Kilo 191 Recruit Journal Week 06

International Maritime Signal Flag Kilo

Kilo 191 Recruit Journal

Formed:       June 2, 2015

Graduates: July 24, 2015

This week encapsulated the pinnacle shift within the company from what seemed like we were sinking in place to now setting sail strongly towards any direction we choose. We now cut through the waters at will and our destination is graduation.

Upon watching the last company ahead of us formed up for the final time before moving on, we all stood there envisioning ourselves in their stead. We imagined our loved ones up in the stands cheering us on as we marched upon the parade field. We pictured our Company Commanders formed up right beside us having completed their daunting promises they took on to prepare us for the fleet. We thought about saying our goodbyes and moving on from what feels like such a pivotal part in all our lives. It’s not just eight weeks, it is the beginning.

We have undergone many changes as we shift from civilian to a member of the armed forces. From the way we walk and talk, to the way we think and see, all has now been embodied in a exterior symbol – our newly issued tropical dress uniforms. Some of us have had the chance to wear them already in band or other ceremonial teams, but this was the first time our entire company wore them together. It was just to have our Company Commanders help us prepare them for an upcoming inspection, but just seeing us all in our short sleeve button-up shirts, blue wool trousers, gold belt buckle, and polished shoes allowed for another glimpse of who we are now, perspective on who we used to be, and our future career ahead of us.

Our weekend of this sixth week of training has set the tone for us. We are clicking as a company and finally growing rather than remaining stagnate, dynamic rather than static. Our on-base liberty was on Saturday, as most of you reading this may know because you probably received a phone call from us. This was an exciting time for us to finally communicate with our loved ones, and relax a little bit as we sat on the back patio near the pier, played pool, turned on some music and connected from shipmate to shipmate. Oh, and snacked out on plenty of junk food like kids on Halloween. It was a rejuvenating moment that will help us stay motivated to complete what we have begun here.

The focal point of this week was Sunday. We had been riding high all weekend from how great we were doing as a unit that it led us into the defining moment of self-identity. We became Kilo-191 truly – we earned our colors! It started by us declaring our personal reasons for joining the Coast guard before our shipmates, Company Commanders, and the statue of Douglas Munro, the only Coast Guardsmen to receive the Medal of Honor. Already feeling a sense of pride, we were split up immediately to do incentive training with our pieces. We were loud, fast, and locked on more than ever with every intention of conquering this workout. Once we were done with the sound of a whistle, we were instructed to turn around. Staked into the middle of the parade field was out guide-on with our Kilo Company colors. Storming to it, we lifted it up high and began to scream and chant. There is no greater feeling than to earn something after working hard. On top of this, we were able to take it out for our first company run off-base. This involved running 3-4 miles with our colors leading the way. People that were just out and about stopped to cheer us on as we marched on by. It was a moment unlike any other, proud and at peace with our decision to join the United States Coast Guard.

The weekend ended on such a gloriously redemptive note that had tested us to a point near breaking. We had fallen, but now have risen like a phoenix from the ashes. We just discovered that we bleed yellow and blue now.


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.