Lima 190 Recruit Journal Week 02

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

Lima 190 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 16, 2014

Graduates: November 7, 2014



So, what’s Coast Guard Bootcamp really like? It’s hard. Harder than hard. Probably the most physically and emotionally challenging thing any of us “recruits” have ever done. This weekly blog will allow family, friends, and anyone else interested in the recruits of LIMA-190 company to follow along with what our weeks are like as we progress through the fog.

To start, it’s incredibly hard (did I say that already?). As we somehow stumbled into Week 02, we soon realize we are in for a rude awakening. Our first few days in Sexton Hall (the building that houses recruits in their first few days) was full of yelling and horrors, but was nowhere close to what we would encounter after meeting our Company Commanders and moving into our new, permanent barracks, James Hall. Our first few days with our Company Commanders were nothing more than shear horror.


In the Coast Guard, our boot camp “drill instructors” are called Company Commanders. And they are no joke. Most of us have never seen their eyes as they wear their “Smokey the Bear” hat at an eerily low level. And those of us who dared to look were met with yelling so intense we shook uncontrollably. We learned quickly, you never look at a Company Commander. Ever.


Our Company Commanders are, to the best of our knowledge, not human. They look human, but they do not act it. Instead, they are robots capable of only unleashing rage and punishment. The lead Company Commander, Chief Boatswain’s Mate McKenna is capable of blowing up at any moment. And it’s not pretty when he does. He’s a taller man that walks like the earth bows down to him. And we do to. At his side, his two pit bulls slash and pull violently on their long leashes, begging for a chance to have their way with their recruits. Storekeeper Second Class Russo and Boatswain’s Mate First Class Utdinhowen are two females that could make even the mightiest beast crumple in fear. Their specialty is IT, better known as Intensive Training. When we make mistakes, and it happens often, the two pit bulls our let off their the leash and freed to make sure we, um, learn our lesson.


While under constant threat of the pit bulls and other Company Commanders roaming the grounds, there is a demand to be always demonstrating military bearing. That means, we don’t talk, we don’t look around, we walk a certain way, we speak a new military language, and we do every single thing we are told. Besides the names on our uniforms, we’ve been stripped of all individuality and are working towards becoming one team. But taking a hundred total strangers and throwing them into a hostile environment and expecting them to form as one is a task that seems impossible, just as everything else seems to be.


Until next week, if we make it that far…

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.