Zulu 189 Recruit Journal Week 05


Zulu 189 Recruit Journal Week 05

Formed: June 17, 2014

Graduates: August 08, 2014


Week 05 we’ve been hearing about it, thinking about it and for some reason, and fearing it. We’ve entered the “realm of failure” as told by one of our instructors, we all know that this week we will all once again fail, fail hard, and fail damn near constantly. But there is this saying in Zulu-189 “success is not given to the strong or those with knowledge, it is earned by those with willpower to stay the course through adversity and failure”. The word that strikes me the most is adversity. If nothing went wrong or changed abruptly, that wouldn’t be a world at all. There would be no need for The Coast Guard.

Being in the Coast Guard our motto is “Always Ready”, this means we have to be prepared for everything that is thrown at us, at any given moment. That being said we had a uniform inspection which everyone was ready for but we also had a surprise rack inspection. Our shipmates spent so much time working on their uniforms some of us neglected our racks. Needless to say those of us who were caught off guard are no longer with Zulu. The moment the inspection was over it felt like an anchor was lifted off our shoulders. There are no short cuts in boot camp and there are eyes everywhere. If you have a finger out of line, literally your thumb not on your trouser seam, your day will immediately go downhill.

As the weekend approaches we all have one thing on our mind… our orders; its great motivation for us to meet time objectives and keep up a military bearing because we have to earn them. We have been given slivers of freedom such as a shipmate marching us to class and an evening routine, we can’t fall backwards. Our seamanship instructor told us boot camp is an uphill climb all the way until 12:01 the day of graduation. He gives great advice that we need to keep in the back of our minds. Boot camp is not over, it’s far from over. We have a lot more required knowledge to memorize and a heck of a lot more sweat to pour.

Our company made it to one of the days we were looking forward to, we all received our orders! We finally found out where we will be living for the next two to four years. I’m not even sure how long, but I just know we are damn glad to know! Some of us are very pleased with where we are going and others not so much, from Alaska to Guam, bitter cold to scorching heat. Ice breakers in Detroit to small boat stations scattered throughout the continental United States. We went on a night run, which was like a “good job” feeling. We are really starting to feel like we are a part of the United States Coast Guard.

They knocked us down and now it’s time to build us up. Zulu started this morning off on the confidence course. It was so much fun finally being able to yell and cheer on our shipmates and we got a few good laughs in too. The course was pretty challenging but for the most part everyone could handle it. The best part was our sponsors were out there as well as all four of our company commanders. I’m not quite sure if they were impressed or not but the admiral gave us positive feedback about team work and pride. He even went through the obstacles which was awesome to see.   Our shipmates who just recently joined Zulu said they feel like a part of our company and like it better than their last. Some of our shipmates are designing a t-shirt for our company and the rest of us are helping dig to lay down a new track on the regiment. Digging is pretty much what we will be doing every evening until we graduate, besides classes and preparing for our new move!

Eighteen more days, two weeks and some change is all we have left. Today we had divine hours just like the last four Sundays. We shined our boondockers, ironed our uniforms and studied of course. At about 1730 our company commanders had us get “online” just like we always do and Chief Hollenbeck started addressing the whole company about how we are about to be a senior company. He told us Chief Brost needed to say something to us as well and when we did an about face, which is to turn 180 degrees, we noticed a faint break in the steadiness, that break was our company colors. Zulu-189 colors! What we have all been waiting for and what we finally EARNED!!!!!


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.