Mike 192 Recruit Journal Week 02

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike


Mike 192 Recruit Journal

Formed: February 2, 2016

Graduates: March 25, 2016


MIKE-192 Weekly Summary


The second week of Mike Company’s time in basic training began as a descent into dark and terrifying places, with the stressors and pressures previously unseen by any recruit in our company. Monday, we were brought into the familiar, yet newly alien gym. This temple dedicated to forming recruit’s bodies into Coast Guardsmen is run by a man of almost legendary rapport who desires nothing short of a 200% effort by each and every one of us. However, our time in the familiar ground was short lived. In the blink of an eye we were placed back into the capable hands of our Lead Company Commander, Petty Officer Clifford, and her assistants. They expect every one of us to be loud, move fast, and be on time. At first there seemed to be no rhyme or reason for it all, but the reality of those three expectations quickly bubbled to the surface. Sound off to train your vocal chords to become tougher and louder so when we make it out into the fleet we can be heard during emergencies. Be fast to improve reflexes and muscle memory to maximize available time and act quickly in a life or death situation. And lastly, be on time. Be early to complete the task at hand, which in the fleet ranges anywhere from watches reliefs to checking the readiness of equipment.

Our second day of week 02 was focused on building our core strength at the gym followed by, what seems to be Petty Officer Castle’s favorite, incentive training. “On your face! On your feet! On your back! Push up position take! Crunch position take! Squat position take! Flutter kick position take!” He had no mercy when issuing these commands and expected each of us to comply loudly, quickly, and immediately. Even through our grunts and moans of strain, he still expected everything we had left in us and more. To our dismay, we’ve also come to learn of another ingenious method to extract recruit sweat. “Canteens up!” As the week progressed, we grew to fear and dread that command. But through it all, our resolve was tested and many began to find their hidden potential. Another high point of the day for every recruit, religious or not, was getting to meet the Chaplain. He serves as a welcome oasis for our mind, body, and soul, and acts as a temporary shield against our Company Commanders, allowing us a brief respite from the rigors of boot camp.

By Wednesday, we had finally begun to adjust to the quirks of each or our Company Commanders. However, this is of little comfort when immediately upon waking up we know how quickly things can take a turn for the worst. Even breakfast, a time of relaxation in our civilian lives, had become a stressful task. As with everything, the theme of move fast, sound off, and be on time was paramount. As stressful as things had become, a glimmer of light had appeared ahead of us in the darkness. We received our pieces, a demilitarized replica of an M-16. While we quickly learned our pieces were yet another method to make us sweat, we know it was a symbol of moving forward in training. We were also given our first taste of home in the form of mail call. While bittersweet for many, it strengthened the resolve of all.

Thursday morning we were woken up by Petty Officer Castle’s booming southern twang. Something was different today though; we were given our first glimpse into the future beyond boot camp of all the resources the Coast Guard provides for members and their families. It was like a breath of fresh air. We also had another class with the Chaplain and he even shared a glimpse behind the curtain of the methods used to forge us.

The start of the weekend came in a sleep deprived blur. However, we were jolted awake once thrust into the pool for our swim test. For the most part Mike Company can swim, but for others, not so much. Go faster, go harder, do it better. These became the only thoughts in our head. We were pushed to get the same tasking we’ve been doing in shorter and shorter amounts of time. We’ve made and remade our racks so many times our mothers would be proud. While it has been a tough week for MIKE-192, there is a glimmer of a diamond in the rough beginning to appear.

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.