Golf 192 Recruit Journal Week 07

International Maritime Signal Flag Golf

Coast Guard Recruit Company Golf 192 Graduation Program

 

Golf 192 Recruit Journal

Formed: December 1, 2015

Graduates: January 22, 2016

For many, the most important part of boot camp is making a first impression. A general misconception about boot camp is the longer you go unnoticed, the easier it will be. Dead wrong. We had a name for people like that in Golf: “Fly on the Wall.” To a degree, it is important to be able to move as one with your unit, or blend in, but at the same time, you have to be able to think for yourself. Do what you think is right, and take responsibility for those actions. As for the ones that did avoid those situations, it showed later in training, and they paid for it.

 

I know I share the sentiment with the rest of the company when I say boot camp was the most interesting chapter of my life. We are all completely different people than we were 08 weeks ago. We are more than just better marchers and faster shoe-tyers. We are better sons and daughters, husbands and wives, and above all, we are Coast Guardsmen.

 

Everyone in Golf has agreed that we’ve become better at communicating. Yes, we can all scream very loudly now, but we can also carry a simple face-to-face conversation. One of the most difficult parts of boot camp was most definitely the no cell phone element. Spending most of our lives in the twenty-first century, we were all very attached to our cell phones. And for some, spending even 05 minutes without it was torture; not to mention 08 weeks. But to our surprise, we all noticed ourselves ignoring our cell phones and engaging in conversation more when we actually did have our cell phones. It’s amazing how interesting life can be when you’re not staring at a phone all day.

 

Another thing we improved on was time management. We were told this week that nearly every second of boot camp was scheduled. And if we weren’t moving as fast as humanly possible during each and every one of those seconds, we would fail the time objective, and be incentively trained (forced to push the earth until our arms fell off). By Week 04, we were without a doubt the strongest company on the regiment. But on Monday of Week 05, we had to wake up, take muster, and get dressed and get to chow within 15 minutes. Except in Week 05, tardiness came with a beautifully written Record of Counseling by the wordy Petty Officer Babot. Understandably so, Monday’s tardy list consisted of over half the company. That night, the entire company paid. By the end of the night, we truly understood what sense of urgency was all about. Sense of urgency is more than just a speeding through a yellow light in the morning so that you’re not late to work. In the Coast Guard, sense of urgency is knowing someone’s life is on the line and it’s your job to save them. You don’t always have time to shave your face or do your hair. When human life is at stake, you put nothing above it. You do what it takes to get the job done. The next morning and the ones following, only one shipmate was late (and she was later reverted…). After that, sense of urgency carried over into the galley. Most of our bellies were sore after chow every day.

 

Once the company was able to grasp those simple concepts that are so essential to the Coast Guard, we began learning more specific skills. As a company, we didn’t always master things at first. But we always performed under pressure. In Week 04, we had Firearms Training and didn’t appear to understand the weapon at all during training. But the next day at the range, we qualified over 30% of the company, earning the black pennant. In Week 06, we earned our way into the senior building. It took us 02 days, but we finally met the time objective that was asked of us. We had to pack ALL of our belongings into a huge green sea bag, and daisy chain all of the sea bags all the way around the parade field in less than 10 minutes. In Week 07, we surprised everyone by scoring a 09/10 on our Manual of Arms test. It was agreed upon by everyone in the company that Manual of Arms was not our strong point. But we somehow telepathically sync’d up all of our movements when our Section Commander was watching. We also averaged an unheard of score of 92 on the final exam. No one saw that coming, either. This is especially important in the Coast Guard because in the Coast Guard the pressure is always on. Your day can go from laid back to “How can I make it out of here alive?” in a split second. And if you aren’t prepared at all times, you will not make it out alive. You must be able to perform under pressure in the Coast Guard because the consequences are detrimental if you can’t.

 

Everything Golf Company accomplished was truly earned. We were never given anything, and not every company can say that. As hard as it was at times, I’m so glad we actually earned our way through boot camp.

 

Now, the remaining Golf Company has only one thing left to earn: A Certificate of Completion of Recruit Training. It may not sound like much to most people, but that little white piece of paper will be my most valuable possession if I’m able to earn it because I will know in my heart that I truly earned it, and no one can take that from me.

-SR RUTHERFORD

 

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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