Lima 190 Recruit Journal Week 06

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

Lima 190 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 16, 2014

Graduates: November 7, 2014


Week 06

Remember that storm that Petty Officer Russo always talked about? Well it came. And it hit us hard. In Boot Camp, and in life, a strong foundation is everything. Without a genuine and sincere purpose, and an indestructible foundation below our boondockers, we are driven by false illusions and meaningless hopes. When all of us raised our right hands and took our Oath, we did it because of the drive to serve and the pride we feel for our country. That same patriotism carried us through the first few weeks, but quickly, we lost sight of that. And our training reflected it.

Our Company Commanders immediately identified the problem. Matter of fact, Petty Officer Uitdenhowen got so upset she walked out on us during Sniper position and didn’t return for quite some time. It wasn’t long after that when the storm hit.

Out of respect for those two brutal days, I won’t say exactly what we did. Rather, I’ll let each recruit tell you all personally what they took away from days of the repeating music, because I can assure you, each of us walked away (more limped away) with a different perspective of why exactly we were here, and the shoes we have to fill.

We went through a lot this week. The few positives were our Fire Fighting Practical where we suited up, and battled a virtual fire, receiving our Military ID cards, and finally getting in touch with our first units over the phone. The highlight, of course, was our on-base Liberty on Saturday. I know each recruit needed that time to check in, as I’m sure each of our family members needed too. However, despite the good, all too often that bad seems to be the things we remember.

We had our first “Red Rope” Inspection. Basically, it’s a reversion party that comes in to take you back a week if anything is out of place. And naturally, it’s random and unannounced. As you can imagine, some weren’t prepared for the inspection, and paid the price. What’s worse is we know another one can come at any minute, and they never seem to be at a convenient time for us.

The steel hand around our necks is icy cold, and firm. With just enough room to breathe, we know just how pivotal this following week is. We still have to earn our colors (the right to march around with the flag for “L”). And earning your colors is no easy task. We have more physicals to complete, more required knowledge to retain, and of course, a closed book Final Test on everything we’ve learned since day 01. All of this needs to be done while demonstrating week 07 military bearing and professionalism. There is no room for incorrect responses and certainly no excuse for not knowing required knowledge. Our Company Commanders have made it clear, anything less than perfect will not be tolerated.

We’ve figured out what each of us needs to do, and how all three of our Company Commanders have impacted us most significantly these past 06 weeks. When Petty Officer Russo isn’t at home watching YouTube videos of recruits sweating or people in pain, she’s making us the meanest and most intimidating company on this regiment. When Petty Officer Uitdenhowen isn’t at home chewing on steel bars and rolling the most perfect sleeve rolls in the Coast Guard, she’s instilling pride, commitment and patriotism into all of us, making sure we know just how important those three are in this organization. And when Chief McKenna isn’t home making the planets orbit and the sun burn, he’s here making sure we aren’t just squared away as soon-to-be Coasties, but rather we are squared away people as a whole. Together, all three of them slowly take turns molding us and forming us into the most kick-butt, patriotic, and squared away Coasties we can be. It’s up to us, however, to keep our shape as the clay dries. I guess we will see next week who will melt, and who will stand tall.

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.