Sierra 196 Recruit Journal Week 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Sierra


Sierra 196 Recruit Journal

Formed: Oct 9, 2018

Graduates: Nov 30, 2018




Firefighting was the coolest yet most stressful and challenging lesson ever learned by SIERRA-196 thus far. There is nothing in this world that creates more adrenaline and fear that fighting a fire. After learning the basics in class, we were put in a room to fight a simulated fire in order to test what we just learned. As we were just sitting in class, the instructors screamed “FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!!!!” We sprinted to put on all of our firefighting suits and equipment. Once everyone was dressed out we entered the room where the fire was. We were immediately realized that the room zero visibility. Your hand out in front of you was legitimately gone. Surrounded by smoke and strobe lights, we made our way to the fire by following the fire hose. We squatted into position in order to withstand the pressure of the water hose. As you can imagine, some recruits were not able to take the piercing sound of the sirens and flashing lights and tight feeling of the smoke. Luckily, these shipmates had the entire support of the company to pick them up and help them push through to fight the flames.

This week was officially the halfway mark for SIERRA-196. Many changes will be coming from here on out, since we all passed out midterm exam. The company average by the way, was 93! Yeah, we’re smart. We were taught all the basics so now SIERRA is ready to start learning about the lessons that are unique to the Coast Guard. We know how to sound off (scream our faces off), so now it’s time to learn about the different types of fires, guns, and stylish marching tricks. The fun is going to start soon!

By far, the most significant event of this week occurred on Thursday, the 1st of November. We had the opportunity to pick our first Coast Guard assignment. Of course, the needs of the service comes first in every decision that is to be made. However, there is nothing wrong with dreaming. After being taught the duties of each assignment in the Coast Guard, recruits quickly set their minds on where they wanted to be stationed. Obviously Hawaii, Florida, and California were at the top of most of our list but there were some interesting choices out there. A fellow shipmate’s first choice was Alaska! Imagine spending all of his time in the dark and cold. Well we can’t argue with dreams I guess. Aside from that, there were a few gloaters with the precious word “guaranteed” on their dream sheets. They already knew where they were headed after graduation. Knowing your destination is not that exciting, it’s the surprise that we are all excited for when we get our orders next week.

Tomorrow, we will start week 05, one step closer to that graduation date. We ended our halfway point with fresh haircuts and our individual graduation photos. We got to wear the Coast Guard Service Dress Bravo uniform for the first time. In doing so, that really helped boost the spirits of SIERRA-196. We were clean, fresh and ready to start the second half of recruit training.



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.