Yankee 193 Recruit Journal Week 07

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Yankee 193 Recruit Journal

Formed: January 3, 2017

Graduates: February 24, 2017

 

Yankee 193 Summary Week 07

 

We’ve got some good news for everyone back home, and anyone who has been following our adventures since week 02. We’ve made it to week 08 and graduation is only a few days away. This last week has been the pinnacle of our training as a company. It was filled with some of the proudest, and most life changing, events of our lives. It was also the point at which we realized we are about to be fully-fledged Coast Guardsmen!

Although we experienced more influential moments this week than we can count, the most important one to us, as a family, was earning our colors. The “Ceremony” (for lack of a better word) began with us forming up in front of a Bronze Statue of Douglas Munro (the only Coast Guardsman to receive the Medal of Honor) to observe evening colors. As we stood dead center, at the edge of the parade field, the National Ensign flew above us and our company Commanders took turns reading verses from the poem Old Glory. All 73 of us Yankee recruits starred at the US Flag, feeling new levels of pride and patriotism in the country we were now ready to protect. We held back the desire to shout, or chant, some of us even fought to hold back tears. Instead we stood proud and tall like statues.

We were so focused on what was in front of us, that we were completely oblivious to what was going on behind the company. The Flags were lowered, and then came the call: “About Face!” We all spun and faced the statue of Douglas Munro. Tied in his arms as if presenting it himself, was the Yankee Flag; Our Yankee Flag. From behind us, Senior Chief Kilduff called out “You see something you want Yankee?” With one window shattering yell, we all responded together, “Yes, Senior Chief Kilduff!” His final command: “Then go and get it,” sent us swarming towards the statue. Some Shipmates climbed up and began untying the guidon (which we later named Lucille), while others held them up in support. The entire thing was a once in a lifetime experience, and I am certain that my shipmates and I will always have a place in our hearts and minds for that day.

We also began debriefs with a couple of our Company Commanders this week. At first we could not break the military bearing that had been forced into us over the past 07 weeks. After being told to “Relax” several times and to “Not shout,” but to “Talk like normal people,” we began to realize it was not another test and we loosened up. Our Company Commanders started off by basically saying this whole experience was a test and designed to make us better people, prepare us for life in the fleet, and commit us to living by the Coast guard Core Values: Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. We spent hours asking questions and reminiscing about some of the more ridiculous moments we’ve shared as instructors and students. For the first time since we arrived at TRACEN Cape May, we were able to see our Company Commanders in a down to Earth manner, as they truly are. I was even told that I “wasn’t’ a completely terrible historian,” so that’s a victory.

As I write this final entry in the annals of Yankee-193 history, the company and I can’t help but feel like it’s a little bittersweet. We’re all excited to be reunited with our families, and to get underway, but over the last 07 weeks, TRACEN Cape May has become our home, and we’ve developed a bond with one another that goes beyond anything civilian life can create. So before we move forward in our lives, Yankee Company would like to thank our families, friends, and loved ones who have supported us through this journey, you truly are a driving force for all of us. To the Galley Staff, thank you for giving us 03 times a day where we could enjoy great food, and not get screamed at. To our Company Commanders, thank you for molding us, and giving us the foundation to be successful Coastguardsmen, as well as showing us that how you do anything, is how you do everything. We look forward to seeing everyone on Friday! Yankee-193: Semper Paratus, signing off.

 

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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