Whiskey 193 Recruit Journal Week 06

 International Maritime Signal Flag Whiskey

Whiskey 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: December 6, 2016

Graduates: January 27, 2017

 

Week 06 Summary

 

14 Jan 17

There’s a sign in the quarterdeck that I noticed the first day we met our company commanders. It sits tacked to a bulletin board displaying a pirate who reminds me of the illustrations of Black Beard I saw in books as a kid. “The beatings will continue until morale improves” it says. I laugh at it now because it’s true. Whiskey-193 got “beat and beat” until our morale improved as if we all decided to bond over a shared traumatic experience. When we showed up, not one of us cared about the other. We would take someone else’s gloves before giving them to their rightful companion so that we wouldn’t have to stand naked-handed filling out a tracker information during the New Jersey winter. After chow, chow, chow, chewing with, showering with, incentive training with, suffering with, and sweating with each other that dynamic shifted.

It’s the end of week 06 and we’ve merged into a large group of siblings. In the squad bay this week the females even decided that Chief Gallego is our grandfather because he’s always saving us from sweat and agony while the assistant company commanders switch from mad parents who care about you, but know you need to be disciplined, to cool uncles depending on our performance that day.

Between weaving in and out of classes (goal setting, personal fitness planning, firearms training, swim and safety) and going to the administration building to maneuver through the transitions to our new units, we’ve had a lot of time to genuinely enjoy getting to know each other. On Monday six shipmates and I got our wisdom teeth, or “fangs” as Chief Gallego likes to call them, ripped out. The dental hygienists said as we just laughed at how ridiculous we were with our chipmunk cheeks. That night in the ward we met up with the other five shipmates and played monopoly while we fought over who would get the leftover peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It was in that moment that we learned who was going where and who was from where. Wednesday night Starboard side, or the recruits who have odd roster order numbers, went to the shooting range. We ran to the bus like flies flanking to the light because we knew that we were unaccompanied for the entire trip. Once we loaded the bus we released our fingers from fistgrip, slouched like cavemen and then commenced literal social hour. Every now and then you’d hear a shipmate like the eldest child in a family say “Lock it up” and we’d quickly reduce the volume on the bus before slowly turning it back up.

Our favorite moments happen when we make mistakes. Yesterday at chow Petty Officer Hawkins met us at the galley. The day before, someone in the company responded incorrectly during pack watch so a company commander outside of our chain of command took our rucksacks and ‘threw them across the regiment’. It’s pretty bad for something like that to happen during week 06 so Petty Officer Hawkins decided we needed more pack watch practice. “Left Breast pocket”. Inksticks (pens) out. Hold them up when you have ‘em out.” We each took out our inksticks thinking we’d just fill out a tracker and turn it in later that night. Just as we finished our thoughts, “Inksticks, left” He commanded. Instantly you could hear stifflled laughs and forced coughs. We knew what was coming next. “Inksticks, POST.” Petty Officer Hawkins made 10 recruits stand pack watch over our sad inksticks. Usually only 03 recruits stand pack watch, and that’s over our rucksacks and our pieces which are legitimately valuable items. We felt absolutely ridiculous standing pack watch over inksticks, but we had to keep our military bearing so we blinked back tears of laughter until we found a safe spot in the head (bathroom). We were still laughing about that when we hit the rack last night.

Experiencing those moments is the only thing that could have brought us together in this type of environment. Before I came to boot camp my recruiter told me that the people at each unit will either make it or break it. Boot Camp is not an experience that any of us would like to experience more than once, but the friendships have made the experience worth every moment of physical and mental discomfort worth it. These are the people I hope to find at my next unit and the people I would let my hands go naked for in a New Jersey Winter.

 

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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