Papa 193 Recruit Journal Week 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Papa

Papa 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 27, 2016

Graduates: November 18, 2016


PAPA-193 had a week full of triumphs, tribulations, and a river of sweat trailing behinds us wherever we went. In the mornings we wake to psychotically loud voices telling us to do piece squats until our limbs fall off, then to repeatedly putting on our operational dress uniforms during the day until the walls sweat from the heat of all our bodies sweating. Training even follows us in our sleep, at night you can hear us answering the company commanders and even marching in our sleep. Every day we strive to turn this sack of potatoes of a company into something the Coast Guard can digest. This week we requested our dream destinations and careers we would like to have, though probably not everyone will be based in Hawaii as requested. We still have a ways to go before we are remotely ready for the fleet, but getting our faces chewed off by the company commanders on a daily basis really toughens up our skin. We also gussied ourselves up and put on our best tough face for our official Coast Guard photo. The next day we had our firefighting test, which was nothing short of a madhouse in a fog filled sauna of smoke. One group at a time, we rushed into a room so thick with fog we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces. Within five minutes we put on all of the heavy gear and masks then rushed into the room. We stuck together so we wouldn’t get lost and end up curled up in a ball in the corner. We put out “The Fire” and even though it wasn’t real we were still sweating buckets. It was shocking to imagine how difficult it must be for firefighters to fight an entity so powerful while being baked alive and not able to see or hear. We had both our physical fitness test and our midterm this week. Collectively the whole company passed and the individuals who didn’t will be given a second chance so we can all continue this fire filled quick sand of a maze we know as boot camp together. The biggest obstacle we had this week was ourselves. There comes a time when repeated pain, sweat, and discipline can’t truly create a change in someone’s thought process and moral standards. Sometimes just wanting something to better yourself isn’t enough. PAPA-193 still wasn’t coming together the way we should by sounding off, moving fast and knowing our required knowledge. Our squad leaders paid the price for it as we sat there and watched them sweat meanwhile screaming “Ill carry your weight shipmates”. It was unbearable to watch and as a unit we emotionally broke. We caused them to go through that because we weren’t doing our jobs and our Company Commanders said we didn’t care and if we didn’t change now, in a real life situation the consequences could be dire. This shook who we were as individuals and how we’ve been acting as a company. We would never put them through that again. If one of us is wrong, we are all wrong; we all take the blame, which is the meaning of a team. We have even started battling other companies on who can say the required knowledge the loudest. We have a few hiccups sometimes but the company commanders are nice enough to find creative ways to punish us. From not having our racks squared away to laughing in the galley we ask for sweat constantly, even just being forced to sit there and stare at wall wasting away when we could have been utilizing our time. We go from imploding to regenerating but only out of mercy from the company commanders. We had a class about colors and the meaning behind the tradition. Enduring two months of boot camp is nothing compared to the heroic sacrifice made by the men and women who laid down their lives for this country. It really gave us perspective on how hard we need to work to honor their memory and fill their shoes. Everything from raising the flags, to saluting, and even just keeping our uniforms clean cut is out of respect for the service and members who came before. Next week the slate is wiped clean and it is up to us to determine our detriment or salvation, hopefully we can show that this company has the just the right stuff to be the best, until then PAPA-193!


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.