Oscar 191 Recruit Journal Week 02

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar


Oscar 191 Recruit Journal

Formed: July 14, 2015

Graduates: September 4, 2015
WK 02/Forming Summary


The whole experience starts in the USO lounge in the Philadelphia airport. They’re nice to us there. Snacks, comfy chairs, magazines, tv, etc. Then the recruits get on a bus and we start getting nervous. No one knows what to expect, but we all know it’s not going to be fun or easy. The bus goes through the gate and stops in front of Sexton Hall, and our lives change. “You have 15 seconds to get off this bus and line up on the yellow triangles!” From now on we say “Sir/Ma’am, yes, Sir/Ma’am” and “Ma’am, aye-aye, ma’am.” Everything we do say has to be screamed at the top of our lungs. This is forming week. We are not yet a company – just a bunch of recruits being issued gear, going to medical and dental screenings, receiving vaccinations, getting measured for uniforms and learning the basic rules of recruit training. Our forming company commanders had the job of trying to get 124 civilians started on our path to becoming Coast Guardsmen. Leading us around was a bit like herding cats. Forming week is also the first chance to be dropped. Take note prospective recruits: you don’t want to fail the physical fitness assessment.

Friday afternoon, day 03 of recruit training, Oscar-191 came into existence. This was when we packed up all our new gear, moved into our new home, James Hall, and most importantly, our forming company commanders handed us over to the 05 people tasked with shaping us into Coast Guardsmen. I’ll tell you more about our Company Commanders another night, but for now, on with our first couple weeks: The very first thing our Company Commanders did was introduce Oscar-191 to incentive training.

This was the tone for the next week. Screw something up: incentive training. Too slow: incentive training. Not loud enough: incentive training. As the name suggests, it’s an incentive to get better, faster, and louder. Oscar-191 also started classes after forming. Even junior enlisted Coast Guardsmen are put into positions of responsibility, so we have to know everything from navigations, to military traditions. Some classes can be a little dry, but all are important, and Oscar-191 is looking forward to classes in upcoming weeks.

Our days are mostly filled with physical fitness training and time in the classroom with chow mixed into break up the day. Sweat, learn, eat, learn, sweat, sweat some more, finally get to eat our chewy bards, shower and hit the rack. Then we do it all over again the next day.


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.