Foxtrot 193 Recruit Journal Week 07

International Maritime Signal Flag Foxtrot

 

Foxtrot 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: July 19, 2016

Graduates: September 9, 2016

Coast Guard Recruit Company Foxtrot 193 Graduation Program

 

FOXTROT-193

Week 07 Summary

 

Week 07 down, Wow! It feels like yesterday we were getting off the bus, but it also feels like a lifetime ago. In many ways, it was a lifetime. We have gone through some radical changes in the past 07 weeks. I remember in weeks 02 and 03 we would ask each other “what did you do before you came here?” We were former salesman, mechanics, students, laborers, fireman, dockhands and lifeguards (to name a few). We were identified by what we had been, and “here” was still some other dimension from which we would wake up.

Well, every morning we woke up, and we were still “here” over time though, that question changed. It became “what did you do before the Guard?” a suitable but important change. We were now recognizing each other as Coastguardsmen and women in training who has a past.

Then that question took a drastic twist to “Where had we been stationed and where are you going?” Now we are focused on the future. Now we are all almost Coastguard men and women! We share a history, the history of Foxtrot-193- and that’s all we need to know about our past. We’ve also learned to balance the present with the future-we need to look forward to our qualifications and advancements, but we can’t trip ourselves up before we finish what is in front of us now.

What I’m saying, is that we are changing. We are growing. Our brains have been strengthened; weather being crammed with required knowledge, or by trying to keep up with all the little rules that are in place. We are not the former salesman and mechanics anymore. We recognized that when we were finally able to carry our colors. YN1 Gilbert gave us a speech on how far we had come since stepping on those triangles. We’re totally different. We have earned everything we’ve had. After her speech, she gave us the command “ABOUT FACE”, and the Assistant Company Commanders were standing on the parade field with our “COLORS”. Some shipmates could barely contain there exuberance. What a powerful moment.

The difference in training was made clear in our Company Commander debriefs this week. Each of them sat down with us and talked like humans about themselves. We learned a lot about them, about ourselves and the Coast Guard through there debriefs. YN1 Castle, especially, connected with us as he explained why he does what he does. It’s because he recognizes the risk of insufficient training, and the personal and professional rewards for completing his course of study, shall we say.

Our Seamanship final, Close order drill and Manual of Arms Board, personnel inspection, and final exam sort of blend together this week. We’ve been busy, but it’s worth every drop of sweat, every moment of frustration and every day of exhaustion. We earned our off-base liberty, even if it was blowing gale force winds. We enjoyed ourselves, and interacting with the public. The support they gave us was motivational and deeply touching that a total stranger would care.

I have been thinking a lot about what I’ll tell people when they ask about boot camp. If they ask what the worst part was, I won’t tell them what my hardest part was: Keeping up with uniform and rack inspections. No, if they ask I will tell them it was the goose poop and haircuts. Haircuts are horrendously painful. It actually felt like they wanted a puncture wound with each stroke. No less they are just miserable.

As we prepare to enter week 08, we look forward to the remaining challenges. Facing us and we look forward to the challenges we will face in the fleet. We are grateful to our Company Commanders for training us to the best of their ability. Mostly, we’re grateful for the opportunity to serve. As a retired Command Sergeant- Major I know says when people thank him for his service: “It was my honor.”

 

Foxtrot-193, I speak for all of us when I say it’s been an honor. Good, Better, best. Never let it rest, until your good gets better and your better gets best!

 

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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