India 196 Recruit Journal Week 03

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India 196 Recruit Journal

Formed: Jul 10, 2018

Graduates: Aug 31, 2018


Week 03 Summary India 196

“We need to get louder, we need to get faster!” like a broken record, our voices continued to echo the exact words from the start of week 03 all the way to the end. Mix in some physical fitness training, class and whole lot of sweat. So much sweat you could paint yourself a perfect picture of our past week.

It all began last Sunday after our “divine hours”, which is five hours set aside for us to “square our lives away”, as our Lead Company Commander likes to say. Now you might think, five hours?! What the heck is my Little Johnny doing over there? I have only received one letter and he is had five hours every Sunday? Hold on just a second, the five hours are both a blessing and a curse. Allow me to explain, during these house we spend the entire time (yes the ENTIRE time) either ironing uniforms, shinning boots, organizing racks, and studying. If we are lucky we can fit writing home to our loved ones in, but last Sunday was spent preparing for a rack inspections that would be taking place after divine hours. This is not your ordinary rack inspection, oh no! Everything needs to be folded to within ¼ of an inch marking on a ruler. If our Company Commanders had super powers, they would be able to notice the smallest imperfection in anything! I am not kidding! Once loose thread on your blouse, “tracker” (we carry paper around where we document our short comings upon our Company Commander’s ordered). Anyways, back to our Sunday; said inspection arrived and…..we failed, horribly. So poorly in fact that our Company Commanders stopped midway throughout the inspection and told us “300 seconds, put everything in your rack in your seabag (green duffle bag) and get on the quarterdeck! You could literally hear our hearts drop on the deck. Our five hours of what we thought was perfect measuring, ironing, and folding thrust into a bag. It did not stop there, we spent the next 40 minutes passing seabags to one another in a line while screaming, “We wasted our time”, over and over again. This wonderful memory set the bar high for the week, but we are India company remember? And I said we are Semper Paratus, no matter the challenge. So with this the experience behind us, we charged into week 03.

Let’s start with the high points of the week. On Monday, we met our company mentors, who included Commander McDonnell and Chief Craig from the Coast Guard Cutter Campbell. They spent a full two hours with us, answering all of our questions regarding serving in the Coast Guard and particular rates (jobs, etc.). My favorite part was when CDR McDonnell spoke about family and dedication. He praised us for accepting the challenge of becoming a Coast Guardsman and emphasized how grateful he is for the service. He said that is not just you (India 196) who are joining this incredible organization, but your family is too. This emphasis on comradery and support instilled yet more drive into us to complete our training and step out into the fleet, and join the people who have sworn to protect our nation.

This theme of dedication and perseverance lasted the entire week and was further highlighted when our company had the opportunity to march in the graduation for Echo 196. It was so incredible witnessing first hand a graduation and seeing Echo Company, beaming with pride, confidence, and joy in front of their families as newly recognized Coast Guardsman, was a reminder of why we are here,. Why we are subjecting ourselves to….pure insanity (we all feel like we are losing it)! We are here to make a difference, to serve our country, and to most of all make our loved ones proud! The best part of the graduation was actually on the local New Jersey, Cape May news! “Breaking news: for the first time in Coast Guard history, India 196 as week 03 company, displayed such professionalism and poise at the pass and review during week Echo 196’s graduation we will be allowed to graduate early, surprise!   And that is about the time the lights fly on and the siren blasts and the dream from above fades away into the longing, but very imaginary depths from within. Yes we marched in Echo Company’s graduation, we saw what we all hope to achieve in the next five weeks, and yes we did get to scream and sweat profusely for marching terribly and moving while in formation, A big yes to that last statement!


In other news, we started our seamanship classes this week, which are our hands on nautical courses where we get to physically practice and experience life as a Coast Guardsman. We love seamanship! We have already had our first knot tying practical and we are looking forward to our upcoming class on firefighting, nautical terms, and safety afloat.


We are doing good and hanging in there and starting to work together as a team to reach our goals. Before signing off for the night a few facts about India 196. First off, we sound terrible. Not in the sense that we cannot yell in sync or are not loud (though we get that a lot too) no, more along the lines of not a moment passing without a lung being coughed up! The “Cape May Crud” has reared its ugly head here in our company, and we are all feeling the effects. Finally, on a completely different but slightly higher note, India 196 is the only company who, since the start of our company at Cape May, is allowed to eat any and all desserts with our meals! Yup, ice cream cake, brownies, doughnuts, you name it and we can eat it. With this past week and its challenges and curve balls, the one thing that was consistent was the faces of our new members from Hotel 196 Company who are now in India to join us for a few extra weeks of training. Upon hearing they now get desserts they light up like a kid on Christmas morning! Their joy reminds us how lucky we are and how great our Company Commander are (no I am not trying to get us some brownie points by sucking up, though we sure could use some).

All in all, we are doing it we are doing the Coast Guard bootcamp! There is not coasting through it, or avoiding the challenging parts. There is definitely failing it! But we…..we are still doing it, and we will continue to do it until we accomplish our goals and dreams, so please keep us in your thoughts, you are in ours. India 196, still here, still strong, and always still determined.

Quote of the week: “The standard that you walk past is the standard that you accept”


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.