Sierra 194 Recruit Journal Week 02

International Maritime Signal Flag Sierra

Sierra 194 Recruit Journal

Formed: June 20, 2017

Graduates: August 11, 2017


Starting with 108 recruits, Sierra-194 begins the journey to learn what it takes to be a Coast Guardsman. Starting at Sexton Hall, Company Commanders boarded the buses to give each recruit a hard wake up call. The Company Commanders that beat the civilian out of us were a totally different group of people. They are Petty Officer Karpf, our Lead Company Commander, and his Assistant Company Commanders Petty Officer Shenk and Petty Officer Abascal. Each morning we wake to fire alarms that require Sierra-194 to get out of the building in only a short amount of time. Imagine about 100 people scrambling about, screaming, and trying to find a balance where no such thing exists here. Our Lead Company Commander, Petty Officer Karpf, has a set of standards that he requires each member of S-194 to abide by. He graciously gives us many chances, identifying our problems and then finding a solution to them. Petty Officer Karpf gives S-194 the answer to success. Now is where it really gets interesting. S-194 takes in all of the information and solutions to our problems and then completely disregards them, for which we sweat. Basic training takes conformity, dedication, and the willingness to not give up. Week 02 was all about getting what S-194 paid for. By that I mean punishment and sweat. We fail time objectives and do not know our required knowledge.

Petty Officer Karpf has a set of Company Commanders that work for him; Petty Officer Shenk and Petty Officer Abascal. Both have an expertise in making recruits sweat, scream, and sometimes cry. Petty Officer Shenk does not accept second chances. Petty Officer Abascal believes in exponential sweat. By that I mean if we’re 03 seconds late to a time objective, then we owe him 3,000 gallons of sweat. Rack inspections were conducted in week 02. In a way, each rack looked like a tornado had just gone through it. Record of Counseling (ROC) were introduced. Each rack that was out of order, the owner of that rack received a Record of Counseling. Pieces, which are de-militarized plastic M-16s, were also issued in week 02. Seemed to be exciting the first day we got them. That quickly changed when pieces were also included for Incentive Training (IT) sessions. Recruits count down in their sleep, having recurring nightmares of what our Company Commanders will do to us the next day. So far, those dreams do come true. Week 02 was full of life lessons that still need to be learned. S-194 might end up learning how to leave their civilian ways and conform. But until then S-194 will struggle day in and day 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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