Echo 191 Recruit Journal Week 05


Echo 191 Recruit Journal

Formed: April 14, 2015

Graduates: June 5, 2015


Loss. In the past five weeks, Training Company Echo-191 has suffered loss: shipmates gone due to injury, failure to complete physical fitness requirements (rephasal), changes of heart, and failure to perform up to the expected levels (reversion). Those past losses, no matter how painful (as many friendships have formed in our short time here), pale in comparison, numerically at least, to this week. On two separate occasions, Echo-191 was inspected by Regimental Section Commanders. Their mere presence (signified by a red aiguillette adorning their operational dress uniform blouses) strikes fear in every recruit. The incentive sessions lead by the section commanders are the toughest we have experienced. However the habit of inflicting harsh punishment for any error is much worse. Both encounters this week resulted in numerous reversions, and as a result (coupled with a group of rephasals) Echo unfortunately lost twelve members.

So then, how does a company cope with such a devastating round of losses as Echo-191 did this week? The first thing to remember is that training DOES NOT STOP. No one has time to lick their wounds or feel sorry for anything. Classes still continue and information does not stop. This week Echo learned the basics of proper radio procedure (which will be helpful soon as many of our first duties in the fleet will involve communication watch standing). Echo also took courses on financial management, how to don level one personal flotation devices, as well as numerous small group sessions on manual of arms. One very notable class involved Echo getting fitted for their dress uniforms (yes, the tailors know how to take measurements around a recruit’s puffed out chest).

Some events are marked on our mental calendars since before we even arrived in Cape May. Probably number one on this list concerned our orders. Where will we be going (Florida? Hawaii? Alaska?) and what exactly will we be doing there (onboard a cutter, bouy tender, or small boat station)? Well, as many of you parents and loved ones found out by our very brief phone calls WE RECEIVED OUR ORDERS! And as you can imagine, everyone became so distracted by the news, our performance slacked off, at least until we were given a few stern reminders as to why we are here.

The final bit of good news that helped offset this week’s losses occurred on Friday. It was moving day. Saying farewell to James Hall, home since week 02, Echo-191 moved a short distance to Healy Hall, senior company housing. It seems unbelievable to be this far along and to have more companies our junior than our senior. Still, here we are. With this distinction comes even more expectations, responsibilities, and consequences. It is not without its perks however, as Echo-191 has been afforded a few. Number one: more fun activities, such as Company Runs, the confidence course, and upcoming time learning to bout with pugil sticks. Number two: food privileges. Don’t get me wrong as the galley food is healthy and fantastic, but two items have taunted everyone since our first time at chow. Desserts and coffee. Now, as decided by our command, we are permitted access to these once forbidden fruits. Number three: Evening Routine. A simple agreement. If Echo-191 can be mature enough to follow a nightly routine from 2030 through 2200 lights out, then said routine offers ample time for rack/uniform/squad bay maintenance, longer shower times, and a generally less chaotic atmosphere in general. Quite simply, it is the best thing to happen to us all here (at least behind our orders).




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.