XRay 189 Recruit Journal Week 01-02


XRay 189 Recruit Journal Week 01-02

Formed: June 03 , 2014

Graduates: July 25 , 2014


Recap of week 01-Ø2 for XRAY-189:

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty. “If you don’t move faster, you’re going to be here all night repeating this exercise!” one of our Company Commanders yelled. Shipmates were in tears. In the midst of spinning and screaming, one shipmate found herself flashing back to last Tuesday where some shipmates were asking “Do you guys know your 11 general orders?” A couple people jumped up and said “We had to memorize them? I don’t know them by heart!” Another person calmly stated, “guys, it’s fine. We have time. Besides, soon we are all going to be like family. That means we are all in this together.”

Tears started to flow from the face of the struggling individual. They felt like they were falling in rhythm with the yelling and they closed their eyes and took a deep breath. Someone whispered “Don’t cry shipmate, it’ll be fine. Just remember, we are all in this together.”

So who were these “Pack of Pit bulls” As our Lead Company Commander, Chief Carire likes to refer them to? The ring leader is Chief Aviation Survival Technician Carire. His office is the ocean and he carries it on his arm. Next we have Chief Machinery Technician Reid, who has a lot of fight in her. Health Services Technician First Class LaFrance whistles like a creepy horror story clown and screams like a body snatcher. Finally there is Operations Specialist Second Class Petrenko who is like Batman and Spiderman fighting if you can get the mental image in your head.

All four of them have made us sweat in dormant glands, torn up our racks for not being up to par and really tried our military bearing. It is difficult to not laugh when you have the song “Let the bodies hit the floor” blaring and foreshadowing a sweat session that caused the cement and all the glass surfaces to sweat or hearing a fellow shipmate say hello to everything he saw outside the galley.

This past weekend we also received our first “official” jobs in the Coast Guard. A congratulations goes out to shipmate Goodfellow for being our first company Yeoman.

The main lesson of the week however is something we want to pass along to our future shipmates, family and friends: It is getting hot, so HYDRATE! Some of our sadder moments were losing some shipmates due to dehydration during our initial physical fitness test. We look forward to the day we recognize them in a future company.

There isn’t much more to add except… well to quote Petty Officer LaFrance: “There aint no Jamba Juice…Fire, Fire, Fire!”

As the week progressed passed indoc weekend we learned about, Rates/Ranks and addressing personnel from Petty Officer Petrenko and all about the Coast Guard Core Values from Chief Carire. In an unfortunate turn of events, however, it seems that not all of our shipmates took the core values class to heart, as one unknown individual laughed on the quarterdeck, but refused to have integrity to admit to their mistake. Needless to say the entire company suffered for it with sweat.

We finally received our first mail this week and Father Fronk who is one of two Chaplains here at Cape May, came in to lighten the mood a bit with jokes and information from the “real world”.

We also received a gift from our Company Commanders…our pieces. Which are replicas of M-16 rifles.

Bike workouts were intense! The highlight of our meals today was cheeseburgers for dinner! One of our Yeoman had a small break down today as she dealt with the burden of her own job and the lack of the Company’s ability to work with her but we are sure she will push through.

Half way through the week a majority of the shipmates got their pieces taken away from them by leaving their racks unlocked. One shipmate explained how she learned her lesson in Iraq when her friend got hers confiscated after leaving it unattended in the shower. Her situation reminds us of our responsibility to our duties, our shipmates, loved ones, friends and family are all relying on us to do what it takes to be protected. This week we also took the swim test. It consisted of a 05 minute water tread and 100 meters lap. A lot of the shipmates did not surpass, one swim instructor yelled out to a shipmate who left the water, “You are doing this for those you love. Tread as if their lives depend on you, because one day they might”. Funny how the lesson of the day is “Devotion to Duty”….

Intensive training- Eyes in the boat- moral responsibility, discipline…

We continue to be shown up by Tango-189 in the volume of our voices. Tango-189 is a senior company and they are louder despite XRAY-189’s larger numbers.

The Morale of the company seems to be sinking, and along with that stress, shipmates are finding themselves breaking down or snapping at one another out of frustration. So far, however, no one has quit since XRAY-189 was officially picked up by our Company Commanders.

Friday is Choir and XRAY-189 enjoyed an hour of choir today, however the company is slowly deteriorating in morale as the week passes by. The severity of our duties are slowly weighing down on us, and each of us is faltering. It’s hard to do the right thing 100% of the time. We either excel or lose. There is no middle ground, and it’s starting to hit us all of that fact. The main concern of our fellow shipmates is reversion, which means you get held back a week and change companies. It’s scary to think of, but the most important part to remember above all else, is to keep to the Coast Guard duties.

We’ve also learned a new series of physical fitness exercises. Some swimming circuits and…Sniper position… the piece is a plastic replica of the outer shell of an M16A2, but it weighs less. Holding our piece in the air as though were are shooting in the most unstable position possible is very difficult. Some of us were introduced to the sniper position early; in order earn their pieces and covers (which resemble ball caps) back from the Company Commanders. Later on, everyone learned sniper positions as Chief Reid began asking required knowledge.

On the note of reversion, we have already begun to accumulate shipmates from Whiskey-189.

“This is my world. All I know is sweat and pain. If you don’t want to go through my hell, do things right XRAY” ASTC Carire.

Between pen drops and holding canteens or cards with the “Self discipline paragraph” with our arms parallel to the deck reciting “Like moral responsibility, discipline is a word with…” for what appears and feels to be an eternity, and learning how to use our “pretty” new pieces (a plastic mold that resembles the M16A2) as incentive training props, Chief Carire and his “Pack of Pit Bulls” are no joke. At one point one of our shipmates made the statement to Chief Carire “I’m done. I quit” of note one of squad leaders quickly reached to his aide and helped him find his determination to continue on.

ASTC Pepe Carire

U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer “So Others May Live”
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.