Sierra 191 Recruit Journal Week 02

International Maritime Signal Flag Sierra

International Maritime Signal Flag Sierra


Sierra 191 Recruit Journal

Formed: August 11, 2015

Graduates: October 2, 2015




ATTENTION ON DECK!! Sierra-191 stands stiff as a board as the Commanding Officer walked in and gave us a motivating speech. Then our Company Commanders marched in and gave their oath to train us. Things quickly went berserk and we quickly realized this was not going to be easy. Before we knew it we were on our faces, on our feet, on our backs doing incentive training and pushing the earth. Our Company Commanders pointing out every mistake we were making and we were paying dearly for it. Finally it was TAPS! TAPS! Lights out and we got to sleep but not for very long.





As the sunrise crept into our portholes (eyes) REVEILLE! REVEILLE! REVEILLE! Then FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! Before we knew it were outside finding some real-estate and on our faces pushing the earth 03, 02, 01 move faster, get louder! Today we went to the exchange to purchase everything we need for the next 04 weeks, we learned facing movements and some marching that we quickly screwed up and got yelled at for. We also learned recruit rules and regulations and our Company Commanders made sure we knew exactly what they were. Hurry up! Get louder! Get your eyes off me! Respond properly! You’re moving too slow!





FIRE, FIRE, FIRE, get outside! were the first words we heard. Our CC’s tell us to find some real-estate!! Words we have come to hate! On your faces SIERRA! We are making mistakes and our CC’s are making sure we know it! Off to breakfast for some much needed calories to feed the soreness and tired bodies we all have. As 0800 approached we all were thinking YES! Devine hours. The 05 hours of personal time quickly faded and were again paying for our mistakes. Later that day we felt some pride when were told to get on boon dockers and blousing straps and were authorized to wear our boots with our operation dress uniforms.




Today was our first experience at the USCG gym. We learned not only about the importance of strength training but also that proper form is crucial. Of course we were also taught a lesson about maintaining military bearing even when our company commanders aren’t around. Smokin & Jokin in gym was not allowed and we paid for it. Our introduction to the Coastguardsman Manual brought a whole new light to the meaning of self discipline. No one would’ve expected a two pound book to be so difficult to hold. Learning about the core values of the coast guard taught the recruits of Sierra-191 that their values are now HONOR, RESPECT, and DEVOTION TO DUTY.




There were no breaks for the recruits of Sierra-191 today. From dawn until dusk we were paying for our mistakes with sweat. We have all become way too familiar with page 200, and have been told that we will continue to, until we get our heads in the game. Devine intervention came to us in the form of Chaplin McGraw. He offered us solace, telling the company what was happening in the world while we were focused on training. That solace was short lived and before we knew it we were on our faces once again. After our sweat session Sierra-191 was reminded that every day is a new day, and we have the chance to fix our mistakes. It’s up to us to actually do it.




We thought we were starting to get the hang of exercise in recruit training, but then we met the Life Cycles. Our legs burned as we walked to our class on Rates and Ranks. Of course during class we didn’t maintain military bearing and found ourselves deep in yet another IT session. The day continued to go downhill as shipmates continued to make mistakes and all were forced to pay. Our company commanders explained that the reason attention to detail is so important is because once we are in the fleet something that seems like a small thing can be the difference between life and death. Today was also a milestone because we received our pieces. While learning manual of arms, we also learned that there was a whole other level of IT we had not experienced yet. It actually made us miss the days of only pushups, crunches, squats, and flutterkicks.






Watch standing was added to our growing list of responsibilities today. We were taught that out in the fleet we will be standing watches at whatever unit we end up at. After lunch we took a short break from training with the Chaplin, then it was right back in with the Life Cycles. All of the workouts and sweat are working to bring us together as a company. That’s what all five of the company commanders are here for. They are hard on us and have high expectations because they want us to be not only the best company on regiment but the best coasties in the fleet.




Swim Assessment was an eye opener for some of our shipmates. The Coast Guard is a sea going service and being always ready includes preparing for the worst. If our boat or helicopter goes down we have to be able to swim until help arrives. Sierra-191 was taught lessons again for messing up with laundry and the importance of securing pieces. We did have a positive when we were louder than Tango, Romeo, and Oscar companies. We’re striving to be the company to beat on the regiment.




What goes up must come down and today Sierra went down hard. This is like one big roller coaster ride with Sierra riding over the cliff to fall flat on their faces. One moment we are sounding off and trying to become a team and then we get too comfortable and start screwing up again. For now we are just going to read yet another paragraph from the book of discipline until our throats bleed and our eyes fall out. We had some peace for a short while as we met our mentors Commander Hoerster and Senior Chief Gibson who gave us words of encouragement and answered questions. Soon after that we went to the track for a 1.5 mile run that all of us need to get ourselves in shape. Things quickly went downhill from there as we started screwing up left and right. Our CC’s literally got sick of our crap and they took us back to James Hall for evening of remedial training to help us get our heads in the game and out of the place we have it stuck in. Maybe one day soon Sierra will figure out that we need to act as a team, have self discipline, military bearing and know our required knowledge. We are often told tomorrow is a new day and it’s up to us to make it a better day and if not, one thing is for sure we will be stronger.

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.