Whiskey 190 Recruit Journal Week 03

International Maritime Signal Flag Whiskey


Whiskey 190 Recruit Journal

Formed: February 3, 2015

Graduates: March 27, 2015

Week 03 for Whiskey-190 was a harsh wake up call. Throughout the week we have been slowly adapting to life in the Cape May, as well as learning what it means to be a Coast Guardsman. However, we also discovered our many faults and found them almost overwhelming. On the other hand most have survived it.

Monday seemed almost like a continuation of week 02, but with the sense that we were swimming in waters too deep for us. Which seemed appropriate considering one of our first activities were survival suits called “Mustangs.” The suits utilize water warmed by body heat to keep the wearer both afloat and warm for a period of time. Though a bit cumbersome the suits certainly proved themselves effective as Mr. Schena had us test them out. We performed survival techniques while wearing them. We seemed to enjoy ourselves however; our fun did not last long. The rest of the day was more classes, one devoted to sexual assault prevention and response was particularly sobering. We all know sexual assault is a problem, especially in the military. The information is still valuable to have around, especially for when we enter the fleet. We also had a class involving the various G.I. Bill and educational opportunities they provide. It was good information to have, though a bit dry. Another class involved the roles and missions of the Coast Guard, such as our presence in a post 9/11 world and missions of security, safety, and stewardship we follow every day.

Tuesday was focused mostly on safety and history. The safety class concerned the various dangers often associated in the Coast Guard, not the “Man Overboard” kind of danger, the more mundane dangers of faulty equipment and electrical fires. All are dangerous, though the more likely they are to happen, the less people seem to remember them. Our other class block was history, specifically the birth of the Coast Guard through the Revenue Cutter Service and the absorption of other maritime services, such as The Light House Service and the Life-Saving Service. We also learned of various individuals and vessels that help define the Coast Guard as what it is today. The class was extremely informative, though a bit short. I’m sure there are entire books on the USCG Bear and her adventures. The majority of the week was filled with an abundance of various classes. Towards the end of the week, we spent half of each day in seamanship class. We learned about many interesting topics. Our instructor Petty Officer Ventura taught us how to tie knots. Nautical terminology, and even tested our helmsman skills on a simulator. Besides the many hours of sitting down in class, we packed more than enough physical activity into each day. Our bike workouts are becoming tougher. We performed a fast paced core workout which made our bodies sore. At the same time, the results of the workout are so rewarding. If it doesn’t hurt, you aren’t trying hard enough. Now that the temperatures are rising, we are able to spend more time outdoors. We even got to ditch the Gore Tex (which is bulky and annoying). Petty Officer Gunther informed us of new marching techniques and let us practice for a bit. On the down side, many of our “Fire Fire Fire” drills will be outside; especially without pieces. Piece incentive training is tough; especially the squats. But we are slowly improving. Performance trackers, records of counseling, and RAMP tickets are being thrown at us from all directions. And it doesn’t take much to get one. The offense can be anything from loss strands of hair to a messy rack to even getting caught writing letters in an unauthorized notebook. That punishment will most likely be more severe. The Galley is a huge shark tank. The sharks are spewing questions on our required knowledge. As long as you get the correct answer, you won’t get eaten alive. If you screw up, you are most likely going to be publically humiliated in front of your shipmates. Very rarely now does anyone make it through the Galley without being stopped. But we deal with it for one reason: food. Our massive appetites need it. Now that we are on the verge of week, inspections will play an important role in how our week will progress. Week seems like it’s pretty busy. However, our Company Commanders will find time to make us sweat if no one fixes their rack problems. We also need to work on meeting time objectives. The longer we spend not meeting them, the more we are forced to do them. For example, we will spend an hour running up and down to our squad bays and changing in and out of our operational dress uniform until every single person makes the dress uniforms minute deadline. Who knew it would be so hard to slash a zero? Apparenently, it is. Thanks to those who did not slash their zeros on their performance trackers and did not sign in, we had to gather around the Quarterdeck and slash zeros for the most painful 20 minutes even. All of this while screaming “slashing my zeros”. Whiskey is a disaster. However, we are making progress. We are beginning to grasp the concept of teamwork. Our required knowledge almost seems natural now. Time objectives are not so impossible for some to meet. At this rate, Whiskey might be able to earn a better name. We are the company of Cape May. Hopefully, we will prove ourselves to be “wonderful whiskey” in the next few weeks.


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.