Hotel 194 Recruit Journal Weeks 02, 03, 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Hotel

Hotel 194 Recruit Journal

Formed: March 28, 2017

Graduates: May 19, 2017

 

Week 02

Our first week with our Company Commanders was a series of rather unfortunate events. The moment we met Petty Officer Taylor, Chief Orlowicz, and Petty Officer Karnya was the precise moment we questioned our commitment to the United States Coast Guard. Our Company Commanders weren’t going to make this easy, and they were bent on weeding the weak from the strong. Monday we were met with new challenges, as we were expected to know Ranks and Rates, the phonetic alphabet, and our general orders. The galley would serve as the staging ground for a radical assault on our knowledge. I witnessed recruit meltdowns and triumphs as we were bombarded and halted for questions. I even got to play a game of peek-a-boo with the Company Commanders. That game is more fun with children, but that’s what we are. The Coast Guard will make men and women out of us. The workouts and fire drills are just heating up. Tuesday we enlisted the help of the walking dead. In other words, this company moves like zombies. The Company Commanders press us more now about being fast and loud. We struggle at some of the most basic aspects of recruit life. We also learned the rigors of signing in and signing out. People showed up late to appointments or to the wrong place. It was a nightmare and we paid for it in sweat. Sweat is the only form of payment Company Commanders accept. The words “Faster! FASTER!” echo in my mind as a fall asleep, words I won’t hear the end of. We are met with similar struggles Wednesday, but the gym becomes a safe space. Military bearing still applies but you aren’t getting screamed at. Cycling class was a rough class though because people lost focus and Petty Officer Vuccetich turned up the resistance. It’s also tough coming off a workout and then having endless fire drills. This week we started classes and I often times think they’re more harm than good. The company losses our bearing and then we have to pay, and there’s only one form of currency. Our pieces only increased or inflated our sweat currency. The piece is not your friend but you have to hold it close or a Company Commander will get it! The end of the week greats us with the graduation of Delta-194 and being in band means you get to see it. I have to say, watching them graduate was saddening but it gave me hope. Hope was again restored and optimism flooded our ranks when we met Admiral Bell, our company mentor. He gave us incite and something to aspire to. All this was disrupted as we failed to sound off, cut corners, cheated ourselves, and failed to adapt. Saturday would prove to be a sadder-day. We spent a lot a sweat and trained intensely on things we should have mastered already. I don’t regret it though as each drill is a stripe or a badge. Hotel-194 may be moving. Even a train is slow to start, but once it’s going, just you try and stop it. My hope is that we take this week and store it away, and take it and the lessons learned into the next one.

 

Week 03

Yelp! We made it. Week 03 is in the books for Hotel and we are mobbing full throttle into an even more challenging week with even higher expectations. Week 03 marked some new chapters and attitudes for our company. From the start of the week we knew that this wasn’t week 02 and we had to buckle down. The shift from Incentive Training to learning important and necessary skills coincided with improved performance. The pace picked up and we started to make time objectives. People started to sound off and the games got shorter/ We worked on some pretty fascinating things this week. The survival float was pretty wicked and hopefully everyone learned to swim. Seamanship brought on more tests, simulators, and knots to tie. By the way, SR Sauter is an expert at tying knots. The group is also gaining seniority amongst the other companies. We are leading now. In band and in chapel. It’s astonishing how fast this is all happening. The games we play might be decreasing in how often we do them, but they’re getting more difficult. Passing seabags around the parade field and meeting Chief Orlowicz’s infamous girlfriend Medusa. I watched SR Maldonado get screamed at and destroyed my having to push and pull this line. The sandbaggers and slackers had the worst time of everyone this week. They were exposed big time. It started out with individual punishment and turned into red belts, which means probation. Only a few people got them though…I think more deserved them. I’m still unsure how some of my shipmates escaped that fate. This week also grew our company quite a bit. We got some new shipmates via rephasal and I’m worried for some of them. Some need a lot of work to get up to speed and we already have a ton of people who need that help. It s going to be a long and tiresome week 04, but this team can do it. While Hotel saw some growth this week, there still is a ton of room for improvement. We are nowhere near our final goal. We know now that our success is interconnected with teamwork and unity. Nobody could accomplish this alone but we can be strong together. This horde of zombies is turning into a force to reckon with! However, one of our biggest struggles for our company is keeping our military bearing. The classes which have acted as a sanctuary for hotel have resulted in considerable loss of privilege and gained us many sessions of Incentive Training. The new people from the different companies ahead of us vary in skill and what they have to offer the company. While they all have some sort of helpful knowledge, they all have things to work on as well. But really, who doesn’t. This coming week will challenge us in new ways but we will prevail.

 

Week 04

Raising the Stakes

These are trying times for Hotel-194 and this week was not completed without a fair amount of sweat. We paid our dues though and most of us survived it. On to week 05 and hopefully we leave our bad habits behind us. This week started on a bad note, literally! The letter left in the head lives in infamy for our company. When asked by our lead company commander who left the letter out, nobody came forward. The entire company was punished for the next 02 days for this infraction. It was miserable and what sad is that nobody came forward. The accountability issue in our company is very real. People continue to resist owning up to their mistakes. One thing didn’t change this week was the names of people that get called out and how they get plenty of face time. These individuals in our company continue to sink and drag us down with them; red belts and all. Petty Officer Taylor gave us our tasking though, and they’re to drag our shipmates back to the surface from sinking. The knowledgeable recruits spent a lot of time studying with the people on red belts and those who continue to struggle. In this small way our company has really improved how we support each other. One shipmate in particular receives the most face time. The shipmate I try and support has the ability to botch the simplest task. Her name is well known in this company. Ever since she was reverted she has caused nothing but trouble. If it’s not sandbagging, it’s being almost naked at icing. I’d feel bad but she refuses to take constructive criticism or help from anyone. Besides all the nonsense this week was academically fascinating and we marked off major milestones. We got to try our hands at fire fighting and gained a new respect for fire fighters. You should have seen us toppling over one another in the smoke filled room as we couched down to the deck. This exercise was almost comical to watch, if only we could have seen more through the smoke. Midterms came up fast and we were very stressed. Almost everyone was convinced they would fail, but our company commanders gave us study time. Not only that, but to our surprise it was all open book and easy as pie. We were worried for nothing at all. Dream sheets came out as well. We finally got to do what we have wanted to the entire time here in training. Pick potential duty stations. The entire class was buzzing with questions, and we imagined ourselves in Hawaii or Florida. The only issue now is waiting to get those orders to our first unit. We had a couple rude awakenings this week. The most difficult was to watch our leaders and best shipmates punished in front and for the entire company. They were forced to hold mattresses straight over their heads. It was not only physically agonizing for them but it caused many of my shipmates to get emotional as they grunted in pain. It was a valuable lesson though. Lessons here are not easy. Just as the guys who went to RAMP this week. One shipmate did not return to us from this magical place. This week marks a major milestone in our training and the steaks only get higher from here. We have more to lose and less time to spare. Week 05 here we come!

 

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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