Tango 189 Recruit Journal Week 07/08

International Maritime Signal Flag Tango

Tango 189 Recruit Journal   Week 07/08

Formed: April 29, 2014

Graduates: June 20, 2014


Monday- 16JUN14

“Are We Dreaming?

It’s Actually Week 08 for Tango 189! Today started extra early for us with some early morning physical training. The Master Chief Berry challenge started bright and early at 0520 and continued throughout the day. Breakfast chow ran late however, due to Petty Officer Williams joining us at our tables and eating with us. It was nice to eat Breakfast and be able to swap stories of the good and bad times we’ve had with him during trailing. Following breakfast was our Fire Drill ( Watch Quarter Station Bill). Where everyone had designated jobs for the emergencies/man overboard drills. It was good practice for what kinds of things we can expect to do while be doing in the fleet. We received our own personal weather gear and also got to toss our old recruit covers. All 03 of our company commanders were here this afternoon to do our capping ceremony, where we finally pinned our non rate pins to our brand new USCG covers. Tango also spent some time in the pool today doing safety raft drills and sprinting our 100 meter swim/ times for some points towards the master chief Berry challenge.


Speaking of the Master Chief Berry challenge… After we ran 02 miles and got into our racks, we were woken right back up and instructed to go back outside. While the rest of the regiment slept, Tango spent the entire night slaving away at the tasks that were thrown our way. From 2200- 0330 Tango carried sand bags, moved rock piles and worked on numerous other team building exercises that ultimately culminated as a simulation of what we might have to do once in the fleet during hurricane season if there were to be an emergency. It was very challenging, frustrating and physically difficult work but it was a terrific learning experience.


Tuesday- 17Jun14

“Looking back to see how far we’ve come”

Tuesday started off a little later than usual due to the drill from the night before. But not too late it turns out, because we woke ourselves up in time to beat our Company Commanders to the punch. Chief McKenna said with some disappointment, “What is everyone doing up already? I was going to come in and wake you up with a Fire, Fire, Fire and beat you some more.” Just goes to show it pays off to be squared away. The purpose of doing that though was explained to us during our muster. Chief McKenna took a moment to tell us how there will be times when right after a long watch just as you are about to hit the rack the Search and Rescue alarm will go off and you will have to go out and perform at optimum capacity on little to no sleep… and then after hours after that evolution is complete you get back and it’s time for your next watch rotation. Everything here at Tracen has its purpose.

After that was morning chow and after that 20 shipmates separated from the company and went on a little trip to the local elementary school with Petty Officers Russo and Williams to help with a “Tough Mudder” type of relay course. In that time, the rest of the company was back on base learning about Leadership in class. Lunch chow is when the company regrouped and sat down to eat while Petty Officer Williams walked around talking here and there and of course cracking jokes.

Tango went over to Sexton Hall to pick up our personal bags that we arrived here with out of storage and bring them back. Seeing those bags brought back memories from Indoctrination weekend. And for those of us who may have forgotten what those first days were like, we got a very strong reminder as Tango observed the new forming company Zulu-189 arrive off the bus. It was chaos and seems like such a distant time ago that we all were in those same shoes. Amazing how time flies and how every day small changes happen until all of a sudden you’re walking around squared away, sounding off, walking tall and proud and acting like regular non rates.

To top off the night we did some victory marching around the regiment and observed colors as a company, where Petty Officer Williams took a moment to remind us that that flag is the real reason for why we are here.

Wednesday- 18Jun14

Today was Tango’s last day for the Master Chief Berry Challenge. Unfortunately, the Required Knowledge was not up to par and Tango was not rewarded with a pennant.

After that was a big chunk of free time mostly getting ready and prepped for graduation on Friday. There was some good times on the quarterdeck doing a “Remedial” with Petty Officer Russo where we all sat down and shined shoes.

Then there was our debrief with our Executive Officer and a finally the debrief with Master Chief Berry. In both cases, many many things about boot camp started to make real sense.

We’re going to bed tonight wiser and even more prepared to head out into the fleet in just a few short days.

Tango 189 Graduation Program

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.