Tango 189 Recruit Journal Week 06

International Maritime Signal Flag Tango

International Maritime Signal Flag Tango

Tango 189 Recruit Journal

Formed: April 29, 2014

Graduates: June 20, 2014

Week 06


Monday- 02Jun14

Monday of week 06 kicked off with what else but “FIRE FIRE FIRE” by no other than our own Petty Officer Russo. She drilled us pretty hard as payment for things like missed time objectives, not sounding off, looking around, not having knuckles on trouser seams, and other “junior company” discrepancies. All three of our company commanders continue to remind us how important it is that we get our acts together and start acting like week 06 recruits because after Friday we will be the senior company on regiment.

After morning chow a good chunk of the company had to report to medical for the overseas prescreening process. It may seem like something small but it is still very exciting to us. After morning appointments was the firefighting class. The more we progress in training the more interesting and technical the courses are. This recruit feels she can speak for the company in saying that we are looking forward to our fire fighting practical coming up later this week. As we progress, the classes not only become cooler, but they become more applicable to what we will be doing in our very near futures.

Tuesday- 03JUN14

Today Tango-189 had a very long but fun class on firefighting. It prepared us for what is certain to happen during our future days working on cutters or stations. There is an exceptional amount of information to soak in and because it’s potentially lifesaving, it’s important to take things seriously. We learned how to don firefighting gear (face masks, fire suits, boots, and all) along with how to work with our shipmates in assisting to put out a large fire. Classes like this one is what gives Tango-189 a reality check. We aren’t just taking required classes anymore, we are taking classes that have actual purposes, real uses, and teach us how to save the lives in cases of emergencies.

It’s unbelievable to think that tomorrow will be Wednesday week 06 and Tango-189 will be halfway through yet another week and have learned how to fight fire. The famous bus pulled in tonight and X-Ray Company has finally arrived… To think that was us just 06 weeks ago. We’ve come far, but still have a few more weeks to go.


Wednesday- 04JUN14

The halfway mark of week 06 started off with coffee for Tango. YES! COFFFFEEE!! The excitement and anticipation for this day is finally here. Besides starting our day off on a good note, Tango had a very busy day. We had a ton of appointments today and received our military identification cards.

Tango-189 seems to be back on track today. Besides the busy day we started off with we also managed to get a few hours of marching and manual of arms practice in so that we can look our best next week in front of Senior Chief Ashley. A day like this is what helps us refocus. Less screaming, less sweating, more doing, and more learning. Tomorrow ends with Petty Officer Williams for the evening portion though, so I have a feeling Tango won’t be in such good spirits by then. Tango-189 is off to catch our rest in preparation for whatever tomorrow brings… or throws our way.

Thursday- 05JUN14

Today was another fantastic day for Tango-189. Performance trackers, incentive training, and RAMP(Recruit Aptitude Motivation Program) aside, nothing could possibly bring down the high morale of the company.

Things are getting more and more intense in the best way possible. It’s becoming clear to us how to “smoke & mirrors of boot camp” will soon be replaced with “the real Coast Guard” where we will come into our own as a seaman or fireman and where each of us will move forward, into what are certain to be incredibly fulfilling and rewarding careers.

Today was Tango’s second go at pugil stick bouts. It’s a nice way to decompress a little and get some pent up anger or frustrations out on one of your fellow shipmates and also allows us a small window of time where we can actually cheer each other on. The rare opportunity to laugh out loud at what our company commanders have flying out of their mouths as they pin us against our opponent is madness. Petty Officer Russo was in one corner and Petty Officer Williams was in the other as Chief McKenna oversaw the whole show… As great as this experience was, it doesn’t come close to what came next.

Chief McKenna had us march off toward the direction of the ocean and said “We’re going on a little field trip.” Ominous words, which could be the prelude to something awesome or awful. We marched up onto the beach where Chief McKenna instructed us to face the ocean. He started off by pointing at the rolling waves and saying “This is your new office, ya got it?” He went on to give an indescribable and encouraging speech. He let us know how lucky we are and that he was slightly jealous of us and the journey we are so close to beginning. After the speech came the words “find some real-estate!” And yes, we ended up doing our pushups, sit-ups, squats, and flutter kicks in the sand. There was a reason behind all the madness though, because once we were done we were instructed to turn around and face the other way. We turned to find our guidon sticking out there in the sand with the Tango flag. We had finally received our company colors!

Tomorrow Sierra-189 graduates which means Tango-189 will be the senior company on the regiment. With our colors leading the formation, we’re going to be looking sharp. Whatever tomorrow brings, we’ll face it as a company growing stronger and more united.

Friday- 06JUN14

Today was a sentimental day. Despite all the scrambling and running around due to an emergency on base occurring yesterday into today and of course the last minute preparations for Sierra-189’s graduation, there was still enough time for this recruit step back and reflect on the high honor of being part (albeit, the lowest part) of the United States Coast Guard.

Chief McKenna took a good chunk of the company who were not previously engaged in uniform maintenance or squad bay clean ups to go to the retirement ceremony of Petty Officer Philips. It was a touching ceremony and provided us with yet another glimpse into the real life of a Coast Guardsman after boot camp. There were officers and enlisted personnel along with civilians. All were gathered to give their friend and shipmate a proper send off as she takes on a new career path on the outside. This recruit recognized many familiar faces, including that of the commanding officer and enough of the company commanders in one room to cause heart palpitations.

Petty Officer Philips gave a heartwarming and tear-jerking speech about how close to heart her years spent in the Coast Guard were. She had some encouraging words to spare for us recruits who are getting ready to embark on our Coastie adventures as hers were coming to a close. The camaraderie between Petty Officer Philips and our Lead Company Commander (who was a speaker in the ceremony and delivered a fantastic speech) was inspiring. The camaraderie between all the members present was inspiring. She reminded us all that as her journey was coming to a close, ours is just beginning.


Saturday- 07JUN14

There were two highlights today. Tango-189 spent the first half the day as we usually do. Chow, workout, chores, chow, etc. We tried on our Tropical Blues for the very first time and learned how to wear them properly. After all this was done we marched off base today heading towards the cutters in port here in Cape May. Petty Officer Williams split Tango-189 according to our first orders. All recruits going to a small boat station would tour the on base small boat station, all recruits with orders to a large cutter, would tour a cutter on base, etc. This provided us with a small glimpse and clarification as to what we can expect in just two short weeks when we report to our first station.

The second highlight today was ON BASE LIBERTY! Yes, the Saturday of week 06 brings us the privileges of on base liberty, visits to the Exchange for candy and supplies, cell phones, and a few hours to mingle with our shipmates at the Harbor View Club like normal human beings. Although we had a few hours to do so, I think it’s safe to say that we all may have spoken 5 words to a single person in the room as we were all glued to our cell phones and shoveling a ridiculous amount of candy and junk food into our faces. Our time went by way to fast as we found ourselves back home (Healy Hall) right before it was time for evening muster and our evening routines. We were happy to be back though, a little bit of a break was just enough for us to decompress and raise morale. We managed to square ourselves away and relocated our military bearing for the rest of the evening.

As the day comes to a close you can tell how much we have grown as a company. A few weeks ago just a few minutes of slack would have made everyone run around like crazy people, but as we’ve all learned what self discipline is all about, the couple of hours we were able to enjoy today didn’t get to our heads too badly and we finished week 06 at the top of our game.


Sunday- 07JUN14

Sunday is always a day that each recruit looks forward to once in boot camp. As the senior company on the regiment and having spent half the day on base liberty, it was time for Tango-189 to pick up all senior responsibilities and sacrifice a little bit of our time for some Sunday divine hour security duty. We patrolled Munro Hall, Healy Hall, and James Hall throughout the morning to make sure everyone was safe and secure and doing exactly what they should be doing during divine hours.

Looking back now and seeing all the junior companies and the brand new company X-Ray-189, we all remember how frantic we felt during our first few divine hours. We’ve had the same amount of time every single week since we’ve been here, however as we get faster and smarter we have more and more time to get everything accomplished and are able to actually enjoy divine hours these days. Sundays give us time to reflect, remember, and appreciate how far we’ve come. It also gives us a chance to think about what this next week will be like.

As we approach week 07 we can only guess what’s in store for us. Since we are the senior company and finally getting our act together, our days are getting better. Tango-189 is about to begin week 07. It is jam packed with finals, tests, inspections, and lots more to learn. We are ready though and we will get through yet another week together.

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.