Alfa 191 Recruit Journal Week 03



Alfa 191 Recruit Journal

Formed: March 10, 2015

Graduates: May 1, 2015

Week 03 comes to an end for the recruits of ALFA-191. The movement of time here at TRACEN Cape May is unlike the outside world. The end of one training week and the beginning of another feels like a 200 MPH brake check, and trying to jump into a moving boxcar on a railroad track. In keeping with said analogy, the train continues to barrel down the tracks, ready to collide with Week 04. On the eve of Week 04, the dozens of A-191 have had another jam packed week. Academic + physical fitness continue as everyday fixtures in aiding to mold informed + physically fit Coast Guardsmen. Additionally, the amount of required knowledge expected of A-191 recruits is mounting… and so is the pressure.

Required knowledge is not only put to the test by pen + paper, it’s also spot checked in the most obvious of places- the galley. While the word “Galley” might conjure images of a mild dining environment for some, the “galley” for recruits is synonymous with chum being fed to hammerhead sharks. Only at TRACEN Cape May can you find recruits power walking laps around a dining facility with trays piled with food and drink. Not only is there power walking, but the dining experience is complete with yelling from both recruits and Company Commanders. To an outsider it appears chaotic and as if some wild ritual was transpiring. Truth told, it’s a vehicle to hold recruits accountable for required knowledge, and conditioning them into being able to coherently respond/recollect information under pressure. As always team building continues to be a theme in training. Recruits are honing marching skills in addition to manual of arms with our M-16 pieces. Both activities require attention to detail, and ability to observe your shipmates for the sake of uniformity. It’s by no means perfect, but it is that much better than 03 weeks ago. And yet another important theme of recruit training; continual improvement.

Last but most certainly not least, the instructional block of seamanship has been intergraded into the schedule. Seamanship covers a broad range of nautical + sea faring information that will give A-191 a base to build upon once advanced into the fleet. Thus far, lessons have included learning vocabulary, lookout watch standing, and knot tying.

Also, seamanship has the added challenge of warding off drowsiness. If you can imagine a large room with 70+ people; some yawning, some prolonged blinking, some nodding and some standing in the back of the classroom…. welcome to week 03. The rigors of recruit training are wearing on your brave souls like a rubrics cube.

However, it is slowly but surely falling into place. As the Company Commanders of A-191 say, “I’ve given you all the answers, it’s up to you to figure it out!”. So, by force of upturned squad bays, incentive training, performance trackers, records of counseling, frantic dialogue, and introspection, we’re figuring it out. See you at the end of next week.




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.