Victor 190 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Victor

Victor 190 Recruit Journal

Formed: January 13, 2015

Graduates: March 6, 2015


V-190 Week Ø5 Blog:

Imagine being aboard a ship or a boat doing routine work or patrolling the waterways when suddenly you get notice that there is suspicious activity, possibly even drugs or people being smuggled across the border on a boat that has been spotted. Perhaps somebody fell overboard, or a families small boat toppled over and several people are at risk of drowning. Most people don’t have to think about these situations or deal with emergencies on a regular basis. Coast Guardsmen do, and must be always ready for any situation that may present itself.

It is a serious job that requires focus, discipline and hard work. This week for Victor-190 recruits have been taught and drilled on certain procedures during basic training and it’s time to start executing them on our own. For every order given, we must move with urgency and always think; when in the fleet someone’s life could depend on my accomplishing this task.

Morning chow this week was at 0545, with a 530 wake-up call and morning muster to complete this for approximately 78 people getting to chow on time proved to be a challenge. Recruits had to figure out a way to get dressed and in formation after hearing their name called in a matter of minutes, before the company left. This proved to be a difficult task for those whose names were called last. Our Company Commanders had recruits fill out performance trackers and gave out ramp for being late to formation.

RAMP, two hours of blood, sweat, and tears assigned as one of worst punishments for recruits who make a mistake, was given out like candy during a rack and uniform inspection this week. Sunday morning everyone was stressed trying to get our uniforms and racks to look perfect for our inspection with Chief Hollenbeck, our section Commander. He, just like our company commanders, is a formidable presence around the regiment. With his characteristic red rope around his shoulder, recognizable voice, recruits automatically tense up when he enters the room.

One of the reasons inspections terrified recruits is because everything in recruit training has specific rules and regulations. Blouses folded with only three letters of the word showing. T-shirts folded 6×8, gloves placed to the aft with thumbs folded in and fingers pointing toward the stern. Shoes tied with square knots and the bitter ends tucked in. Uniforms are a huge deal, perfectly pressed, no wrinkles. Every button is closed, no loose threads, bloused pants perfectly folded sleeves. After Chief Hollenbeck was finished tearing our uniforms apart and criticizing our racks. Several recruits were put on probation, many got ramp, some even got reverted.

Reversion is something they don’t really talk about at the recruiting office. If you make too many mistakes, especially in later weeks of training, you can get booted back into an earlier week of training and repeat all over again. No one wants to be sent back in time. We also had our manual of arms test this week, where we scored a perfect 10 out of 10. That definitely boosts morale because v-190 had to work as a team and get the checkpoints for each movement with our piece.

V190 recruits found out where they were going to be stationed this week. Some were disappointed but most were satisfied. We also moved to a more senior building. We had to pack all our belongings into our sea bags. Whatever didn’t fit you carried in your hand. We lugged it up 02 flights and had to clean and unpack for an inspection ready rack in very little time. We trucked everything along in the frigid weather as well. It has been so cold the wind feels like it is literally trying to rip your skin off. You can tell a recruit just by looking at their skin, blister, sores, cuts on knuckles chaffing on skin, and dry patches all over. Through the blistering cold, we must still march maintaining military bearing and stance.

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.