Quebec 193 Recruit Journal Week 02

International Maritime Signal Flag Quebec

Quebec 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: October 4, 2016

Graduates: November 23, 2016


QUEBEC – 193


People grow stronger by pushing their limits. Body builders have known this for years now. You must push yourself, strain your body, and physically tear your muscles apart before you can grow any muscle at all. This process is neither painless nor comfortable, but it is altogether necessary – if you wish to become stronger.

The Coast Guard wants strong members. The Coast Guard needs strong members: physically, emotionally, and mentally. In order to grow strong for the Coast Guard, we must follow the same formula that body builders follow: push until you no longer can, and then push some more, and let the muscle fill in the tears later.

This week, we started the process: we pushed. It’s for our own good, of course, but again, it is not painless and it is certainly not comfortable.

Between our classes (more on those later), we were the favored attraction at the Company Commander Carnival. Here at the Carnival, we get to play their games. One such popular game is called “FIRE FIRE FIRE!”. It’s usually the first thing we hear in the morning along with loud whistles, banging doors, and lots of yelling. Not as nice as the typical alarm clock we are all so accustomed to.

During “FIRE FIRE FIRE!” we run out of the escape hatch, emulating a fire escape, and line up outside for quality fitness training. We work until our bodies are on “FIRE FIRE FIRE!”.  Another popular game here at the Carnival is called “CANTEENS OUT!” a game where we hold our full canteens in front of our body for 20 – 30 minutes at a time. While this game certainly hurts, it is more of a mental challenge. Every minute of canteens out incites a war between the mind and body. Every additional second feels impossible, but, as long as our minds don’t give up, we persevere.

There are many games at the Company Commander Carnival: reading about discipline, canteen holds, sniper position, the sea bag shuffle, and so many more…too many to list.

But the games are not issued without purpose. One of the first things we were told here was that we will pay for everyone’s mistakes, and there will be mistakes. If someone looks around, “CANTEENS OUT!” Oh someone is moving too slowly, “FIRE FIRE FIRE”.  The group punishment for individual mistakes ushers in unparalleled senses of personal responsibility. The effect this has had on the company has been astounding.

When we started the week, we were new to everything. We were quiet, lost, and so confused. Watching the other companies was daunting. Could we really sound like that?! Could we really behave as well as them?! Our minds had doubt.

But over the week, we’ve begun to grow. Some of our muscles, like vocal cords, have already grown stronger. We are starting to find our voices as a company, and that voice is a booming “Aye, Aye” cried out as one, or well, we’re growing closer on that. Other muscles are taking their time, like uncompromising discipline, or personal responsibility in regard to gear stowage.

In summary, this week was rough. Our Company Commanders are loud,  in our faces, uncompromising in their standards, and unyielding with their punishments. This week, we experienced the first step in coming together as a team and growing as individuals. To add to our stressors we all miss our family. But, we have already persevered through this week, and we will continue to persevere. Cape May might not be glitzy like Las Vegas, or luscious like Miami, but it has “Amber waves of grain”, so to speak, and that’s enough for us.


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.


We are having issues with the comment section on Coast Guard All Hands, and the comments are currently closed. Please be assured we are working through the issue and will work to resolve this as soon as possible. In the meantime, please use the “Contact Us” page on the right-hand navigation column if you need to contact Coast Guard All Hands.