November 193 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag November


November 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 13, 2016

Graduates: November 4, 2016


Week 05 Summary


November Company did the “slide” this week. Backwards, that is. We started the week off on a good foot, but really messed up on Wednesday with missed appointments, moving slow and bad attitudes. And so, we were humiliated by our Company Commanders. We spent most of the day dressed like “civilians” – with our baseball caps backwards, tape on our uniforms, boots unbloused, and heads starring at the ground. We weren’t even allowed to respond properly or march. We did not know whether to cry about being ashamed or laugh at how ridiculous we looked. This was somewhat of a turning point because on Thursday, Petty Officer Fairburn actually complained that her ears hurt because we were so loud!

The theme this week was search and rescue. What this means for us is that we have only about 12 minutes to take roll-call and be outside, dressed and ready to go. Anyone missing the time objective has spent evenings sweating while the rest of the company has been ironing, boot shining, and cleaning. Our classes have been focused on the tools used in search and rescue missions, including everything from radio communication to signal flares, to the different kinds of vessels and aircraft owned by the Coast Guard.

Team building exercises filled a good chunk of time this week as well. In the personal flotation device class, we split into two teams and built “cutters” from our life jackets – no talking allowed. We also used our sea bags to make a giant “N” in the sidewalk, racing to get the bags passed around the parade field and then organized to make the letter. On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to participate in a 5k run around the base to raise money for a memorial to those lives lost in the line of duty. We donated money by purchasing shirts and pizza. Although the food here is actually really good, the greasy and very unhealthy pizza tasted amazing.

All these things we worked on together as a company seemed to help – we were good enough to receive our orders! As our mentor has reminded us, boot camp is not the Coast Guard. Knowing where we will be going in three weeks makes the whole experience seem more real. Very soon we will find ourselves out of Cape May and distributed far and wide across the U.S. some recruits are stationed as far away as Hawaii and Alaska, from Florida to Maine, to California and everywhere in between. We must remind ourselves that even though we now have somewhere to go, we still must maintain our military bearing because isn’t over yet.

Saturday was a good reminder of where we are. We had an exciting morning; practicing manual of arms and marching around the regiment by ourselves, preparing for our upcoming test. Then we had the chance to test out the Confidence Course. Most of these obstacles are more mentally challenging, forcing us to trust our gut, not let fears overcome our capabilities. The company mentor answered many of our questions about our new units. Through all of this fun stuff, we started losing our bearings – talking, missing time objectives, and not being loud enough. So instead of having a productive evening, we sweated hard-core – like we used to in week 03. Hopefully this “friendly reminder” will help us focus the next few weeks to keep our eyes on the prize – graduation!


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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