Lima 194 Recruit Journal Week 05

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Lima 194 Recruit Journal

Formed: April 25, 2017

Graduates: June 16, 2017


Lima-194 Blog Week 05

“Success is not for the weak and uncommitted, sometimes it’s gonna hurt.” These words hold true for LIMA-194 as they’re led by their assistant company commanders Petty Officer Botts, Petty Officer Loeffler, Chief Pullen, and Lead Company Commander Chief Heinze.

Petty Officer Botts ironically sounds like a robot with a distinctive voice that could easily be mistaken as some cyborg. He is tall with a height that rivals any flagpole on the regiment. He can be found questioning recruits on required knowledge, while testing their military bearing with sarcasm. Also known as “The Bearing Breaker” or “Battle Botts”, he has broken recruits’ military bearing with an unlimited supply of jokes. Always wanting maximum effort from LIMA-194, Petty Officer Botts will be more than willing to take the company to his “Pain Cave”, where recruits sweat until the bulkheads do too.

Petty Officer Loeffler always gets what he wants. Recruits cannot win against him. Many have tried, but none have succeeded. They call him the “Soul Snatcher”, as any recruit that Petty Officer Loeffler singles out for probation or worse, ultimately falls to that fate. Petty Officer Loeffler never lies to the company, often telling the recruits exactly what they need to do in order to be successful. Otherwise, he gets to do what he does best: Incentive Training. Sporting a different approach to incentive training, Petty Officer Loeffler sometimes takes a break from punishing the entire company to focus on squad leaders. In contrast to Petty Officer Botts’ method of using a megaphone in the “Pain Cave”, Petty Officer Loeffler would rather sip from his “Push” inscribed coffee cup as he corrects recruits. Two things are certain of Petty Officer Loeffler: He always gets what he wants and he never asks a question he doesn’t already know the answer to.

Chief Pullen may not be the tallest Company Commander, but he has one of the loudest voices. Easily heard from anywhere on the regiment, Chief Pullen paces the grounds with his whistle in tow. He never misses a moment that someone is sandbagging, stopping them dead in their tracks. Also known as “The Pullenator”, he also has a unique way of giving commands during incentive training with sayings like “You will pop up like freaking toast, Aye Aye Chief Pullen!” A stickler when it comes to the position of attention, he calls out recruits daily for not having thumbs on trouser seams, not having their feet at a 45 degree angle, or not having their heels together. Chief Pullen has informed LIMA-194 multiple times that we may not be the loudest company on the regiment, but we will be the strongest.

Word around the scuttlebutt is that Chief Heinze was not born, he was made. Forged across stormy seas at the deepest parts of the darkest oceans. They say saltwater runs through his veins. A raging typhoon encircles his heart which beats with the Coast Guard core values: Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty. Having been in the Coast Guard longer than most recruits have been walking this earth, Chief Heinze values integrity, honesty, and commitment. He gladly puts a stop to any recruit’s training that does not live up to the core values. Also known as “The Boss”, Chief Heinze is the blacksmith meant to mold recruits into Coast Guardsmen, his assistants are the hammers used to carry out the process.

LIMA-194 started off the week with a rude awakening. Following a personnel inspection Monday morning, it was evident that LIMA-194 was not fully prepared. Recruits froze on the spot, failed to communicate properly, were discovered to have a complete lack of required knowledge, and were found with loose threads on their uniforms and boots not brimming with shine. While some recruits performed decently, a chain can only be as strong as its weakest link. Later in the day, probation belts took full effect, pushing six recruits to MIKE-194. Petty Officer Loeffler attempted to hand the reins over to the squad leaders. As usual, LIMA-194 missed time objectives no matter how many chances they were given. This resulted in yet another evening of agony and pain. Petty Officer Loeffler singled out recruits not pulling their weight, like pulling weeds from a garden. Squad leaders had to pay the price, as the company observed to dead silence. It was too late for the company to intervene. Petty Officer Loeffler watched over them, stone faced, wondering whether their spirits or their bodies would break first. The mood was grim as the recruits hit the rack Monday night wondering what the rest of the week would have in store.

Tuesday morning had LIMA-194 charging toward the galley, but not all was well. Some recruits were not clean shaven, and the guidon was left behind. The recruits faced punishment as Chief Pullen shouted commands. Later that day, the recruits were able to participate in a two mile run on the track, but incentive training soon followed as recruits were found talking during the evolution. Pain started to take its toll as the volume steadily increased. Slowly, but surely, we were learning that “when you get loud, we will stop”.

Wednesday expanded the knowledge of LIMA-194 as we learned about Coast Guard history, personal flotation devices, family benefits, and boat crew duties and responsibilities. Circuit training at the gym strengthened our bodies, but could not compare to incentive training. “The Pullenator” found LIMA-194 acting out in class, and proceeded accordingly. Records of counseling covered the deck while the recruits felt the weight of our shame. As the records piled up, recruits realized that with enough documentation they would not be allowed to graduate on time.

Thursday involved learning the valuable lesson of attention to detail. There was a method to the madness as Petty Officer Loeffler, sent recruits from Healy Hall to Munro Hall making the heads spotless. As the day progressed, LIMA-194 learned that something as simple as an incorrectly stenciled rack card could earn them a probation belt.

Losing twelve recruits to the physical fitness test was a big hit to the company. LIMA-194 was a wooden rowboat against the stormy wrath of Chief Samuels, the Section Commander, as he left thirteen new probation belts in his wake. Later, the recruits learned of their first duty station, but the joy was short lived as Petty Officer Loeffler weeded out the sandbaggers during training. LIMA-194 better start acting like a senior company on the regiment.

To close out the week, our company mentors, Lieutenant Commander Belcher and Lieutenant Brzuska, answered any questions the recruits had. The confidence course was not for the faint-hearted. Morale was lifted as the recruits cheered each other past the obstacles. Saturday evening was spent with Petty Officer Botts. A glimmer of hope of going to the gym came crashing down in seconds, and training ensued. Petty Officer would not stop until LIMA-194 gave 110% all the time, every time. Entering week 06 through a path of blood, sweat, and tears, LIMA-194 would find out whether they were ready to represent what it means to be a senior company.


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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