Echo 193 Recruit Journal Week 07


Echo 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: July 12, 2016

Graduates: September 2, 2016


Coast Guard Recruit Company Echo 193 Graduation Program




“Week 7, feels like heaven.” A cadence we sang as we ran on Monday brought us back to memories of “8 weeks of misery, 8 weeks of hell.” Week 7 does feel like heaven, but to get here we climbed a stairway to Heaven that began in the pits of Hell. And of course, we’ve fell down a few times. Sunday brought us a crash course on wearing the Tropical Long Blues. That quick inspection taught us that we didn’t have a clue on how to wear them. Loose threads were everywhere, and someone had a loose thread so long they were told to keep it as a pet. Our goal was to straighten up these uniforms by Tuesday for a Trops inspection by the Battalion Officer. It was also our goal to look slick for Saturday’s off base liberty.

First aid/CPR class was one of the many hands on courses we had this week. What made an impact was the way the instructor talked us through a scenario. He brought up liberty. He brought up how with our hair cut and our blue uniform we are expected to act and guide others in a time of crisis. Explaining the importance of learning these skills was done in a manner that engraved the information to those new to be first responders and blew years of dust off of those who already knew it. As the week went on we sang an ode to sleep as we lost 30 minutes every morning this week to a morning workout. In all honesty, work out sweat is better than “sweat time” sweat by a long shot. We learned cadences throughout the week. From going to chow and running to the farthest reaches of the base, we were singing. It would be dishonest to say we’re killing it, 100% on the dot every time. We still have a few nuts and bolts to work on. As the week went on, the fury of Cape May’s heat settled sooner in the day. This was our chance to finally practice close order drill.

Countless sweat sessions, black flags on melting poles and the Influenza outbreak cost us a lot of practice time among other experiences. Each night this week was spent marching with and without pieces. In a week, we tried to iron out as many gigs as we could. Our marching brought us sweat this week. With the test on Friday, we didn’t have time to keep making stupid mistakes over and over again. Our manual of arms was our saving grace. On Friday, we marched under a black flag. Sweat ran down our faces as we checked spacing and, as our Lead Company Commander put it, our commitment to the suck got us out. Our perfect score in manual of arms, pure locked on attitude (despite being awful at close order drill), and the Section Commander’s understanding of our lack of ability to practice close order drill got us another pennant for our guidon. The pennant for seamanship and the final exam were also won but by a fraction of a percent each time. Clearly we live dangerously. As our guidon follows us into week 08, and our colors fly well decorated. We still have a few pennants to gain and another to regain. We were living on a prayer this whole week. We’re still clearly unsteady in many aspects but we have made a slow and painful, at times very painful, crawl to where we are now. We got beat less as focus was turned to individuals that were making week 02 mistakes.

Privileges were given to us this week, which included coffee, dessert, and not squaring our meals. As the address from the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard and a speech from the first female Chief Aviation Survival Technician (rescue swimmer) said, “It’s possible to reach these expectations with teamwork and dedication, just remember to stay locked on.” Our Company Commanders even began to treat us as non-rates as they started de-briefs with us. Some did their debrief in an interesting way by first making us think we were going to sweat. Unfortunately, after our debriefs, before off base liberty, we took too long getting ready and left the house late for off base liberty. Our lack of focus and relaxed attitudes almost got our Lead Company Commander in very hot water. It really placed a cloud over the day. But we came home to news that she was able to dodge it. As a week of blunders and near misses ended, we were allowed to participate in trashing Chief Orlowicz’s and Petty Officer Abascal’s office. It is a fun tradition amongst Company Commanders that upon completion of a CC’s first company, their office destroyed by recruits. Let’s just say there were a ton of baby themed items and glitter. Lots of glitter.

We now enter week 08. Our heavy, dirty souls are a little unsteady, but we’re focused on the end game. 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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