Lima 193 Recruit Journal Week 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

Lima 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: August 30, 2016

Graduates: October 21, 2016

 

If recruit training continues to get harder at the rate it did in week four, our Company Commanders will be barbecuing our carcasses by graduation. In a sentence: This week was awful.

Chief Heinze began our pain early on in the week like a predator, Lima the prey, cowering on the pavement outside of Munro Hall, on our faces raining sweat and praying for the pain to be over. They tell us that shipmates who can’t keep up get reverted. But we’ve been told they really get turned into a new pair of Boots for Chief Heinze. Boots polished to a mirror shine by recruit blood, and sweat, and tears. We sweat because we aren’t fast enough or loud enough and we “Have no Self Discipline and are going to get someone killed” according to Chief Heinze.

Though we thought the beginning of the week was bad, it was nothing compared to the middle of week four. In the sweat department, Petty Officer Loeffler handed us our backsides for a Wednesday night none of us will ever forget. Death. Pain. There were Tears. All of us wanted to go home. We pushed the deck and squatted and lifted our pieces above our heads for hours and hours. Petty Officer Loeffler is our Captain America from the dark side, constantly reminding us how we will single handedly bring down the nation with our poor excuses for speed and volume, our inability to follow orders. He’s our anti-motivational poster: “You will be the downfall of America!” “It’s okay if you’re late, Lima – People will just DIE!” Our Lima flag is taped up and instead we carry a flag that says, “We do what we want.”

Chief Brost promised us if we started to get our stuff together, he’d “call off the dogs” – and somehow, magically, after that horrible night with Petty Officer Loeffler, we started to. The squad leaders stepped up and we started holding each other accountable—for moving slow and being quiet, but also for nose pickings and the like. And Chief Brost called off the dogs – well, sort of. Some of us started to get evening routine for a little bit, anyway.

We wrapped up this week’s nightly beatings with Petty Officer Tilton and Petty Officer Loeffler. And while a lot of us were able to work our evening routine – organizing our racks and tending to our uniforms – some shipmates were still on the quarter deck sweating for different reasons – they don’t know required knowledge or they’re not adjusting fast enough or they didn’t have their thumbs along their trouser seams in line for chow, something Petty Officer Tilton is particularly skilled at spotting from across the regiment, her sharp eagle eye cutting into us wherever we are. Petty Officer Tilton and Petty Officer Loeffler had these shipmates all over the quarter deck, a carnival of torture doing all kinds of incentive training in every corner, in front of doorways, pushing the deck and in sniper position and holding canteens, while the rest of Lima transited around them as quickly as possible, our company commanders barking out new orders and us trying not to bump into them lest our fate end on the quarter deck as well. As for our Company Commanders, they’ve never looked happier.

Okay, but week four wasn’t all bad. We did get a couple of breaks from the beatings, first and foremost being when they took us into a classroom and told us we would get out of here someday and they had us fill out of our dream sheets. There’s still a world outside of boot camp? We’d almost forgotten. We scribbled our best hopes onto our sheets of paper, most of us not even caring where they send us, as long as we’re not in boot camp anymore. Most of us will probably end up on cutters given what billets are open, but they told us to request whatever we wanted, because there are a lot of jobs open everywhere.

The longest respite we had was our midterm – yes, taking a test was actually a welcome break for Lima this week. That’s how bad this week has been. Almost all of us passed, which means we can keep moving forward in our recruit training.

Supposedly we should be earning our colors soon, though it hasn’t happened yet. We’ll be a senior company on Monday. Chief Brost assured us we still have a long way to go before we get our colors. Kilo company hasn’t earned theirs yet either though, so that makes us feel a smidge better.

Waiting for our orders is what’s keeping us going now – there is a light at the end of this terrible tunnel. This is half way. This is two weeks out from phone calls to families and potential liberty. This is Lima about to enter our senior weeks of training and we’re still pressing on.

 

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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