Mike 196 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike


Mike 196 Recruit Journal

Formed: Aug 14, 2018

Graduates: Oct 05, 2018


MIKE said goodbye to “FIRE! FIRE! FIRE” in the morning this week. Oh, no…that doesn’t mean we woke up to birds chirping and the sun shining through the portholes; that whistle has now been replaced by a search and rescue (SAR) alarm (a simulated one…but still).

This week marked the beginning of one of the most difficult weeks of training: SAR Week. Search and rescue is one of the Coast Guard’s most famous missions and it requires speed and efficiency. Recruits are thrusted into a high-speed battle to get ready, groom, make their rack, form up outside with the company and march to morning chow. All of this must be done in 15 minutes right after being woken up, other-wise you sweat.

Responsibility, reliability and integrity sum up the lessons MIKE-196 learned this week. We all agree this week did not start off with the amount of gusto we intended it to. One missed time objective snowballed into us not being ready for our Battalion Commander inspection on Monday night. During the inspection, loose threads, unshaven faces and a beeping watch led to marching with seabags on our backs, remedial instructions and incentive training all led by the Battalion Commander himself.

For three days we watched as our company fell apart and sank as it seemed we would never stop feeling the heat from the failed inspection, and we all blamed each other instead of taking personal accountability. We were all responsible for what happened and our actions reflected on our leaders. The way our CCs must have felt as they watched the company they had built crumble is tough to comprehend.

Every MIKE-196 squad bay has our company motto posted up on the hatch: “Extraordinary people will tear down what they just built to build something better.” While that sign often goes unnoticed as we rush past it every day, MIKE put that quote to work Wednesday night. Without Squad Leaders (they were all fired by Chief Snyder after the inspection), we rallied together as a company. We moved with speed and held each other accountable, not just to prevent getting in trouble, but to give ourselves and our CCs something to be proud of. At the end of it all we learned the importance of integrity, accountability, following directions and time management.

By Friday we had gotten significantly better, and as a result, we earned the right to receive our orders! The company marched down to Station Cape May where the crew, our mentors, read off our orders. Loud and proud we truly felt like a family. The next day we hurdled through the confidence course. The idea of the course is to overcome obstacles, not just physical ones but mental as well. You don’t complete the course with strength alone; the motivation and support from shipmates on the sidelines helped us overcome our fear of heights and lack of confidence.

The amount of life lessons learned so far in training has transformed us into something to be proud of, and by the time you see us all, you may not even recognize us! Only three more weeks!


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.