Bravo 194 Recruit Journal Week 06

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Bravo 194 Recruit Journal

Formed: January 31, 2017

Graduates: March 24, 2017

 

The way I feel about our trajectory this week and the way we collectively feel are; I think; at odds with each other. I have expressed dissatisfaction with the relaxation of our attitudes towards training, and while I have heard many shipmates express similar feelings, it isn’t really showing. As such, at the end of week 06, I don’t feel fit to represent Bravo through my own lens.

I will however do my best to wrap the week’s events into an arc that accurately describes our accomplishments. We have taken steps back in some areas; but we have still continued our training and met the majority of the practical and academic checkpoints expected of a company in week 06. Hey, I won’t lie- 13 more days of training has some excitement to it. We have come a long way from where we began. The bus backing into SEXTON HALL with the lights on and the subsequent firestorm as a company commander boarded the bus and gave us a jarring introduction to the expectations of recruit training.

 

But I can’t talk about t our Esprit De Corps without getting flippant or cynical about it right now.

 

On another note, BRAVO is intact and alive and mostly well. The galley does a great job of feeding between 800-1000 recruits on the regiment every day. And every recruit has access to top-notch medical and dental care. When a recruit calls home and says this place is hell; they’re wrong. It’s trying, and it’s stressful, but that’s the nature of a forge. We are taking what’s already within us and moving it around, atom by atom, lattice by lattice, and strengthening it with another alloy, that of our practical training which makes us greater than the sum of our parts. But sometimes, I wish we would take the opportunity of a lifetime just a bit more seriously.

 

By far, the weeks two most important tasks were our firearms training and the logistics we knocked out. With planning our moves and contacting our duty stations for the first time. Statistically, we did quite well on the former. Collectively earning a pennant for marksmanship. It was also rewarding to see our shipmates improve so dramatically on the second round of fire. One shipmate went from a score in the mid-80’s to a 134 out of 150. A leap and bound under the instruction of our gunners mates, whose level of marksmanship is most definitely as high as their addiction to energy drinks. For others, Tuesday and Thursday were their first time ever firing a gun. It’s kind of an honor to be entrusted with this type of training. We have proven to the Coast Guard that we are ready to carry deadly force safely and honorably in the line of duty.

 

Bravo also moved forward with the administrative loads we all incurred from our first assignment. Multiple times through the week, we were given time to contact our duty stations by email or phone and learned from our respective sponsors about when to report, how to report and what our first duties will be like. Others are focused on moving themselves and their families to their new assignment and time is a big constraint for many. Example: someone who has to move from California to Maine with a wife and kids on has 09 days to find a new place, pack, move, unpack and settle in before reporting to their assignment. For others, less so. In any case, admin time is essential for many of our shipmates.

 

Bravo came down with a case of strep throat this week, myself included. It’s no fun, and it’s affected my ability to sound off in a loud, clear voice. This whole time, I thought I just hadn’t been trying hard enough but the antibiotics are kicking in and my voice is slowly coming back. We also received our final round of immunizations at medical and several shipmates had their wisdom teeth pulled. All of this is worth making a note of in light of how much we mostly hate this place. We are incredibly fortunate.

 

The rest of the week was filled with bike work outs, manual of arms training, instruction on how to wear our tropical blue uniforms and 50 meter sprints in the swimming pool. Our recently formed art crew works diligently on company art work as well.

 

Yesterday we finally earned our morning coffee by singing our service song “Semper Paratus” to Chief Reid.

 

This is all progress. It comes with repetitions of old screw-ups sometimes; we know we are still training, but we sometimes fail to keep our eyes in the BRAVO-194 boat in anticipation of the shore.

 

We are nearly there. My hope for us is that we cross that finish line with the full potential of our cohesion squeezed out of our bodies and into the company, our glue, our strength.

 

BRAVO-194… What is within you?

 

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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