Sierra 196 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Sierra


Sierra 196 Recruit Journal

Formed: Oct 9, 2018

Graduates: Nov 30, 2018


SIERRA-196 Week 05 Summary


Someone is drowning. There is a vessel on fire. Man overboard. Search and rescue was the theme for week 05. With ten minutes we had to get dressed, call muster and be ready to save a life. Our Company Commanders told us to get some sort of gruesome inspiration to inspire us to move faster than humanly possible. So fast that we would get whiplash. The only way was to think of a scenario where people out there were in a life or death situation. Our Company Commanders brought us a recording that started off with “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY”. A vessel was about to be abandon at sea with four people on board in the middle of a heavy storm, with almost no chance of survival. The radio withstander was there to receive the message. You might think “oh they’ll be safe, the call was received and everything will be just fine”. Not the case, this watch stander was incompetent to a point where no information was gathered from the vessel before there was complete silence over the radio. You must be fast and loud in order to save lives, unlike the watch stander in that recording. Hearing the eerie silence of the captain of the vessel in distress not responding, lost at sea, or possibly dead brought trembling knees.

The duties we have in the Coast Guard are to be taken very seriously with no mistake. A life or lives are on the line and week 05 taught us how to be there when we are needed. Sierra-196 will graduate with recruits who are ready to save a life.

Within the quick paced search and rescue program, Sierra finally found out where we are going after boot camp. That’s if we even graduate, of course. Getting orders seemed to be the best thing that has happened so far since getting of that bus. To the parents, spouses or significant persons that received a call from your loved ones, were you able to hear the excitement over the phone even though it was only a 05 minute phone call. However, if you got a call from a penguin loving recruit, there may have been some tears. Stationed in Alaska may have not been their number pick but there is someone in Sierra that would switch orders in a blink of an eye. The week ended with a Veteran’s Day parade that Sierra-196 was fortunate enough to be able to march in. Honestly we didn’t know where it was or who was there because our eyes were on the boat (starting straight ahead) the whole time. All we knew was that Sierra looked good and we are headed into week 06.


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.