Bravo 191 Recruit Journal Week 05



Bravo 191 Recruit Journal

Formed: March 17, 2015

Graduates: May 8, 2015


SR Leicht

Bravo-191 Week 05 Summary


Another week has come and gone, but this one felt a bit different for the recruits of Bravo company. It could be said that Week 05 is a milestone week here at recruit training, and it made no exception for us. We experienced many changes, both good and not-so-good, but are overall happy to feel as though we are moving into the final phase of boot camp.

One thing to note about Week 05 is that we began our transition as one of the senior companies on the regiment. This is important for many reasons, but one reason was most apparent: more is expected of us. Minor infractions are not tolerated. Behavior that we should have un-learned weeks ago is met with harsh punishment now.

These realities were heralded by an intense Monday, when we learned just how serious this is. Following some decidedly non-week-05 behavior on Monday morning, we were greeted in the afternoon by the Terrifying Trio — our Company Commanders, Chief “The Boss” Hollenbeck, Chief “Watchdog” Ingram, and Petty Officer “The Shark” Loeffler. Like a team of superheroes sent to re-shape or destroy recruits who are not meeting the standards, they descended upon the hapless members of Bravo with a fury unmatched in the mortal realm. The dumb mistakes we’d been making and the lapses in military bearing were simply not befitting of a company this far into training. Simply put, we should know better. And suffice it to say, our Company Commanders let us know it. Much sweat was wrung from the bodies of Bravo company that day.

Following that delightful Monday, which shall henceforth be referred to as “The Reckoning,” the recruits of Bravo had been humbled. We wanted to prove that we can – and will – be better. We managed to learn from our past transgressions mostly avoid harsh punishment throughout the rest of the week as we went on with our training. This training included our Seamanship midterm test, a veritable bevy of physical fitness sessions (the non-punitive kind), and some various classes on topics such as boat crews and personal finances.

The big parts of Week 05, however, occurred toward the end. As we all knew was coming, this was the week when we received our orders for our first duty stations. On Thursday night, we finally found out where we’d be spending the next phase of our careers. This was an intensely exciting time for all. We had all filled out our dream sheets, and were all eager to see if we’d gotten the assignments we’d wished for. For the most part, people were happy with their orders. Some, however seemed stunned into a dumbfounded silence upon hearing their stations (“Oh, you wanted a small boat station in Florida? How does a cutter out of Kodiak, Alaska sound?”). Even so, eventually each of us started to become excited about what the future holds and the adventures that lie in store, whether or not it was what we were expecting or hoping for.

Of course, with learning of our orders there was one other big milestone: our first phone call home. It wasn’t much – five minutes tops – just enough to tell our loved ones where we were going after boot camp and try to hammer out details of travel arrangements. But even hearing the voices of parents, spouses, and others was a moment both of joy and sadness. For the most part, recruit training does not leave us enough time to really dwell on the people and things that we miss, but this phone call hit many of the recruits of Bravo hard.

Finally, we finished our week by packing up all of our belongings and moving across the parade field from James Hall to our new home in Healy Hall. This move is largely symbolic of the fact that we are now transitioning into one of the senior companies at Cape May. While this is exciting because it means we are starting down the home stretch, it is also stressful as we know that we are now held to a higher standard. But with the proper attitude, motivation, and espirit de corps, we can live up to and even exceed those standards and expectations. It is hard to believe that the slow, quiet, sloppy Bravo-191 of Week 02 has evolved into what we are now. We are far from perfect and there is always room for improvement, but we have come a long way, both as a team and as individuals.

We’re in the home stretch, shipmates. We aren’t done yet, but the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to shine. Stay loud, stay proud, and remember why we’re here and where we’re going. Let’s make Week 06 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.