Mike 190 Recruit Journal Week 02

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike


Mike 190 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 23, 2014

Graduates: November 14, 2014
We didn’t realize just how diverse of a group we were until we departed the USO together in Philadelphia. California, New York, Connecticut, Guam Alaska, the list goes on and on. Shipmates got to know each other rather quickly on the ride sharing common interests and noticing each other’s accents. We talked about our reasons for joining. The chatter quickly subsided however as we approached the Cape May exit off the Garden State Parkway. Before we knew it a Company Commander was on the bus, telling us to sit up straight, and we all had the same “deer in the headlights” look on our face as we had 15 seconds to get off the bus and already wasted two of them, our first of many unrealistic time objectives to come.

Our first few days at Cape May were most certainly a shock with all the yelling, however, it consisted mostly of us getting squared away as recruits, also known as forming week. Between being issued our uniforms, dental exams, shots, getting vials of blood drawn, and chaos at the chow hall before we knew it, it was Friday and MIKE-190 had officially formed. An intimidating introduction of our 4 Company Commanders by TRACEN Cape May’s commanding officer, Capt. Prestidge, made us realize we hadn’t seen anything yet.

That day we moved from Sexton hall where we formed to James Hall where we currently reside, that’s when Boot Camp really started.
The 5 AM fire alarm wake ups, 5 minute showers, pushups, crunches, squats, flutter kicks and did I say push-ups?

After morning incentive training we marched to chow. The galley is a whole other animal. Recruits, in a very calculated an organized manner, file into the chow hall, get a tray of food, pray to God they don’t get caught in the crossfire of the CC, quickly square their meals, and exit in an orderly fashion. Sounds simple enough right? The hardest part is being forced to stare at your tray as you listen to your shipmates get bombarded by CC’s for making an endless list of mistakes. What goes on outside the chow hall however, can at times be just as precarious as what goes on inside. We aren’t allowed to bring our rucksacks into the galley so we leave them outside guarded by one of our shipments.

This brave soul, should he or she be chosen to guard the packs are armed only with, “halt, property of Mike-190, you are not in my chain of command,” Should a CC decide to start aimlessly throwing or taking the packs as a result of an unsatisfactory greeting from the recruit. Now, we knew none of this rucksack business our first couple of days, so imagine how surprised we were when we formed up outside the galley with our CC questioning a guard from another company and quickly disarmed him of the packs and rubber M-16 rifles, scattering them about as the recruit fumbled through his required knowledge and improperly greeting the Company Commander. The irony of the story however, after further questioning the guard of one of the senior companies, turned out to be a descendent of a very famous World War II war hero. Our Lead Company Commander and assistant CC’s got a kick out of it and we did too. We certainly weren’t going to show it though.

The “Hero’s descendent” story was the talk of the company for a couple of days but we didn’t have much time to talk about it as we were needed to keep up with our busy schedule. We met the chaplain, who is a breath of fresh air to say the least, and began receiving instruction on where to stow our gear and how to take care of it.

The ironing lesson we found most helpful, it only lasted about five seconds and resulted in a mess to clean up… All things considered; things are really starting to come together here at TRACEN Cape May. We have been issued our rubber M-16 pieces, began swim workouts, class time and instruction, marching movements and how to pick up a canteen and put it down. These exhausting and repetitive lessons by our CC’s were hard to understand at first, but we’re beginning to realize how it’s bringing us together and teaching us self-discipline. Whether our CC agrees with whether we have it or not is debatable but the general consensus is, it’s starting to work. We all miss home but more importantly we’re beginning to realize how much we need each other.

Tomorrow is Sunday so we get five hours of divine time. It’s personal time to take care of whatever we think we need to work on. Most of us will probably spend that time ironing and writing home. Hi Mom!


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.