Echo 191 Recruit Journal Week 06


Echo 191 Recruit Journal

Formed: April 14, 2015

Graduates: June 5, 2015


Week 06 Summary – Echo-191

Recruit Training here at Cape May could be divided a number of ways to fit one’s mindset, the most common being what specific week of training a company is on (Week 07 is upon us Echo!). A wider division might be a more effective way to translate what we all have experienced – halves. These two halves tell a story of growth that every recruit, including Echo-191 has to not simply experience, but adapt, learn, and find growth from. Half one, weeks 01 through 04 come first (surprise). These weeks, as you have mostly likely already read in Echo’s (as well as other company’s) blogs, are all about the basics. Basic knowledge, basic uniform and rack maintenance, the basics of close order drill, etc. These are certainly tough weeks, as we know from every guide read before arriving. The last four weeks are not, as those same guides said, easier. This half is quite different however. This second half is all about performing what you already know, perfectly, with all different types of distractions thrown at each recruit. It’s impossible to describe how each individual stressor affects one recruit, let alone that same stressor on 34 different recruits. Echo-191 has certainly had its share of distractions this week – our new home on regiment, attempting to sort out travel arrangements for both graduation and to our first assignments, now being the second most senior company on regiment, shipmates getting their wisdom teeth out, and on base liberty.

As you most likely know by now, that liberty has come and gone. We all finally received our cell phones back for a select few hours (though it took a few minutes for everyone to get the hang of the touch screens again). Echo went first shopping at the Exchange, the local Coast Guard convenience store, to pick up much needed items like insoles, razors, and candy. Then it was over to the Harbor View, the regimental restaurant, to enjoy the day, eat some burgers, catch up on what’s going on in the world, and call loved ones. This was all great, but maybe even better was the way every member of Echo behaved while liberty and after, when we were given our first night to run Evening Routine and hit our racks with minimal supervision. After previous troubles with larger distractions (the days following the reception of our orders were particularly tough), our company performed as if our entire Chain of Command was watching, looking for any ill behavior.

Directly before Echo-191 tasted the joy that is liberty, appetites were further whet as regards to their assignments. Split into three groups depending on the type of unit they are going to be at, the company toured the 210-foot cutter, the Dependable, the 87-foot patrol boat IBIS, and Station Cape May, the local small boat station. Speaking from my own experience at Station Cape May, we were both incredibly overwhelmed informed the expectations of a non-rate, and fascinated by the equipment we will soon be learning to work on, from the Communication Watch Standing room, to the 45-foot or 25-foot Response Boats. I can only assume the other groups found as much pleasure sampling what will soon be their lives.

One highlight that no one in Echo-191 will soon forget is the firefighting practical at Goff Hall. Inside we dressed ourselves in all the wears to firefight, including a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus, and in groups duck walked with our heavy loads to fight the simulated fire. It was a painful process (we may now begin to understand why they make us do all of those squats), but a process in which valuable lessons, that we may likely all use one day, were taught.

It has been a tough and challenging week. This half of boot camp has taught each recruit more and more about self-reliance and discipline in the face of distraction. The regimental leadership knows that once we are outside the gates and on our own, the traits we have developed and the skills we have all learned must be put to use, regardless of the circumstances. Echo-191 has two more weeks to prepare itself for the fleet- outside of Cape May, there will not be a Company Commander to call out our errors.



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.