Quebec 190 Recruit Journal Week 06

International Maritime Signal Flag Quebec

Quebec 190 Recruit Journal

Formed: November 18, 2014

Graduates: January 9, 2015


Week 06


“The Toil of the traces seemed the supreme expression of their being and all they lived for and the only thing in which they took delight.”

-Jack London, Call of the Wild


Quebec is “standin’ tall and lookin’ good,” compelled by our new found pride and seniority. Not only did our Sea Daddy drive our formation with bravado-filled cadences, but Petty Officer Uitdenhowen did, as well! This was an especially confidence-boosting moment for us.

“They say that in the Coast Guard the coffee’s mighty fine.

It looks like muddy water and tastes like turpentine.

Oh, Lord, I wanna go…”

It may not have lasted long, but Quebec belted it out with a bark like no other, projecting our pride so all would hear it and be taken aback by it.


“Give me fuel. Give me fire. Give me that which I desire.”



This week we took our firefighting basics class. Our instructors demonstrated the method of fighting a fire with a four man team – one on the nozzle, one at the Y-gate, and two in between them. Then it was time to see if Quebec could execute the team method. The instructor called “Fire, fire, Fire!” which sent us like rabbits into the equipment compartment. Some of our shipmates had been firefighters prior to recruit training and because of this, they breezed through the test. Others were not so able at first. Their confidence decayed as they entered the loud, smoke-filled compartment after donning the necessary equipment. Our hands were placed on each other’s backs, save for the nozzleman. We all made out way towards the digital inferno taking deep breaths. Then one of us would follow the hose back to the Y-gate in case the water needed to be shut off (for an emergency). We alternated in manning the nozzle, utilizing the different degrees in which the water would be sprayed. Twisting the nozzle 90 ° on the left created a wall of water to protect the nozzleman. The 30 ° position spurted out a more concentrated spray to control the fire. And, the straight shot all the way to the right allowed for a long rage fixed line of water. Upon completing the exercise, we removed then cleaned the equipment. Our instructor informed us that we were one of the best companies he had seen at performing the fire fighting basics. Way to go, Quebec!


Our Christmas Eve was a wonderful time. Petty Officer Gunther marched us over to the Ida Lewis Building with a clever Christmas cadence. Your recruit will have to sing it for you if they haven’t already. Inside, we were treated to cookies and hot chocolate. On the stage in front of us were hundreds of bright red stockings with our names on them. They were provided by the spouses of Coastguardsman (Coastguardsman who were mostly Company Commanders… Yikes!). Together, their organization had provided the stockings, which did not contain RAMP tickets but treasured items such as new razors and blousing straps. There were even chocolate chewy bars and admiration letters from students at a local elementary school. They made sure to take hundred of photos of us, too – the ones you got to see on Christmas.


On Christmas, during chapel service, Captain Prestidge addressed us. Some of us were frightened be would deliver the “It’s not just 08 weeks” speech again. Instead, he simply reminded us of how proud our parents and other loved ones are of us; how they wanted us to enjoy Christmas despite being separated from them. He then took a picture with all of us. We were enormously honored. Y’all know how Christmas went, Operation Fireside. We were auctioned off to local families who treated us like Coastie kings and queens, allowing us to phone home and treat our bodies like human dumpsters – stuffing them with all the sugar cookies we wanted.


“On the second day of Christmas we lacked In-te-gri-ty,

So we were slain by Piece I.T.”


People were late to morning formation. When asked by Petty Officer Uitdenhowen who they were, they – out of feat, obviously – did not raise their hands. And so we paid the price for this with I.T. We were outraged at our shipmates for not confessing. We had lost favor once again, but she still decided to do something awesome for us. After Petty Officer Uitdenhowen taught our Legacy class, she marched us over to the bay to welcome home the USCGC Dependable. Quebec stoically observed the crewmembers as they shouted, blew whistles and moored to the pier. It was real teamwork. We stood there impressed, thinking to ourselves that their skills developed at the very place. We too might reach that level of performance.


We have adapted to everything so far. Unconsciously marching in step and sounding off. We can now practice singing Semper Paratus when Petty Officer Gunther decides to turn on his radio (Quebec is his radio). Petty Officer Allen and Petty Officer Babot do their best to prepare us for our Close Order Drill / Manual of Arms test next week. But ultimately, it is only Quebec who will have to prepare ourselves. This is what we live for – bettering ourselves in the way that may grant us favor and success. We just have to keep practicing.


Coast Guard Recruit Company Quebec 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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