Echo 193 Recruit Journal Week 06


Echo 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: July 12, 2016

Graduates: September 2, 2016­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­


The Chaplin said week 05 would be an emotional low point. If that’s the case, our week 06 was a drop that ended in a corkscrew. Sunday brought the Hi-fidelity M-16 training piece being delivered under a hot sun. It proved to be much heavier than our old trusty pieces. We didn’t want to be on the punishment end of our new M-16s. Rack inspections started us on a road of pain. It was clear we weren’t helping our shipmates on probation as much as we should be. We felt the pressure to perform at nothing less than 100% all the time this whole week. But pitfalls and triumphs made us bounce around the board.


Monday brought a flood of classes and sweat. Return to fire, fire, fire started the day off that would end in sweat for half the company. Port side left midday to learn the basics of using the standard department of homeland security pistol, The SIG P229R DAK. The rest of us went through Coast Guard Legacy class. This is where mistakes from week 02 resurfaced, straps not tucked in under our rucksacks, hands not on our laps, sleeping in class. This all added sweat time. Returning to the house brought more to the beating as racks had loose linens hiding under the covers and blousing wasn’t tight enough.


The next day brightened the light at the end of the tunnel. Travel Entitlements was by any means a shining beacon just made the abyss less dark. It did add the new stress of figuring out how the hell to get back home and to our stations once and if we make it to the gates on graduations day. Thinking about the future can make you lose focus by feeding the urge to get where you want to go. Along with the traveling courses, Dress uniform refit brought up our future in tangible form. A little smile grew from the idea of earning the right to wear the dress blues. As Port went to the range after refit, confusion on instructions would cause a sense of shame and a puddle of sweat for starboard. Port returned right at the end of the day with stories from the range. One shipmate from my squad bay got a 10 minute phone call home for shooting at an expert level. Starboard side finally got to meet the SIG P229 up close. As the Gunners mates instructed us on how to take it apart and put it back together. It was all about repetition as the GM’s taught us how to load and unload. The same thing happened at the range the next day; however this time we were actually firing them. I may be from Michigan, but I’m not a hunter. Like most first time shooters we did better than expected. Starboard came home late after and evening port spent sweating.


Friday equalized sweat for everyone. Under a scorching sun, we paid for miscommunication and mistakes made in the morning. That same morning, the senior company, Delta, left. We were the next in line, but it was hard to say, “We are the senior company,” as we sweat out an ocean for continuing to make Week 04 mistakes. We walked into our mentor meeting with Admiral Ryan, feeling so low, ashamed that at week 06 we couldn’t get it together. It was a strange combination of her speech and the candy she brought in that it woke us up again. We got and stayed locked on for most of the night.


Saturday morning brought a time objective we were not familiar with. Less than 20 minutes to get dressed, pack our lives into our Sea Bags and form it up. In the dark dawn hours of 20AUG16 we marched towards the ocean. We dropped our sea-bags and formed up in front of the foaming sea. PO Fairburn reminded us that all we will have at our next unit is our sea bag of belongings and our shipmates to our left and right when we arrive at our new unit. We hit the sand and started pushing against the earth. We squatted till our thighs burned and crunched/flutter kicked until we wanted to scream. Then PO Fairburn told us to walk forward to the ocean and touch the water. She instructed those who wanted to, to cup our hands, bring it to our mouths and taste the sea. After we did this she explained that the bitter salt and cold chill of the waves is the last thing some will experience in this world before they drown. Our team has the potential to prevent the end of many if we start utilizing the things we had been taught. Then she told us to turn around and there our colors stood tall and proud in the sand. We were not given it because we are locked on, because we know everything required and perform at the very peak, but because we earned them. Because we have shown that through the toughest parts we remain a team and can pull through. Saturday also brought the long awaited On Base Liberty, a time to relax, even just for a few hours. There were tears, smiles and junk food. Calls home to family, loved ones and friends. Calls to anyone who could spare the time reminded us that there’s another world unfamiliar of the shame and pride we felt this week.

This week is over but the work is far from done. Until we stand our last watch the game is on. E-193 Signing off.


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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