November 193 Recruit Journal Week 07

International Maritime Signal Flag November

November 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: September 13, 2016

Graduates: November 4, 2016


Coast Guard Recruit Company November 193 Graduation Program


The gates are open for November! On Saturday we went off-base liberty. For the majority of the company, this meant eating too much, talking to loved ones or renting a hotel room to sleep. Some of us went to see a movie. The lighthouse in Cape May is a big supporter of the Coast Guard, meaning they let us in for free and gave us a bunch of information tying in to the history lessons we had this past week. The main street of Cape May is absolutely picturesque. Although we were allowed to drop our military bearing to an extent, we could not relax completely because any small mistake could mean reversion. Chief Williams ran into a couple recruits at McDonald’s. He stared them down, eating his ice cream. Most of us could not drop our military bearing even when we tried. Every time I looked down, I was standing at the position of attention. I saw so many neatly squared corners and tight fists. Liberty was a test for us to make sure we could represent the Coast Guard in the public eye.

This was not the only test November Company faced this week. To earn our seamanship pennant, we took a closed book test and practiced working with lines on a mock rig. This involved throwing a heaving line, tying off, reeling in, and unmooring lines. There was also a competition for the seamanship award; I won’t ruin the surprise of who won! We took our final exam on Friday, earning the pennant by a whole 0.01%. Chief Williams examined our close order drill and manual of arms skills as well. Thank goodness Petty Officer Abascal is loud! Despite what we thought were mediocre marching skills, we took the pennant home!

Before we could get rid of our heavy pieces, we got in trouble. During a surprise inspection, our squad bays were found not up to par. Chief Robertson called “FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!” for what was a long and painful incentive training session. Probably more so than before because we have been so well behaved for the last couple weeks. On Thursday, Petty Officer Fairburn showed up in a very good mood. We sang the cadence “Tiny Bubbles,” definitely a new favorite for the company; nobody could keep a straight face, no matter how hard we tried. Then she pulled up a chair and told us a summary of her Coast Guard life. She had us rolling on the floor in laughter. At first, all of us were scared to smile and laugh in front of our company commanders. While we have to stay locked on for the remainder of the next week, our debriefs with the company commanders reminded us all that the Coast Guard is not boot camp. Real people that love to work hard play hard, and help people are waiting out there in the fleet for us to join them.

November has really come together as a company. We are no longer late for things, we can get things done without micromanagement from Company Commanders, and we can behave with military bearing. In reward for this, we are allowed to eat dessert at the galley, we had the opportunity to trash the junior company’s squad bay while they were at class, and we get to sing cadence while we march. Now that Mike Company has graduated, we are the most senior company on the regiment and we will make our company commanders proud by truly acting the part. Graduation here we come!


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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