Tango 189 Recruit Journal Week 04

Formed:  April 29, 2014
Graduates:  June 20, 2014
Week 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Tango

International Maritime Signal Flag Tango


                Yesterday and today, for the first half of the day the company was split up, half at the firing range and half going to classes. By evening chow the “pain train” was waiting. A recruit was stopped in the galley by the ninja footed Petty Officer Russo and warned about what kind of fun was in store for Tango-189 that night. That’s one way to lose your appetite. After chow it was good times on the quarter deck. There were people sounding off things like “We do what we want” while doing push-ups or pulling line. There was a group working the pipe. Lifting it over and over sounding off the Coast Guard core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty. There were others in sniper position and others still who were being quizzed on required knowledge. It was loud, chaotic and sweaty. And at the center of it all, like a conductor was Petty Officer Russo, making sure we remembered what boot camp is. At one point she was even drumming on a bulkhead. The sound of our pain, like music to her ears.  


                Today was our company physical fitness test. After a morning of classes on topics like enlisted careers and housing it was time to step off for afternoon chow. It was after this that we formed up to get ready for our physical fitness test. Most passed, many improving their previous scores from indoctrination weekend. A few did not and will have to report to early morning workouts. But overall it was a good experience as a company.

                After that our Lead CC handed over the steering wheel so to speak to our shipmate Jennings who then marched the company back home.

                Slowly tango is proving themselves to be motivated and discipline enough to start calling our own shots a privilege not a right. So hopefully we can stay locked on as a company and prove ourselves worth of more responsibility.  


“Seaman Recruits should neither be seen nor heard”

                Today was an important day for TRACEN Cape May. The changing of the watch took place on base as the coast guard welcomed rear admiral Neptune. But being the gross echo-ones that we are we got the red-headed stepchild treatment. We left the main regiment area, where all the festivities and big wigs were and we got stowed away at seamanship for the most part of the morning. Regardless, tango was in good spirits because today was “dream sheet” day. We went to class and filled out the sheet of paper that will determine our fate over the next month to years following graduation…. Ah, graduation we’ve reached the halfway point. And there’s a temptation to start slacking but hopefully tango-189 is too smart to fall for that trap. Week 05 is just around the corner. And with it comes more challenges. Our company commanders are constantly raising the bar, so there is no room for complacency. Tomorrow is our Mid-term, so in between the “pain train” time in “the dungeon”, fire drills, remedial training and general overall “fun” there has been a surplus of information that has been crammed into our sleep deprived skulls. Now it’s time to show our CCs and ourselves just how smart and capable we are. Wish us good luck and don’t forget to write. Mail time is a precious few minutes that really encourages us recruits! 


“In the Middle”

                Friday week 04 has come to a close and week 05 waits for us on the other side of the weekend, which undoubtedly will be filled with all sorts of “fun and games”. But there is no sweating over sweat sessions to come. Today the company’s first class was in the gym doing weight training. Our CC PO Williams was working out with us and also watching us with hawk-eyes, making sure we maintained military bearing at all times. Working out in boot camp is not like going to Planet fitness. There were performance trackers descended upon us for things like not having heels together or thumbs on your trouser seems. The list could go on and on. For those of who find the gym to be a place to unwind, there’s no such thing here at TRACEN Cape May. After our time sweating we were rewarded for our generally good behavior with free time to study before our mid-term. Again another privilege given by our Lead CC. there have been a few small signs that tango is leaning a good impression on our CCs. At chow PO Williams let us know that he was impressed that he could hear us sound off all the way to the regiment.  


“Marching Madness”

                Our morning started as it always does. 0530 incentive work out followed by getting dressed and then chow. Chief McKenna woke us up today and although that usually means we will have a good day we were still worried about eh second half of the day, Tango is changing again. The chatter of RAMP from the night before and not knowing who we would have to deal with for our evening portion had us all on edge. For once, tango is being quiet. I think it’s mostly because ramp is here, but also maybe because the trouble makers were kicked out of tango and sent packing to go move in with more junior companies. For those that don’t know what ramp is, it’s a 90 minute session of butt kicking, many CCs and anyone from a company that was slacking. The CCs hand out “Ramp Tickets” like they are candy. If this doesn’t shape us up, I’m not sure what will. As we approach Sunday, we learned that we will be part taking in the Sunset Parade which takes place here at Cape May for memorial day. All companies march together in front of all the big shots, service members, and civilians who come to watch. I guess we will see what kind of trouble we march ourselves into tomorrow as we journey forward into week 05. 


As tango-189 begins it’s journey into week 05, we can look back and reflect on how far we’ve come. The week started at a quick pace. We were given the responsibilities to march ourselves to classes or around the regiment as split companies. Ramp was begun, and with that also came reversions. Tango filled out our dream sheets and took our midterm. We are making progress into the right direction. This has been the toughest and loudest week so far. But as Chef McKenna put it- “tango-189 will be the biggest, best and loudest company here before we are done!” we are no longer the newest kids on the block. Whiskey formed this week making it a total of 03 companies below us. We finally made it to the half way point. Our CCs have always threatened to drop the weights that drag tango down and they are definitely keeping their promise. It’s the end of 24may14, Tango-189 now has 79 attached, all hands present and accounted for. As we get pushed daily and begin week 05, tango-189 has no other choice that to shape up… because shipping out is not an option.   

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.