Romeo 191 Recruit Journal Week 07

International Maritime Signal Flag Romeo

Romeo 191 Recruit Journal

Formed: August 4, 2015

Graduates: September 25, 2015
“It’s just eight weeks,” our recruiters told us, “only eight weeks.” That was true for most. But for some, it felt like a lifetime. I know that in the beginning I felt like this would never end, that I had signed my life away, and that I would continue sweating in New Jersey to the end of days. Now I understand that that is not the case. Now I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am almost home.

Now I understand that the real cost of voluntary enlistment cannot be measured in time lost; but rather… experience gained. Because the full-throttle rush of training evolutions that we embarked upon, left our body-clocks in a daze. Albert Einstein hypothesized that all measure of time is relative. So for you; our family, friends, loved ones, (and future Coasties researching for some hint as to what is coming), eight weeks must feel like two months.

For the recruits of Romeo – 191: we stepped off the bus yesterday. The time that has elapsed between then and now has not been a series of days in rapid succession, so much as an unremitting progression towards betterment. The hours have fused together, end-to-end, interwoven like a Halyard Line being hauled across the regiment. The experience has changed our lives forever. We are leaner, meaner, focused, and motivated. We are not the people you remember. We have been recast as servicemen and servicewomen, dedicated to idea that our lives now belong to the Nation that we swore to defend. Each one of us believing in the principles of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. Each one of us willing to lay down our lives so that another may live. After all, The Coast Guard is a Life Saving Service.

Now Romeo Companies’ time here at Training Center Cape May is nearly at its end. Well deserved rest is on our minds. The prospect of seeing our loved ones fills our hearts with joy, and we count the moments until we see you again.

But the training is not yet complete. Our careers as coastguardsman have yet to reach even their zenith. Soon we shall pack all that has been issued to us, and carrying the knowledge that has been bestowed, we shall venture forward into the fleet, with high hopes and aspirations toward grandeur.

What we have found in this last month of training, is a community of uniformed personnel that have truly welcomed us into their family. Our Company Commanders have changed in front of our eyes. In the beginning we feared these sweat collectors as if they were psychopathic heathens, who took pleasure in the pain of every recruit. But now we see that they are descent human beings, and there was never a moment when the madness was without method. Now we see that every drop of sweat made us better, and prepared us for the rigors of a job we did not yet know we would even have to perform. They have become dear mentors, truly concerned for our well-being and proud to see the level of discipline we have all attained.

We have earned the right to count ourselves among their ranks. We are in the fold, and ready to accept the challenge. They have our backs. So too do we have theirs. That is how we operate now. Regardless of origin or orientation, we have come together, towards a common purpose. We are prepared for the dangers that loom ahead, stoic in the face of opposition, courageous when consumed by fear. Our adventures have only begun. This was just the first chapter of our story.

So we spend our last moments here, in our “New Home Town,” reminiscing about the triumphs and follies which helped us to progress. Using the last free hours to plan our next move; exchanging numbers with the friends we have made along the way. We will never forget this place. The faces and the names will linger in our dreams for decades. And in the wee small hours of the morning, before the light has crested about the horizon line, we will bolt out of bed to the sound of, “FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!”

 

Coast Guard Recruit Company Romeo 191 Graduation Program

 

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.

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