Alpha 192 Recruit Journal Week 06



Alpha 192 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 22, 2015

Graduates: November 13, 2015

Coast Guard Recruit Company Alpha 192 and Zulu 191 Graduation Program
“Mama Mama can’t you see… what the Coast Guard’s done to me”, Alpha yells while we march to chow. Singing with our Company Commanders is one thing we have been waiting to do since indoctrination weekend, and with week 06 coming to an end the best is only to come. Alpha spent the week 06 honing our firefighting skills, learning the ins and outs of our new Hi-Fidelity pieces, some stellar sweat sessions and last and most importantly Saturday on base liberty.

As the weeks fly by our shipmates begin to notice a change; were faster, stronger, and even louder than ever before. The days are long but the weeks are flying by. Our bodies are broken and our minds are falling apart but somehow we are holding it together, but they never said boot camp was supposed to be easy.

“The long walk”, the march down to Goff Hall always seems like an eternity and especially today since we were going to pick up our new Hi-Fidelity pieces. We were excited as we marched down there but as we walked into Goff Hall the mood violently changed. We dropped our plastic pieces of junk or picked up our new heavy, metal, full of fun pieces. We then realized our new piece incentive training sessions would be a whole new level of fun. But the Alpha dogs are too awesome to show any weakness and will demolish anything our Company Commanders throw at us. Along with the fun of our new pieces Alpha learned the importance of the smallest details in the aspects of firefighting. One button undone, one piece of skin showing, one valve not opened could mean life or death for you or a fellow shipmate. So as we threw our proper personal protective equipment on we all turned and gave each other a once over to make sure we were all safe before entering the simulator. We breached the door and remained low as we entered the smoke filled room pulling our hoses to each required fire station and quickly ran through the motions of fighting a real fire. It wasn’t only a great learning tool but an exhilarating experience that we will never soon forget.

The next day we had probably one of the most inspirational classes in the entire 06 weeks we have been here, Legacy class. Taught by our incredible Lead Company Commander Petty Officer Kesterson, even though he may punish us at times for our stupid actions will still hold the highest respect for him and strive everyday to make him proud to call us his company. So as we sat for class and the words began to flow from Petty Officer Kesterson’s mouth we absorbed it like a sponge, soaking up every piece of advice he threw our way. One comment will stick with every member of Alpha 192 is “Feel the fear, But do it anyway”, many years down the line as we have all went our separate ways this will still guide us and make us be the best Coast Guardsman possible. Because even one lonely man or woman can leave their footprint on not only the Coast Guard but individual lives as well. And the next day Alpha took another step headed to our legacy’s with the receiving of our Common Access Cards (military Identification). To finally hold that piece of plastic in our hands was an incredible moment, all the long nights wondering if we made the right choice coming here was settled by looking down at the small picture of ourselves and realizing that this is it, we made the right choice, we are now a part of something bigger then ourselves. Because in just 02 short weeks we will be official Coast Guardsman out in the fleet saving lives, making the waterways safe, and taking drugs off the street. But first they must prepare us for the things we may run into out in the fleet, like in the moment stress reactions and they have many tools to do this, one being the excessive questioning of required knowledge, and the pugil sticks. Pugil sticks are short wooden sticks covered in foam padding that we proceeded to demolish of fellow shipmates with, of course we had on our proper safety protection but the challenge is designed to put you in a stressful, fearful scenario and you have to fight or flight…of course Alpha doesn’t run from a fight. So you stand your ground and you tear their face off leaving a mess of Zulu recruits all over the ground. Great day for Alpha and I believe an even better day for our Company Commanders who got to enjoy the show.

But what has to be the highlight of not only the week but recruit training so far, on base liberty. 05 hours of freedom, no Company Commanders, no position of attention, and the Holy Grail….cell phones. As the hour approached Petty Officer Kesterson made sure we had properly back logged some exercise for all the sugar sweets and junk food we were about to enjoy with a nice long workout. But once we knocked that out of the way it was free sailing and as Petty Officer Kesterson gave us the rules run through you could see the mood change, not only in our company but with Petty Officer Kesterson too. As the clock struck 1500 we made a bee line for the door and straight to the exchange for junk food and then flew as fast as humanly possible over to the Harbor view Club where we spent the evening talking with loved ones, chowing down on all kinds of junk, and really getting to know all our shipmates and even some of their families. The evening flew by and before we knew it, it was back to recruit mode, somewhat saddening but also just the uplifting thing we needed to make the last long push of these last two weeks of Coast Guard basic training.

So to sum up week 06 Alpha finally began to take steps forward again and crawled out of the rut we were stuck in for the last week and get back to real training, the Company Commanders are easing up on us and we can finally see their real humanity glistening from under those big scary campaign covers, and with graduation right around the corner we are more focused then ever and almost ready to hit the fleet with both feet on the ground and our heads held high knowing we are The United States Coast Guard.



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.