LIMA 193 Recruit Journal Week 6

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

International Maritime Signal Flag Lima

Lima 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: August 30, 2016

Graduates: October 21, 2016

Week 06 was a glorious and terrible one in Munro Hall, filled with some honest to God real fun (seriously, we laughed with our CCs) and some of our lowest lows yet.

Lima’s got a bit of a problem with the giggles the second we get the least bit comfortable. We started the week with Petty Officer Tilton teaching us how to wear our trops uniforms so we don’t look like complete slobs of recruits on our off base liberty next week and embarrass the entire Coast Guard. Trops uniforms are our light at the end of the tunnel—a very painful, sweaty, and seemingly endless tunnel Lima’s been slowly crawling through—so when Petty Officer Tilton popped a garrison cover atop the head of one of many stinky, sweaty, and otherwise sloppy recruits, some recruit who had relaxed too much into our impending freedom laughed. So we ended up formed up outside, feeding the regiment mosquitoes until Petty Officer Tilton and Chief Heinz came out and kicked our butts right off base. We weren’t even allowed to march – heads down, hands in pockets, slouching through Cape May like a bunch of high school kids. We followed our CCs reluctantly down a dirt road, past a barbed wire fence Lima was sure we were going to be abandoned behind, left to starve to death without our chewy bars until we dried up and became a cautionary tale for future recruits.

We walked the road until we hit sand, and the ever distant crash of the ocean grew to a roar in the darkness, and we were running and when we reached the edge of the water, Chief Brost was there, and we sweat, and Chief Brost told us the sea was our new office while we pushed in the sand, and when we stood up and turned around, Lima’s flag – our colors – were spiked on the beach. Chief Brost said, “Go get them,” and we did. We marched back with all four of our CCs singing cadence at the top of our lungs, on top of the entire world. It was going to be a good week, we could feel it.

And then we took the biggest nose dive as a company possibly in Coast Guard history. We literally lost our colors by Wednesday – as in, we misplaced them and could not locate them on the regiment. Maybe we were so distracted by the amazingly fun start to the week. Maybe our heads swelled too much. Maybe when we were beating on each other with pugil sticks (which proved to be an excellent means of settling frustrations caused by our tight quarters living) we knocked the senses right out of our heads. Maybe our ear protection at the range wasn’t enough and we literally blew out our ear drums and couldn’t listen to orders. We lost our damn minds and all of our military bearing.

No matter the reason, we sucked so much that Petty Officer Loeffler, who’s entire existence is made meaningful by beating on us with endless incentive training sessions didn’t even bother beating us. He told us we weren’t worth it, called us like a herd of stray kittens to follow him, and we stood in Sexton Hall with our noses against the wall while he assisted processing the newest company, all of whom were holding cups of piss up by the ear for the better part of an hour. We then scuttled around the regiment cleaning up after other recruits, pulled week old hair out of shower drains and scrubbing toilets while Petty Officer Loeffler told us how disappointing we were as a company, how we have a lot of potential and we were wasting it. We wanted him to make us sweat, to make us hurt and strain our muscles and moan and groan. We wanted anything over the sheer disappointment and the feeling that Lima was not going to make it. This was a new type of punishment Lima wasn’t sure we could take: shame and humiliation. We did not like it.

The big guns got called in again too. A second day of Petty Officer Loeffler getting so frustrated with us that he gave up, and Chief Duncan came around. We committed the sin of recruit sins and scampered off to morning chow without half of us making our racks. If it cost a CC $1 to I.T. us, then Chief Duncan brings a grand every time. It’s like he’s got special permission to push our bodies farther, to lay on the hurt more. We sweat and we cowered out front of Munro Hall, pushing our bodies as he taught us never to make that mistake again. When he was done with us, we ran back to our squad bays, Lima’s scraggly tail between our legs, and practiced making and unmaking our racks over and over until our sheets were spotted with our sweat but our hospital corners were on point.

And we started to get our shit put back together, finally. We finished the rest of the week climbing back up the recruit ladder, back to our place as a senior company on the regiment, back to gaining responsibility and privileges. We began working together as a company. We practiced for our manual arms test, improving to the point that we look less like drunk preschoolers at recess and more like an actual military company marching. We stood watch for graduation and didn’t spoil the entire thing or cause our CCs too much embarrassment. By Saturday, we earned ourselves what we’ve all been waiting so long for: coffee and desserts in the galley. And we made it to Saturday, the day we’ve all been counting down to since week 01 – on base liberty day. We had sunshine and rainbows coming out of our butts all day.

This week, we will be passing on knowledge to the newest company as they take over some of our duties, because despite the slowly changing calendar, we will be out of here sooner than we all think. We’re determined to keep ourselves on lock down from here on out, to hold each other accountable and keep pushing forward, to keep earning our colors every day so that when we march at graduation, we can be proud of everything we accomplished here, both individually and as a group. We’ve still got things to learn and progress to make, but we can finally say we’re almost there.


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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