Yankee 193 Recruit Journal Week 03

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Yankee 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: January 3, 2017

Graduates: February 24, 2017

 

“Fire Fire Fire!”

 

These three words have become the alarm clock for Yankee-193 this week. Every morning we’re shocked awake with the sudden jolt of lights and the billowing voices of our company commanders. The days of 15 more minutes’ mom are long gone. I would even say I miss the annoying chirps from the iPhone alarms.

The past week has been filled with experiences, much like the early morning fire drills, that have completely shaken us to our core. We spent the majority of those experiences as individuals, each recruit thinking about what they can do to stay out of the view of our company commanders, but as this week starts to draw to a close there is a noticeable unity forming amongst us. This unity came about as we started to take classes like seamanship, which taught us only a few of the important skills needed to excel in the fleet. As recruits struggled to tie knots, the more experienced members of Yankee company began lending a hand. It was no longer about being the first one done; it was about finishing as a group.

The lessons and teamwork that we are starting to build on even carried over to our incentive training back at James Hall. Every night of week three we spent “sweating” for what would feel like hours. We would hold any and every heavy object over our heads, shouting some mantra like “eyes in the boat” or “hurry up shipmates”. After only a few minutes we start looking like zombies. Our backs would hunch, our legs would give way, and our arms would sag. As our muscles seared with pain, our minds would tell us the logical thing to do was just give up. That’s when we really started to shine as a unit. Those of us that still had energy to spare could be found locking our arms under those recruits who needed relief. Words of encouragement would be whispered in hushed tones to avoid alerting a company commander. And it didn’t stop there. Once the training was over, words of encouragement would fill the squad bays, often getting too loud, and starting the vicious cycle all over again. As we lay in our racks this week after lights out we would talk about home, our families, our old jobs, anything we could to get to know one another. We would even whisper about the little things like how much we missed Netflix and junk food.

The most profound moment for me personally this week came with the first list of recruits to be placed on disciplinary probation. Rather than just seeing it as a punishment, like many would have, the dedicated recruits of Yankee-193 saw it as an opportunity to get better. I remember we got everyone together in a football huddle and only one thing was said. A single recruit broke the silence and said “We’re all in this until the end of eight weeks. I’ve known all of you for less than a month and I can honestly say I want every last one of you there when we join the fleet. No one is getting left behind here.” That moment was when it all clicked. We all come from different places and have different personalities. We all talk about how much we miss our families and how at some point it has to get better, but we’re now realizing that we are a family, and that will have each other’s back’s when it gets tough.

As we head into week four we will be hitting the halfway mark. We may not be the toughest, most discipline recruits at TRACEN Cape May, but like Rome, Yankee 193 wasn’t built in a day!

 

 

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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