Whiskey 191 Recruit Journal Week 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Whiskey

Whiskey 191 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 1, 2015

Graduates: October 23, 2015


One of the first, long-standing, military traditions that every recruit learns is the banter that happens between the branches of the armed forces. Coasties are “puddle pirates,” Marines are “jar heads,” Navy sailors are “squids,” the Air Force has “fly-boys,” and Army soldiers probably didn’t break a 50 on the ASVAB. It’s all in good fun and fosters a healthy rivalry. In the end, we all have each other’s backs. Throughout all the trash talking you also pick up on the positive traits that each branch is associated with. I’m proud to say that the United States Coast Guard is known for producing leaders. From our first week here we’ve participated in classes and discussion on “followership,” which is the idea of servant leadership. It’s the thought that in order to be a good leader you should first learn how to be a productive follower or team member. This way, when you step into a leadership role, you will have an understanding of each member’s role and what it takes to make your company effective. As Whiskey-191 dives into week 05 we begin to step into our role as a senior company. This transition ushers in new responsibilities and new expectations. Today we learned about our new watch duties in Sexton Hall, which is where you spend your first few days in recruit training getting processed before you get picked up by your Company Commanders. This means we will be some of the first recruits from a senior company new recruits stepping of the bus will encounter. The expectation is that “you will look flawless and act in a manner of complete military bearing.” It’s a tall order with heavy consequences. No more games, just reversion for those who don’t meet the standard. This added responsibility (and stress of course) also means another really exciting this…WE ARE ALMOST THERE! The barber put it best when he said “one more haircut until graduation.” This is when time begins to fly because everything focuses on the next step.

We’ve also take pictures in our dress uniform this week (and we looked darn good too), begun talking about housing, and…this is a big one…got to submit our Dream Sheets! The excitement was tangible as we crisply stepped into the classroom to “respectfully request” that we be assigned to somewhere our significant others will be happy about and where our families will want to visit (don’t worry dad I’m trying for Puerto Rico). However, the reality of it all is we are given orders, not choices. We may get stationed where we want…but maybe not. Regardless, our duty is to make the best of it and do everything we can to exemplify the Coast Guard’s core values while there. To me, this transition during our next year sounds tougher than most challenges we’ll face in boot camp. Like I was told from a former Coastie “one thing you’re guaranteed is that wherever you’re sent it’ll be next to the water and there will be a good group of Coasties there.” Even the worst place can’t be too bad by that criteria. Keep sending prayers, thoughts, letters, and good vibes our way as we head into week 05. We all expect that it will be the toughest yet!

-SR Burns, Company Historian



“Have confidence in yourself; remember when you are tired, your enemy may be more tired. Keep on punching.”

-LT Jack Dempsey (USCG, 1942)



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.