Whiskey 191 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Whiskey

Whiskey 191 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 1, 2015

Graduates: October 23, 2015

 

#Sharkweekeveryweek

27SEP15

 

Sundays are always days that stir up mixed emotions for Whiskey Company. On one hand you are given time for Divine Hours but on the other hand, once Divine Hours are over, Whiskey usually received a butt whooping. This may be for any number of reasons but typically, it is something we did, or “didn’t do” during our free time. Today we sweat because of our rucksacks. We’ve been dealing with multiple inspections in preparation for tomorrow, which is the big day. Tomorrow we have the major inspection from our Section Commander. Rumor has it that it’s typical for recruits to get bumped and put on the red belt on the spot. Everyone will be in the spotlight and those who fall short won’t cut it. Our stress is at an all time high. The thing about Whiskey that I can’t figure out is why we just can’t seem to find our groove. For example, today we were instructed to hold our canteens, once again, and instead of saying what we were told which was “we do what we want” we ended up inadvertently modifying it to “we do WHATEVER we want”. I feel like it sums up our mentality perfectly. We just can’t seem to get it right. Tomorrow will be a tough one but what day and what week hasn’t been. All we are is a load of shark bait in the shark tank. Here’s to shark week every week!

 

“The Crazies”

28SEP15

 

Today Whiskey Company came face to face with the newest player in our seemingly never ending game. If our Lead Company Commander is our eeuivelant of Zeus the this Chief is one of the Titans and he definitely rocked the worlds of some recruits today. Before lunch chow Whiskey had lost roughly 05 of our shipmates and almost half the company had either a red belt or a RAMP ticket. No matter how squared away a recruit was they were no match for the Chief. Everyone from our “Fly on the wall” to our Yeoman were roosted up and booted out. This is only the beginning of the week too. We still have 06 more days until we make it to the promised land in week 06 and by the look of it, it’s going to be a long one. By the end of it I doubt I’ll ever want to see a canteen again. The post traumatic stress disorder may be so bad that I’ll have toss my well traveled Nalgene bottles when I get back home. Probably won’t ever drink water again. Speaking of water, my shipmates and I have never been so hydrated in our lives. 02 glasses with every meal is more than enough. Also, I would venture to guess that my shipmates and I will square our meals for the rest of our lives. (I caught myself doing it at the Armory the other day). It’s the small things like that that give you the feeling that you’re being hijacked. Uncle Sam is driving the bus!

 

“Omni-presence”

29SEP15

 

Integrity through conditioning. Whiskey Company is finally learning that our Company Commanders are everywhere. There’s nowhere or no time when they aren’t listening. It’s constant stress. All we keep thinking is “just make it to week 06” but my fear is that it won’t come either because of reversion or due to our Company’s lack of form. Hopefully not though. Hopefully things happen smoothly and we begin to get whatever kind of reprieve we’re supposed to have. There’s no promise in boot camp though unless you’re promised discipline. When the time finally comes for Whiskey to bear the title of “Senior Company” we all hope that we can keep from embarrassing our Company Commanders. I wouldn’t be taking my money to Vegas on that bet though. The positive aspect of the weekdays is scheduled classes. Getting to learn about Seamanship is a refreshing break from the stress of being back at the house. Today we got to learn about pyrotechnics. Don’t get me wrong, reciting required knowledge is great but doing any practical application class just can’t be topped. Next week we move on to firefighting and some other subjects we’ll be able to use when we get to the fleet.

A few notable mentions in Whiskey’s daily happenings; the try outs for the “DaVinci Crew” which is the group who will be able to capture our feelings of terror for our Company Commanders through art. They have a good bit to live up to as our predecessors have come up with some pretty clever laundry bag paintings. The second notable occurrence was our Lead Company Commander letting us know that our orders are ready. It’s the feeling that you used to get around Christmas time when you could see the presents under the tree but couldn’t open them up yet. It’s mental torture or games which may be a better choice word for boot camp. Another day done and speaking for myself (and probably a shared sentiment from the rest of Whiskey) I’m worn thin. Like butter having scraped across too much bread. Most of us will probably sleep an entire day after this whole crazy ordeal is through.

“I will never forget that I am an American….. Dedicated to the principles which made my country free.”

 

“Rock me like a Hurricane”

30SEP15

 

Of all the scenarios I’d thought I’d encounter in boot camp for some reason getting caught in a hurricane never crossed my mind. Having been born and bred in the Pacific Northwest, hurricanes aren’t anything I’ve ever experienced. Naturally, I imagine it going down with something like a cross between twister clips I’ve seen on TV and a hint of Sharknado. Whatever happens, the recruits have been told that we will evacuate inland to Fort Dix. While many of the recruits have a “what will be; will be” attitude about it and are unphased, other shipmates were noticeably a little more nervous. This showed through in their multiple unnecessary questions about the entire situation. Relax guys we’re in the military, they take care of their own. All said and done today felt a little better than roughly the past five days. Just PT, classes, chow, and some evening routine. The only negative thing about people’s day (roughly 25 shipmates give or take) was RAMP. For a day in basic, it wasn’t too bad. We even began to march a little bit better. We still aren’t ready for evaluations but progress was made. On that note, it also seems that our manual of arms drilling is still slowly improving. The entire process of self-training manual of arms has been the epitome of the phrase “too many chiefs and not enough Indians”. In actuality though, our Chiefs (the recruits) are just high school kids wearing head dresses they bought from Party City while having a pissing match. It is getting more organized though so as a recruit, we are getting more done and hearing “Fire, Fire, Fire” less. We will see what tomorrow holds for our inspection. One can only hope for the best and a little bit of luck. If we’re really fortunate, maybe we’ll even get to hear our orders.

“Are you dead, dying or on fire!”

 

“Riders of the Storm”

01OCT15

 

Today Whiskey was in the eye of our own little storm. While the wind was blowng and rain pouring outside, the eye of Whiskey’s storm relates more to our second big day. Our day was all around pretty low key. Everyone is gearing up for the potential evacuation so the recruits were able to focus on class time and prepping for the rack inspection tomorrow. As much as everyone was stressed Monday, the amount of pressure that’s on the company for tomorrow is even greater. Every single recruit has scoured over and over their racks looking for anything that isn’t up to par. The worst part is no matter how thoroughly you prepare, there is always something you missed. On top of potentially evacuating, and the high intensity rack inspection, we also have graduation support. The potential for reversion for tomorrow alone will keep many recruits up tonight thinking about all the scenarios that could change their graduation date. Then, if all that wasn’t enough, we should be getting our orders any day now. Just the cherry on top of our life changing ice cream Sunday. Aside from all the stress, Whiskey still found time to give back to the Community Today by donating blood in a blood drive. Not everyone ended up being able to give but seeing almost the entire company sign up to help others is pretty cool. Our classes taught us about finances and what’s expected of us as well as some tips for when we make contact with our first unit. Both of these subjects are following the trend of practicality that almost all of our classes seem to incorporate. Tomorrow we’ll get the final word on the storm and the move to Fort Dix. We know it won’t have a major impact on our training but we’re excited none the less. The idea of driving to a new base and shaking things up a bit is exciting when you’ve been on pretty much the same routine for the past 5ish weeks. Hopefully tomorrow ends up alright and most survive!

-Keep on Keeping on-

 

“When the man comes around”

02OCT15

 

There has only been one moment in boot camp so far, that has rivaled the adrenaline rush that we experienced when our Company Commander first picked us up. At roughly 0900, our Company Commanders, with a gang of Section Commanders, blew through our squad bays, upturned racks, and had recruits sounding off in X-Ray company before lunch chow. Oddly enough, there are a large handful of our shipmates in the ward or on light duty. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the duty slips read, “Reason for Ward visit: Recruit had a stroke, heart attack, and developed a nervous tick simultaneously at about 0900”. Cause; “Most likely thought to be the result of having a run in with the man”. Other causes could include working graduation watch, moving into Healy Hall, or receiving our orders. To be frank, I think they should start to issue Hypertension medication along with the powered eggs every morning. This week was a full one but most of us have made it this far and we’re still pushing!

“Who needs intensity workouts when you have 08 weeks of Coast Guard boot camp. You’ll have an 8 pack and playing beach volleyball when I’m through with you!”

 

Weekly Summary

03SEP15

 

“Get up! Get up! Get up! You have 60 seconds to be online main muster and 10 minutes to get dressed, shave your face, and get to chow!” “Don’t be late or you will pay!!” This is how our Company Commanders say good morning during SAR week. It’s supposed to simulate getting woken up at any hour of the night to respond to a mission. In the fleet, our quick and attentive response could mean the difference between life and death for the people in trouble. At the end of the everyday though, this abrupt wake up is the least of our worries. Week 05 has been Whiskey Company’s biggest obstacle yet. The combined amount of inspections, incentive training, graduation support and watches, and the bog move to our new home in Healy Hall, has left us barely able to tell our heads from our rears. But we’re still here. We just have to keep pushing on from one chow to the next. As they say “Chow-Chow-Chow-Yum Yum Bar” until 08 weeks are up. Now let’s talk about inspections. Before I left for boot camp, I took a road trip over to Glacier National Park to get my last dose for 08 weeks of the best country on earth. While hiking I ended up encountering a bear. I turned the switchback and there he was, raised up on his hind legs giving me a good look over. I froze, felt one of the biggest adrenaline rushes of my life and then finally remembered what I needed to do to come away safely. I want to put it on record that I would rather face that bear a hundred times over before having to experience the inspections all over again. Our Section Commander is the embodiment of a bulldog with a smooth talking east coast accent that sounds like it could be straight out of a mobster movie, the Don Corleone of our fates if you will. The first time around he gave almost 10 people the axe and second time he brought in 02 other Section Commanders to help with the dirty work. If you’ve never had a group of Section Commanders bombard your life with questions about required knowledge while scrutinizing everything from the hair on your chin to the dirty sock in your ditty bag then I recommend you keep it that way. I thought I was going to have a stroke, heart attack, and develop pre-diabetes all at the same time. The pressure of the encounter is the point though. With a bit of luck, hopefully, the recruits that have made it to the later part of the week will turn into little Whiskey diamonds from all the pressure that has been applied though SAR week. “SAR Week”, ironically enough, has also been the stormiest week that anyone has seen in a while. As every mother I’m sure already knows, Cape May has been on the cusp of being hit by a hurricane. This entire storm (Gale force winds, sideways rain, … etc) has set the mood for our week and only added to the chaos. As our Company Commander bellowed through the storm at us “If you can’t handle a little bit of weather like this then you better look for a new job because 90% of your career will be spent in crap like this!!” We look forward to it and revel in the opportunity to be someone’s lifeline when the weather gets rough and going gets tough. The last big news of the week is the Whiskey has its orders!! Normally, the Company Commanders take recruits out to the ocean or ring the bell but with the conditions outside, it just wouldn’t work. Instead our Company Commanders who actually are hilarious ( I promise it’s not the Stolk-Holm Syndrome talking) took us into our squad bay and gave everyone a good roast. It was a good time and there were many bouts of coughing from my shipmates. I say coughing because when a recruit can’t hold in a laugh the only other option is to “cough”. This barely keeps us out of trouble and it happens fairly often because like I said, even though I’m certain our Company Commanders would be riding in on horses during Revolutionary Times they are actually pretty darn funny. Recently, one of the recruits was reprimanded (jokingly) for hording nuts from chow in his cheeks like a chipmunk because he was swollen from having his wisdom teeth surgically removed. The little quips like that make me laugh inside ever time. They’re the war stories that make boot camp memorable. As Whiskey Company begins to take steps to head in different directions with their orders, our company mentor Captain Case gave us the best advice; “Life often takes you places you’d never thought you’d go to achieve things you’d never thought you could accomplish.” As always keep those prayers, thoughts, and good vibes coming as Whiskey has another long week ahead!
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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