Lima 190 Recruit Journal Week 08

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

Lima 190 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 16, 2014

Graduates: November 7, 2014

 

Week 08

 

And just like that, the longest 8 weeks of our lives is over in the blink of an eye. Days we thought would never end are but mere memories that seem to have happened in another lifetime. The constant stress and drilling beat us down to points lower than any of us would ever like to be again. But yet, here we are, no longer recruits and finally members of the greatest Maritime Service in the world. Would we do it all again to get to this point? You can bet on it, just give us a few days to catch a sleep and a shower to ourselves!

Training was hard (have I said that enough times?). Physically, we were pushed to new limits of discomfort and pain, especially on the night of Master Chief Berry’s Challenge. But it was the mental aspect that truly brought most of us to our breaking points. Recruits walk a thin line between success and failure. Everything here is designed to test you at every minute of these grueling 8 weeks. As recruits, we were watched and evaluated on absolutely everything we did. And despite how we may have felt about our performances, we were always wrong. As recruits, you are treated in a way that is so foreign to most Americans, you can’t even fathom that the people in the Smokey the Bear hats have any kind of conscious. As recruits, the threat of reversion is so close at all times that each step you take must be perfect otherwise you may be making the dreaded phone call home.

And then there are the people that make up your company. We come from Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, New Hampshire, and everywhere else is between. And despite all being interested in the Coast Guard, we were all individuals here to get through Boot Camp and get the heck out. None of us planned on becoming the family we did. Despite our bond now, however, it did take some time for 101 people to come to like and respect each other. Boot Camp isn’t exactly a warm and open place to make friends and find similarities while standing heel-to-toe to the shipmate in front of you. But through time, a lot of patience, and a bonding that can only take place between people who endure so much suffering together, we grew to become a family. We became the LIMA train.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the staff here at Cape May. As recruits, we aren’t allowed to thank anyone (not that there were many opportunities to do that anyway) but the staff who helped us through these tough times must be recognized. LIMA 190 thanks Captain Prestidge for his outstanding leadership and direction of his staff and the entire regiment, all of our instructors and teachers, the galley staff and their hard work, the members of the grounds crew and all those who help maintain this stunning facility, and finally our families and friends for the prayers and support along the way. But most importantly, we have to thank our Company Commanders. We know we were spoiled to have such a dynamic and knowledgeable trio of successful Coast Guardsmen who were so passionate about what they were doing. We may have not exactly liked them in the beginning, but as time went on, it became clear that they did care about us and they wanted nothing more than to see us succeed. When you realize they’ve been on your side since day 1, it all begins to make a lot more sense. So to Chief McKenna, Petty Officer Uitdenhowen and Petty Officer Russo, a train sized “Thank you” from all of us. We will carry your names into the fleet with pride.

As for the rest of LIMA, well, we’ll be hitting the fleet soon, but not before a few long hot showers and a few good nights of sleep. It was a wild ride, one that most of us will still look back on fondly. But our time here is finally done and we are ready to move on as official members of the United States Coast Guard.

Until next time LIMA, Sniper Position Take!

Long range.

Coast Guard Recruit Company Lima 190 Graduation Program

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.

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