Alfa 190 Recruit Journal Week 05



Alfa 190 Recruit Journal Week 05

Formed: June 24, 2014

Graduates: August 15, 2014


Week 05 Summary—“Week 05 Ends; Game Over Or Game On!”
We have officially made it past the halfway point. And we have the battle scars (or blisters, to be more accurate) to prove it. Our total loss count due to reversion, medical reasons or a simple case of what can be referred to as “acute I quit syndrome” is 23, and we have gained 14 due to other companies reverting or re-phasing (due to injury) others to Alfa-190. The total count has dropped to 104.

Week 05 was a display of what happens when recruits become complacent. Some of us felt that the worst was behind us now that we were past the half way. We were wrong. The standards went up this week by a very significant amount. We had our first inspections this week. Senior Chief Ashley inspected our uniforms and racks, and those of us who weren’t up to standards under his laser beam guidelines were granted probation, blessed with RAMP (recruit attitude motivation program), or reverted on the spot in a single explosive blast. It was, for lack of a more eloquent word, intense. We stood as still as we possibly could, gritting our teeth until they hurt as we saw our shipmates beside use get sent packing to other companies. Two of our squad bays, however, had completely flawless rack inspections. Your recruit knows who they are, so congratulate of ask them! The toll this week was heavy; perhaps the largest amount of losses thus far. When this happened, we realized that all of the screaming, all of the wolverine reminiscent tear ups of our racks and squad bays…were teaching us. Through the harsh, seemingly mad methods our company commanders employed, they were helping us get ready for the hurricanes to come. The bulk of us got by, thanks to them.

We also took our Seamanship midterm exam this week. The majority scored at least above 90%, and a respectable amount got perfect scores!!! But during Seamanship, and during class in general, still seems to be mistaken for nap time by some recruits. In one class, as many as 09 Alfas will get caught falling asleep. The smacks on the wrist have gone the way of the Unicorn; they don’t exist. We sweat like torrential rains this week for off topic questions. Impressively, after this discipline, we never asked another off topic question again, even when baited by our instructors. Good going, Alfa. We are starting to understand!

The biggest event of this week, what Alfa 190 had been waiting for since stepping off of that infamous bus from Philadelphia, was getting our orders. We all finally found out where we are going this week! The reservists and the guaranteed “A” school recruits (we have 05 reservists, 02 aspiring Food Service Specialists, and 01 aspiring Operations Specialist) already knew where they were headed beforehand, but for the overwhelming majority of us, this was four years worth of destiny in a bottle poured into a single day. Many contained their urges to scream in elation as they received the exact locations they picked on their “dream sheets”. Others stood tall with their indignation beneath the surface, doing a very good job of accepting the orders they were given despite their wishes not being granted. The company will be scattered like leaves in a Gale; many of us are going to Alaska, some are headed to Hawai’i. One of us will even be headed to Guam! You read that right. ONE of us. Many will have called home by now by the time this is read, and you must know that the brevity of these calls was ordered and that they made a large portion of us miss home even more. But, at the same time, the pride outweighs the homesickness. And while some of us may not feel our orders coincide with our ideas, dreams and fantasies, the reality is that the needs of the fleet outweigh our own. We are given our orders for a distinct purpose, and those at home must encourage us here by reminding us that we must serve with as much fervor at our ordered location as we would have had we gotten our “dream” location. It will help the Alfas who took a bite of disappointment and had to swallow it.

On another note, we had an intense, seriously soul busting circuit training with Chief Arseneaux this week which left many rubber limbed and wobbling. It is safe to say that ALFA-190 is a part of regimental history now; we started on Master Chief Berry’s new recruit running track and while it is pretty impossible to keep our boots shiny now, it is pretty fantastic to know that our rag-tag “chain gang” will have been part of something that other recruits will be running on in the future. That’s pretty amazing!

We wrapped up the week with the confidence course; a bevy of obstacles including high bars, hurdles, and a rope climb, that brought us together. Whether an ALFA flew or flopped, their shipmates cheered them forward and their company commanders kept them safe. It left us feeling happy to be part of this company. However; as week 06 rolls in, as a wave on so many beaches, we were thrown a big new curveball. We were moved into a new building with switched squad bay assignments! We have yet to unpack, so we have to move quickly. Because the ominous bells of week 06 ring ever closer. They sing that week 06 brings more inspection, higher standards, no room for mistakes, and so…

May our blisters harden into steel. May our conviction outweigh our fatigue. May our eyes stay open in class. May our backs and legs become pillars of marble. And may we continue with strength, determination and good hygiene conforms included. Wish all of this and more to your recruit as they push past halfway into stormier seas. We can do it; just keep sending the support! Go forth and improve, ALFA-190!


SIDE NOTE: Many of us are going afloat on cutters. We are a sea going service. Be encouraging to the Alfas who are going afloat. We also learned this in response to “How long have you been in the Coast Guard”?

I have been in the Coast Guard all me bloomin life. Me father was king Neptune, me mother was a mermaid. I was born on the crest of a wave and rocked in the cradle of the deep. Me eyes are stars, me teeth are spars, me hair is hemp and seaweed. When I spits (Head Rotates, “Spit, Snap back”) I spits tar, I’s, tough, I is, I am, I are! We are the only company doing this and we are doing our lead Company Commander, who had the confidence in us to teach it, proud by being young sea beasts in a slow rise to full sea beastdom.

SR “DIRT BOOTS” Kristofferson


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.