Tango 189 Recruit Journal Week 05


International Maritime Signal Flag Tango

International Maritime Signal Flag Tango

Formed:  April 29, 2014

Graduates:  June 20, 2014


Week 05 


“Memorial Day”

 Happy Memorial Day to all! Today was a day tango-189 looked forward to all week… Sunday! The day we are granted just a few hours of quiet time to work on anything that needs tidying, shinning, or to be organized. We can do almost anything we want as long as we follow the rules and don’t act crazy. From boot shinning to de-linting our operational dress uniforms to writing letters and studying… on Sundays during divine hours you can find tango- 189 doing just that. 

It’s the storm after the calm that is never welcomed with open arms though. Even though our day ended on the same beat as usual (or beating). We partook in the sunset parade here at Cape May along with the colors team, sierra, uniform, and victor. So even though the ending of our day sucked, the mid section of it wasn’t too shabby. Tango practiced marching on the grass with our junior and senior companies. There aren’t usually too many big events here, so to be a part of this one was pretty rewarding. The hype must have gotten to some of my fellow shipmates however, because our night ended with line handling (not the fun kind) and lots of sweat. To help straighten us out, Chief McKenna went home and let petty officer Williams and a company commander from another company take care of our punishment. We all know how nights go with Williams. Tango- 189 is off to stretch and refresh our sore and tired bodies. All racks are full and the ship is quiet. 


“Honor, respect, devotion to duty” 

Monday came with a large responsibility put on the shoulders of tango’s colors detail. Although our colors detail was freshly formed and completely green, having only practiced doing the flag ceremonies a handful of times, we were stepping up to bat in the big leagues. Tango-189’s colors detail had the tremendous honor of raising the national ensign while being watched by pretty much every officer on the regiment, visiting veterans from the Marine Corps, spars women, and all of the companies along with their company commanders on the regiment. To say it was nerve-wracking would be an understatement. There was a lot at stake. Not only the reputation of tango-189 and that of our company commanders, but messing up would be a great lack of respect for all the veterans present who’ve done more than us echo-1s could ever dream to accomplish. 

With some help from seaman pringle from ceremonial, tango colors detail was able to manage the task without any huge mishaps and without losing that ever important military bearing. Later on in the day Chief McKenna treated the company to a company run. For some it was a real workout, for others it was more of a slightly fast stroll. It was a terric experience however to run around the base. Cape May is really gorgeous! Chief McKenna even called cadence and has us singing and running together. Sometime after that came uniform inspection time from our battalion commander master chief berry. This unfortunately led into an intense sweat session that went on all night long, and included every kind of incentive training we’ve ever done before. So goes to show just how quick the tides can turn. 



Today a big chunk of the day was spent getting fittings for our dress uniforms and shoes. We walked into the uniform distribution center as recruits and were quickly transformed into well suited coastguardsmen. It’s crazy when you step back at times and look at what we go through from a different perspective. While standing in line waiting to be fitted for our tropical blues and dress blues, several of my shipmates realized how cool it was to be a part of this coastie world. A total of like 06 people pretty much dress the entire coast guard. It’s what makes this process, tango-189’s process, and what all companies go through so interesting. We all start here at Cape May. There is only one training center and we all go through the same exact things.

 After all that was done we headed back home for a petty officer Williams’s instructional labeling session. I guess he woke up on the right side of the bed today because unlike most classes or lectures with him, this one went by a different beat. He took off his company commander hat and traded it for Mr. Funny man. That afternoon led to some laughter and high moral. He got tango so pumped up he yelled his favorite “fire, fire, fire” with a grin on his face just to have an excuse for tanog-189 to go drown out a junior company with our loudness. There’s a first for everything… even for tango to want to go do intensive training just to scream our faces off and make Williams proud while standing in front of a few other company commanders. 


“The week five dive”

 Today was not a good day to be in Tango-189. We’ve heard about the week five dive, we’ve been warned repeatedly about it. A fellow shipmate made sure the temptation to make the dive had to be beaten out of us on Sunday, yet tango-189 managed to do it all the same. Moral is at a record low, many are not ‘locked on’ and making mistakes expected of a week 01 or 02 recruit. Some have forgotten about the teamwork attitude and replaced it with just attitude. In short we are at the stage where sleep deprivation is beginning to bring out the ugly in everyone. To make matters worse, there was the added deep stress of passing squad bay inspections so we can get the all clear to move to James hall. Our company commanders drove home the intensity of that ordeal by ‘re-arranging’ our quarterdeck and squad bays and then putting the company in a very lengthy ‘time out.” After that though, our spirits were lifted by a visit from the chaplain. But the visit was bittersweet because week 05 is the last week for chaplain visits. Hopefully, with the help of the encouraging words from the chaplain combined with tango going back to being the positively motivated team players we were, we can get our heads out of our bottoms and start doing the right thing.


“Thursday of week 05”

 Tango-189 is starting to see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The day was filled with classes about how to get in touch with out station units, what kinds of questions to ask them, and a general idea of what the transition from TRACEN Cape May to our first unit will be like. We’re growing up, slowly… but we’re getting there. Our company commanders let us march ourselves around nearly the entire day and even though we had a very bumpy time during afternoon chow with petty officer Russo, it was an overall peaceful day. A new squad leader of the squad leader’s position was created for shipmate Jennings who is sure only good things will come of this. It’s a sign that our company commanders think we can handle a little more autonomy and responsibility. Even though many of us were nervous that a sweat session was in store for us this evening, we were surprised to find our lead company commander in a decent mood. We were warned not to piss him off in any way since he had our orders. This was enough to get tango back on track. We managed to remain in chief McKenna’s good graces and were given the time to study and time to work on our uniforms while holding our breath the entire time because we were waiting to hear our orders for when we finally get out of here. The end of the night was lighter as Chief McKenna let us all known where we’re going after boot camp. There’s been a shift in the dynamic of the company. Things are getting very real, very fast. Tomorrow should be a good day though. We’re helping with graduation and have a renewed focus to help us through the inevitable sweat sessions. 


“Friday week 05” 

This Friday tango-189 partook in the ceremony for graduation as security detail which means we got to stand like little statues in doorways, greeting civilians in normal tones or screaming greetings at the regimental staff decked in out in dress uniforms making them almost in unrecognizable without their Smokey the bear hats. There were also many officers on base for graduation… Not only Coast Guardsmen, but also many other branches, along with a few firemen, and policemen. Having all these different hot shots around definitely put Tango’s skills at recognizing ranks and processing the proper greetings to the test. The last thing any recruit wants is to be messed up by not greeting and or saluting an officer. There’s almost nothing worse than disrespecting your superiors. Seeing the graduating company (out of the very corners of our eyes) was bittersweet. On one hand you’re happy for the success of your shipmates, but on the other you find it’s easy to be somewhat jealous. As close as it may seem, graduation is still a long way off for Tango-189 and as if to drive this point home for us we were inspected by our Section Commander, Chief Hollenbeck. This resulted in the loss of quite a few shipmates who were reverted to junior companies.  Tomorrow is our big move where things will only increase in difficulty as the standards are raises a few bars higher.


“Week 05 Recap”  

Week 05 was filled with highs and lows. Last weekend the sunset parade was an incredible honor and performing in front of cheering civilians was an experience that made this recruit feels 10 feet tall. Then there were some of the most intense sweat sessions sprinkled in which brought things back into perspective very quickly. 

On Monday, Tango-189’s Color Detail was responsible for the Memorial Day Colors Ceremony. A huge honor and responsibility. Then there was the intensive sweat session afterwards for shipmates getting caught “smoking and jokin.”

Tuesday brought our spirits up again as we were fitted and issued our dress uniforms and got to see the more human side of Petty Officer Williams.

Wednesday however was a train wreck of a day. Wednesday came as a low, where incentive training was lengthy and grueling. There was also much quarrelling and tension amongst shipmates.

Thursday proved to be an incredible high because we received our orders and were informed on where we would be living and working after graduation from boot camp.

On Friday, Tango-189 became a little smaller as some shipmates were reverted. 

Saturday was a record high for us though because for those that passed the inspections and didn’t get reverted, we finally packed up and made the move to Healy Hall. But even before that happened, early on in the day Tango-180 got their chance to let out some pent up aggression by doing Pugilistic Bouts and scaling the Confidence Course. In both instances, Tango-189 was full of positivity and cheering. We also got to spend a big chunk of the day with our mentor who kindly took time to talk to us about the different orders we received. He told us anecdotes and advice and even a little bit of praise. 

Most exciting out of all this really is the fact that week 06 is waiting for us. By this time next week Tango-189 will be the SENIOR COMPANY! Again, tons of responsibility on our shoulders but it is so worth the stress. We are Tango-189 and we’re ready for more challenges.