Bravo 194 Recruit Journal Week 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Bravo

Bravo 194 Recruit Journal

Formed: January 31, 2017

Graduates: March 24, 2017


Since the first morning we woke up at Sexton Hall, our wake-up call has been the phrase “Fire, Fire, Fire!”. It’s the bane of every recruits existence, and although its purpose is to train us to respond appropriately to fires in the fleet, we all fear and loath it. It’s the order to wake up and run outside in a groggy state, as well as the call to grueling bouts of incentive training. It’s a fiery practice that leaves on feeling like an unlucky redwood tree. And it’s orchestrated by Company Commanders who consistently remind us that only we can prevent forest fires.


By pure coincidence, week 04 can be summarized quite nicely with the phrase;”Fire, Fire, Fire!”.


Our practical instruction focused on fires this week. We learned about types of fires, how to respond to a fire, and differentiated between methods of extinguishing a fire. This was, by far, the highlight of our classroom and practical instruction. Most of us have never operated a fire hose, used self-contained breathing apparatus, or been in a simulation of a large fire where the smoke was so thick you couldn’t see more than four feet in front of you. It was also the first time an activity began with “fire, fire, fire”. And was not a beating of some sort (Incentive training-pushups, sit-ups, flutter kicks etc).


We also had a physical fitness test and midterm exam. Both of which were extremely stressful. For those who failed either test, a make-up exam and Physical Fitness Enhancement Program were provided.


The hottest fire under our hull however; is our collective preparation for Monday’s uniform inspection. Which is scheduled to be conducted by either our Section Commander or Battalion Commander. It’s a serious matter- those who fail are likely to be put on probation or rephased by 1 week. Furthermore, these standards will not lessen with time. Those are there to teach us how to pay very close attention to detail, as well as how to meet tight time objectives, and this component of our training is one of the most important as it applies to the fleet. One example of this, and one that’s close to home for Bravo- our Company Commanders. They have no choice but to report on time, uniforms inspection ready, and knowing not only the plan-of-the-week information, but also a number of other things about the state of the regiment (or so I imagine). It is their job, and their margin of error is narrow at best.


As for Bravo, it appears we learn things the hard way. Our sweat is the glue that brings us together; the more we are punished, the more we begin to help each other cross the finish line and the easier it becomes to break barriers to cohesion the next time around.


Everyone has seen the slogan “the beatings will continue until morale improves”.   The case for Bravo- the beatings don’t continue until morale improves, they continue until we do.


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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