Papa 194 Recruit Journal Week 06

International Maritime Signal Flag Papa

Papa 194 Recruit Journal

Formed: May 23, 2017

Graduates: July 14, 2017



Week 06 Historian Summary

From the point of review of a recruit, progress can be hard to measure. It’s easy to assume that you’re hopelessly awful (and the Company Commanders are always willing to reinforce this idea when needed). More frequently than ever there have been clear indicators that the helm of progress is on course, the sails are trimmed accordingly, and we’re reaching for success. Our target is up wind, we may not be heading directly for it but we’re tacking back and forth beating our way towards it. Occasionally we may find ourselves stuck in irons or a gust blows us off our bearing but this is all in progression of us learning how to sail our ship, not as a group of individuals but as a company. Papa 194.


In week 06 we’ve had a few high points that have served as landmarks for us to triangulate and chart our location. We nearly ran aground on our first landmark at 0441 on a brisk Cape May Monday morning… things get very very real: 03 very angry company commanders burst forth from the quarter deck of hell and interrupt our precious sleep. We’re quickly and unceremoniously marched down to the crushing waves of the Atlantic… none of us has any idea what is going on… Well, other than an incentive training session from hell. There are no cheesy, misplaced movie references for this. We should have told Morpheus (or rather, our recruiter) to take the red pill and shove it. We go face first in to the sand and the pain begins. But just when we think it’s going to get much worse, we are ordered to About-Face. There stands a man we have never seen before. “Gather round” John Crowley commands. What commences next is a story of heroism, teamwork, devotion, service before self, and the ultimate sacrifice. It solidifies all that we have been taught thus far in training… and on that empty beach; the sailors of Papa One-Niner-Four receive their official colors and Guidon: a pivotal point in our journey. We sang cadence all the way home and even Petty Officer Ventura found it in his heart to serenade us.


The next high point for Papa was… GUNS GUNS GUNS! As Neo would say, “we need guns, lots of guns.” (We really hope you’ve seen the Matrix for this one). This week, the recruits of P-194 learned that Gunners’ Mates in the US Coast Guard are certified (or certifiable) badasses. And thus, we started the fundamentals of basic pistol shooting: a healthy release from the ides of recruit training. After half of Big “P” shot their qualifier on Tuesday, it seemed that the bad guys weren’t in any real danger… so long as they hid behind the broad side of a barn, which we apparently couldn’t hit anyway. The second half of our ship however, pulled it together… and by the skin of our trigger fingers, we won a new “Piece of Flare,” the Marksmanship Pennant. This marks yet another training evolution where we came together as a time, boosted each other’s confidence, and accomplished our mission. It was an accurate reminder of how even as individuals we are a team, and while the pennant is a huge accomplishment it is dwarfed by the progress we’ve made.


Of all the high points, sometimes the simple gestures ring most true. Papa has been gaining and losing recruits daily. It’s a low moment, leaving your company to form with another group of recruits who already have shared experiences and commonalties is daunting. Mid week we gained another Oscar recruit, he walked in Main Squad bay head hung low carrying all his belongings messily stuffed into a large “Sea bag” with his sheets strapped to the side and rucksack secured to his front. This stranger dumped his belongings on the deck near his rack and proceeded to be briefed outside by Petty Officer Placencia. While he was out of the room a team of Papa recruits gathered up his belongings, began folding his clothes and stowing them in their appropriate locations. A task that takes a long time to do well by one was executed smartly by the 7 volunteers. When the recruit walked back in the squad bay he may have still been a stranger but was with his family.


It wasn’t all philosophical platitudes this week however… We learned that when Petty Officer Tilton isn’t yelling at you she has a voice Madonna


-Big Papa Out


The upcoming week in training is both critical and dangerous. We need to be on the absolute top of our game and remain laser-focused. With our sails trimmed and our rudders true we’ll be in your arms soon

. -Big Papa Out


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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