Lima 190 Recruit Journal Week 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

Lima 190 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 16, 2014

Graduates: November 7, 2014




Halfway done. Yet it certainly doesn’t feel like that. Time works strangely here in Boot Camp. On one hand, it feels like we’ve been here all of our lives and anything that came before this was just a good dream interrupted by “Fire, Fire, Fire!” On the other hand, it seems like it was just yesterday we stepped off the bus and into this ring of fire.
Week 04 brought some major points in our Boot Camp experience. We took our Midterm, our Seamanship Test, our Physical Fitness Test, and maybe most importantly, we submitted our “dream sheets” to the detailer. And while we moved forward with those parts of training, the relentless Intensive Training sessions with Petty Officer Russo and Petty Officer Uitdenhowen persist. Even worse, they’ve turned up the intensity too. Despite fatigued bodies and aching parts, Petty Officer Russo demands more and more “Sweat” as she stands and watches us soak the floor in agony. Someone brave enough (maybe foolish actually) claims he looked up at her during one of our toughest training sessions and could only see her smiling under that Smokey the Bear hat. Petty Officer Uitdenhowen, not to be outdone, brought some in the company to tears just the other night with her demands and intensity. But tears don’t deter Company Commanders; it just makes them even angrier.


As Week 05 approaches and we know we are soon to be a “Senior Company” the stakes are raised once again. There are no more “mistakes” next week. Required Knowledge and Military Bearing aren’t just things that must be demonstrated at most times, it’s every second of every day now. And if you don’t? You’ll stay here a week longer. And no one wants that. Rack inspections are more frequent and thorough. Our uniforms are expected to be in pristine condition despite the sweat and grit we soak into the uniform as we hit the deck over and over again to the shrill of a whistle. They won’t accept anything less than perfect for us recruits because what this country is asking us to do, demands perfection.


As for the morale of Lima? We’ve hit a new point in our training. At first, we were disappointed when we failed to meet time objectives because it meant more drilling, and less Coast Guard training. Now though, we’ve come to respect our Company Commanders, and want to make them proud. Now when we fail, it’s like having your parents tell you their disappointed in you rather than yelling at you. Just the other day, we embarrassed Chief Mckenna so much he made us walk back to our squad bay from the Galley with our hands in our pockets and our heads down. It was a shame we hope to never feel again.


The big week is here. Week 05 is upon us and the call to be perfect rings loudly and clearly. Petty Officer Russo keeps saying a storm is coming. I think I’m beginning to see the black clouds now…

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.