Oscar 195 Recruit Journal Week 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Oscar

Oscar 195 Recruit Journal

Formed: Jan 2, 2018

Graduates: February 23, 2018


Oscar-195 Week 04 Summary

Welcome to the latest edition of the week in review, Moms and Dads, Brothers and Sisters, Husbands and Wives. I know you all have enjoyed reading these weekly summaries written by my shipmate and good friend SR Choi. I am SR Lewandowski the newly hired co-historian and I know I have big shoes to fill! I am the oldest recruit in the company so I have a unique perspective. My shipmates call me father time which is a nickname originally given to me by Petty Officer Ventura.

We are at the end of week 04, which is a milestone because we are now halfway through boot camp. For us, this is a big thing because there is a tiny light at the end of the Tracen Cape May Tunnel. A lot of people want to know if boot camp gets easier as time goes by…The answer is no, but we are getting better. This week was a tough one, but a good one in many ways. We shrunk as a company this week and we were already the smallest company on the regiment. Being a small company means there is no place for anyone to hide, but it also means there is a unique closeness that we have together. Every day we grow closer and stronger together as shipmates and as a team. We are brothers and sisters. We are a family and we take pride in Oscar-195.

This week we learned about fighting fires, which was really cool. Our firefighting practical was probably the coolest thing we’ve done so far. We got into full firefighting gear and went into a simulated fire on a Coast Guard Cutter. I mean smoke everywhere, loud noises, and us putting out a “fire” with fire hoses pumping out a lot of water. It was awesome for all of us to experience that. We also learned how not to get scammed on the internet and how to handle sensitive and classified information.

But the biggest thing this week was we got to choose where we want to go for our first duty assignment. We filled out a form called a “dream sheet” which lets the mythical being known as the “detailer” know where we want to go but it’s up to the needs of the Coast Guard to see if we get where we want, or some far off place. We also took the midterm exam and all did well on it but filling out the dream sheet definitely was the highlight. Looking forward to where we will be stationed is something the company can hold onto as an exciting thought for where we start our Coast Guard careers.

With all this good stuff going on don’t think that we didn’t sweat. We got our fair share of beat downs. Chief Samuels showed us the difference between “good sweat” and “bad sweat”. You know the bad sweat as my shipmate SR Choi explained is holding our pieces in sniper position, holding canteens full of water to the “tippy top” as our company commanders say either out in front of us or over our heads, and who can forget passing sea bags around. But the “good sweat” is riding bikes in the gym at night for about 20-25 miles until we burn 1000 calories. We all had rubber legs after that workout!

This week was also filled with some great quotes from our Company Commanders who all have a great sense of humor. The only problem is that we’ve had to develop ways of not laughing, or smiling, because boot camp is “not a comedy club” and you need to keep your military bearing at all times. Try keeping a serious face when Chief Krusko tells a recruit that they are “lost in the sauce” (its funny cause he’s a culinary specialist in the Coast Guard) or that “they turn into a chia pet as soon as they shave and walk into the cold weather”. He has also said that a recruits “Pink Eye is disgusting because their eye booger has an eye booger”. Chief Samuels refers to all of us as “freaks” but it’s in the way he says it. Chief Samuels has a unique ability to make fun of us and teach us at the same time that shows he wants to train us and make us better recruits. Then there is our Lead Company Commander, Petty Officer Catlin….A.K.A. “Mama Bear”. She is tough and she’s not going to accept anything less than us becoming the sharpest company on the regiment. She’s training us to be leaders, to lead by example because in a week we will be the senior most company on the regiment. We all can tell that Petty Officer Catlin loves what she does and takes pride in training the future of the Coast Guard.


We know that our Company Commanders want us to succeed even when they are yelling or IT’ing us. Through all the darkness that is Cape May it was during week 04 that you find little things to give you that moment of internal peace during this mentally draining and incredibly stressful time. The sound of the ocean when you’re standing in formation ready to step off for morning chow, the sunrise over the water that you sneak a peek at while trying to keep your eyes in the boat. These little things keep you going one day at a time. We have a great group of young people here that are getting outside their comfort zone and persevering through the toughest eight weeks of their life.

Four weeks down, four to go! Tune in next week for another weekly summary of the Oscar-195 show live from Training Center Cape May!


SR Lewandowski, T. J.



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.