Charlie 195 Recruit Journal Week 02

Charlie 195 Recruit Journal

Formed: Sep 12, 2017

Graduates: November 03, 2017


There are some recruits who excel at boot camp: they are always on time, the get loud when they’re told, they follow simple instruction, and they have unquestionable military bearing. These recruits warm even the coldest hearts of Company Commanders, and give the Coast Guard a hope for a great future.

Our forming week was rocky, but that was expected. Forming is the first week of boot camp, and is essentially the most aggressive orientation ever devised. The first few days were easy, if a little boring: we were given shots, uniforms, haircuts, and class supplies, and did a lot of waiting in between. More than a few of us thought “this won’t be too bad.”

We were wrong. On Friday, September 15th, we met our permanent Company Commanders; which, they quickly shattered any illusions we had about an easy 08 weeks. Over the course of “Indoctrination Weekend,” we learned several of our company’s defining features: unable to make time objectives, unable to sound off, unable to keep organized and unable to maintain military bearing.

All of this translates to one thing: Incentive Training. The words “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE” are said by a Company Commander, and all of Charlie-195 has to evacuate the building in 120 second, form up outside, and begin a workout circuit. We’ve done this so often that it’s hard to keep track of how many we do in a day, let alone in a week. Other Incentive Training includes holding full canteens above our heads till our arms fall off or passing all of the company’s sea bags around the parade field.

The first couple of days of this sucked, but was understandable; we were transitioning from civilians to coast guardsmen. But now little has changed: people are still late, touching their faces, talking in formation, and not sounding off. The Company Commanders tell us that we are behind schedule for training, because of all the I.T. we have to do.

Despite our struggles, there are some bright moments. A couple of rephrased recruits from company’s further along in training have given us a sense of order and leadership, as well as useful tips. Classes and chow are usually highlights of the day, since we can breathe a tiny bit easier. The swim test last Thursday was refreshing to many. Both the Protestant and Catholic Chaplains are wonderful people and the galley staff is always sympathetic to our plight.

Charlie-195 has a very long way to go before it is ready for graduation on November 3rd. More than a handful will be reverted, rephrased, put on probation, or sent to RAMP. We’ve begun our transition from civilian to military life, but now we need to transition from individuals to members of a team. Some are already trying to raise the bar while others are content to skate under it and hope for the best. It doesn’t take an experienced Company Commander to know which recruits will make it to week 08.


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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