Bravo 191 Recruit Journal Week 03



Bravo 191 Recruit Journal

Formed: March 17, 2015

Graduates: May 8, 2015


Bravo-191 Week 03 Summary

SR Leicht, 04APR15

Week 03 of Recruit Training has come to a close for Bravo Company. As we look forward to our five delightful “divine hours” (our only respite from the rigours of boot camp), we each reflect upon the week.

We have experienced highs and lows with a regular reminiscent of the changing of the tides only a few hundred yards from our squad bays. We have failed, fallen, picked ourselves up, and fallen again. But to learn, one must fail. An old adage seems appropriate: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that do not work.” Of course, our esteemed Company Commanders do not quite share that same “everyone’s a winner” attitude. Our job now is really very simple, and is succinctly explained by Chief Hollenbeck: “Do the right thing.”

Unfortunately, for many this lesson is not easily learned. This week saw Bravo Company lose its first two members to reversions – both for honor violations. Other punishments were also doled out, including formal letters of counseling and, most notably, RAMP. RAMP stands for “Recruit Aptitude…something something.” Okay, the name isn’t important. What it translates into is a “Big ol’ can of whoopass.” Two hours of grueling exercise late into the night, accompanied by the ritualistic chanting of “RAMP, RAMP, RAMP…” echoing throughout the regiment.

We have also begun rotating night watch shifts. Recruits are feeling the effects of all this and the sleep deprivation that goes with it. When combining things like RAMP, watchstanding, and a persistent cold that seems to affect everyone, simply staying awake has become one of our biggest challenges throughout each day.

But, as I mentioned, Week 03 also saw some highs. We began seamanship classes, culminating with practicing helmsmanship on a simulator. To think that we, as nonrates fresh out of boot camp, could be steering real U.S. Coast Guard Cutters in just a few short months is definitely exciting. We have also had more time in the gym, practiced using water survival suits, and marched our own formations.

Perhaps most importantly, however, is we have finally begun to show some semblance of being a cohesive team. Not a great team, mind you, but perhaps a team like the L.A. Clippers circa 2008. We may fail a lot, but we’re still in the league.

As long as we continue on the path upon which we have set down, we might one day become something impressive. Maybe we’ll receive less butt kickings. Maybe we’ll start meeting all our time objectives. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to stop Petty Officer Loeffler from flying into a frothing rage every two or three minutes. But hey, baby steps.

Either way, if we want to accomplish any of that, we need to be faster, louder, better. On the eve of what is likely for many to be their first Easter away from home, we have the many lessons of Week 03 to reflect upon. And with those, we must soldier on.

Week 04 awaits shipmates. Let’s make it our best yet.

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.