Lima 190 Recruit Journal Week 03

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

Lima 190 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 16, 2014

Graduates: November 7, 2014



As another week passes, the pace at boot camp continues to pick up. Deadlines become even more challenging to meet, the knowledge we are expected to retain becoming unbearable, and the ever looming threat of reversion hangs heavier around our necks. But this is life in Boot Camp.

Part of our training, as we are learning, is to become the best Coast Guardsmen we can be. However to do this, the individual that stepped off the bus that terrible night in September must be broken down and re-molded into someone more disciplined, more prepared, and more driven. While worthwhile, the process is no doubt slow, and painful.

And that’s where we are with LIMA Company this week. Heading into Week 4, we have been given the tools we need to make it through. Our Company Commanders (and every other Company Commander) has drilled us over and over again to ensure we understand and maintain the military bearing and skills we will need to make it through these 8 weeks. But as recruits, these aren’t easy habits to pick up. And we aren’t just demonstrating our new skills when Company Commanders are around either, rather, we are expected to live this new lifestyle at all times while we are here. Imagine, 24 hours a day, having to maintain full military bearing and military courtesies perfection. Just when you think you can relax, there is one right there waiting for you to slip. And they are always there.

We are steadily learning more about what our roles will be when (and if) we make it out of here. We’ve taken Seamanship classes, learned how to tie the 5 Basic Knots, and have gained some deeper insight as to what the national and international duties and responsibilities of the Coast Guard are. But despite feeling like we are moving forward, we are quickly reminded just how far away we are after some friendly Intensive Training sessions with our inhuman Company Commanders. Take for example Friday, we stood tall and proud as we marched in our first graduation. In our best uniforms and in front of our Command, we stood higher than we’ve stood since being here. Then, hours later, we were face first against the wall, our ears being filled with yelling so intense you can’t help but shake. So much for standing tall.

All we can really say at this point is that our training isn’t about how many pushups we can do, or how long we can tread water, or how quickly we can memorize packets of information, boot camp is about how long you can endure being stripped of basic human rights. It’s about how long you can endure a constant state of mind-rupturing stress. It’s about how long you can endure proving you are worthy of the title of a Coastie. But as I mentioned earlier, it is imperative we remember that they break us down to build us up. Maybe it will be easier to see that in later weeks, because for now, it feels like they just hate us.

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.