whether we go to school, have kids, or tie the knot. It challenged us to think about the bigger picture, our future, and the people we love the most. Later we were punished again for our mistakes. Some shipmates were dishonest, greetings were horrendous, and heads (bathrooms) were disgusting. So again, we have to pay. We grabbed our piece and had to report outside. We have never really done anything with our pieces except hold them, but today ..well today I learned there are muscles I never knew existed. More and more shipmates are catching colds, coughs, sniffles, etc. On top of it, the company is shouting every day, I’m surprised we all can talk at this point. It’s all a process. I’m sure we will recover soon. Water is the cure to everything.

Tired isn’t even the word. Today is our first day of standing watch. It’s a top secret, mapped out heist…at the podium of a door. Sounds awesome. Not really, sounds like less sleep. Sleep will be non-existent.

Today was productive. You ever walk into a clean house and feel refreshed? Both male and female Uniform clean up pretty well. Floors were spotless, boots were shined, and our heads smelled pleasant, for once. After we fixed up our squadbays, we had to clean ourselves for a Saturday with our company mentor, CDR. Gibbons and his wife. For two weeks, it is a requirement to know our chain of command starting from our Company Commanders to the President. Within that chain of command is our Mentor, the executive officer of the base. He continues to serves 29 plus years, very well educated and loves to help our generation. It is nice to hear about leader taking the initiative to help those who are willing to learn. He was also a Seaman Recruit here at Cape May at the age of 17, with the intent to stay in only for 4 years. His visit inspired us all by his character, his sea stories, and even his personal life. Another great even today was our first day drilling with our pieces. Besides the piece being a hunk of plastic, it was official to know how to drill with a weapon. As a unit practicing outside, it looked even better. In fact, we had a V-189 recruit get lost and end up on the quarterdeck with us while being incentively trained. I guess he wanted to be part of Uniform-189, but that’s not happening. You have to earn your way up! Winning the prize seems much sweeter when you earn it.

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.