Zulu 196 Recruit Journal Weeks 02 – 07


Zulu 196 Recruit Journal

Formed: Dec 11, 2018

Graduates: Feb 01, 2019



I am including all the blogs from Week 02 Thru Week 07 due to the Shutdown.

This is a reminder of where you can see the Graduation on-line as well as the viewing the Graduation Program (posted on Thursday)


Graduation Program: Posted Thursday afternoon: Week 7 Blog

Go to:

Under the “Graduation Date” Tab you will be able to find the Graduation Program


To view the Graduation Live: Time: 1100 AM

The live stream of the graduations are viewed by going to the training center’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/uscoastguardbootcamp


*It should be noted that the live streams are a courtesy and not a guarantee. There could be technical issues or resource availability issues that would interfere with the stream. The live streams are not intended to be high definition productions of the graduation ceremonies.


If you are looking for higher quality video products from your loved one’s graduation, you should contact VTS at 609-365-8889




Week 02


Week Ø2 Entry


Week Ø2 for ZULU-196 consisted mostly of pain. Our company is learning the hard way what the phrase “our actions have consequences” means. We started the week meeting the Battalion Commander, Master Chief Wadley, and boy can he get loud. You know you’re scared when your palms are sweatier than the rest of your body and you suddenly have to pee even though you went a few minutes ago. Honestly, that fear was something we felt all through week Ø2. While the rest of the world is thinking about what last minute gift to buy for their grandma, we are all thinking about who is going to mess up and get reverted in week Ø3.

Early in the week we also got our “pieces”, a training version of an M-16. We were all really excited about them until one of our shipmates cracked a smile and we ended up holding them in sniper position for what felt like forever.

The middle of week Ø2 was filled with classes. Our brains are stuffed with so much information I’m surprised some of us haven’t lost our marbles yet. We also got to meet our mentor Commander Cederholm and two of the Senior Chiefs that work with him. They gave us a glimmer of hope for the future, which we definitely needed. It was nice to sit down and hear about all their adventures in the Coast Guard and get the insight they have about what the Coast Guard is like outside of the mystical land of Cape May. It’s a funny thing to see all our faces light up, probably because we’re just used to seeing each other scream all the time.


SR Howes

Zulu-196 Historian


Week 03

Week 03

From this Monday to Sunday, week 03, can best be described as eye opening. No more than 06 days ago we sat together with our company for a Christmas dinner and now we’ve said goodbye to a handful of shipmates. We started the week strong, but when Wednesday morning rolled around we woke up complacent and unmotivated. Our company commanders brought the problem to our attention right away, which didn’t help morale. Our hopes were already low when noon chow when out of nowhere our Section Commander YNC Snyder announced the start of probation for Zulu 196. The hair stood up on our necks as he began calling names. With each name he called we felt a bit of relief that was quickly replaced by a heavy feeling of remorse for our shipmates who were called. We tried to help each “red belt” (probation recruits are identified by a red belt), but by evening probation it felt like we hadn’t even scratched the surface of our shipmates dilemma.

The next morning started out like any other, cold, groggy and loud, but still not loud enough. After morning we were either registering for our official military IDs or getting some time to refine out racks. The process of getting the IDs was long and felt like an eternity in our morning state. None the less we were excited and proud. It was a status symbol, proved that we were military members and a part of something bigger. After removing the cards from their protective jackets we witnessed the atrocities that were our photos. Pale skin, dark eyes, runny noses, and the facial expressions that all joy had been evicted from our bodies.

After IDs it was back to training, holding pieces at 45 degrees with elbows flared out or changing from ODUs to fitness gear and back as fast as possible. Thankfully we started seamanship this week where we learned nautical terms, helm operation, and knot tying. With those classes taking up most of our time, Friday snuck up on us. Rain down pouring and wind nearly knocking us over, the final day of probation had arrived. It was a test more dreaded than any other and proved we had failed our shipmates. We lost 03 of 04 and did our best to pull ourselves up by our boot straps only to be dropped again. The next morning another 04 recruits were given red belts. This time around we were optimistic and determined not to fail our shipmates, but before noon that day one of those recruits was bounced back a week.

By taps we were cold, tired, groggy, and pale in the face, but we are all in the same boat and are a team.

Signing off, ZULU-196


Week 04


January 1st, Monday of week 4; not eventful, if there was one thing we were tested on today it was devotion and attitude! Between Tuesday and Wednesday our new split schedule had truly shown just how small our company is. Between the two days both formations (port and starboard) participated in our firefighting practical as well as our internet safety and security course. All week we had been using free and designated time to study for our midterm. An open book test covering every class we have taken since the beginning of this journey. Every single recruit of ZULU company had full confidence in passing, but with the possibility of being rephrased at stake, that made taking the test an even more daunting task. With that said, after our classes on Thursday we hit that books hard.

By Friday night ZULU laid in their racks proud of ourselves knowing that every single one of us passed the midterm. Not to mention we laid their itchy from our 2nd round of having our hair shaved off again. I forgot to mention that on the 4th of January, we all filled out a dream sheet (a list of places we would want to be stationed). After all of our accomplishments and hardships thus far, it made it hard for all of us not to put “home” as an option on every single line.

Anxious, we are ending week 4 putting our hoods on, prepping for the storm of week 5. In less than 24 hours our Battalion Commander Inspection will take place where every lose thread on our uniform must be pulled and not a single thing can be out of place. ZULU-196 needs to mind their P’s and Q’s.


Week 05


0515 Monday morning of week 5, Petty Officer Wilderman arrives at Healy Hall awaiting the journey that begins week 5. 0530 the sound of a simulated SAR (search and rescue) alarm blares as recruits abruptly are woken up to a fiasco of slipping on they sneakers and sprinting to the quarterdeck to get muster complete. Baggy eyed shipmates screaming out their roster order numbers then high tailing it back to their berthing to get full dressed in the uniform of the day. Once fully dressed, we rush out to the SAR case of the day which here is morning chow. Once on scene at the galley all of us eagerly reach into the memory bank recalling required knowledge like the pennant of the week, who the OOD (officer of the day) is, RDO (regiment duty officer), shoulder board of the Commanding Officer, paygrade of our Lead Company Commander. Before you know it chow is over, but the day is just about to get real! Monday of week 5 is the dreaded Battalion Commander inspection by Masterchief Wadley. This is a huge event for the company, Petty Officer Wilderman holds ZULU company to the highest standards on the regiment. Not everyone get the opportunity to wear the Coast Guard uniform, believe me he will let you know if your uniform is below his standards. Shined boots, pressed collars and the smell of fear emits from each and every recruit in Zulu company as we wait standing shoulder to shoulder to hear our fate. BOOM! Masterchief Wadley and all of the Section Commanders walk into the room like a pack of hounds, you could hear the elicit gulp from each recruit as they walk pass. After all was said and done, we did pretty good taking home a 26 out of a possible 30, but not all was good as we lost some shipmates that crumbled under the pressure. Through the week we had some classes like Coast Guard History, signaling devices, risk management and how to talk on the radio.

Then comes Friday, to our surprise we got told where we will be starting our Coast Guard careers. We got our military orders! Little by little we are starting to feel like members of the mighty Coast Guard. For some it was news of a lifetime and for others not so much but in the end each and everyone one of us felt a sense of purpose, saw a glimpse of our futures. Some locations included Puerto Rico, Florida, Hawaii and the beautiful state of Alaska. The joy of orders came to an abrupt halt once we returned to our berthing to a surprise Section Commander rack inspection. All you see is articles of clothing flying across the room, people crying for having dirty laundry stuffed in their clean rack. I am pretty sure Hurricane Katrina had a better outcome then this inspection. As the week comes to an end with a 5 minute phone call home to inform our loved ones where we will be headed after graduation we are slowly but surely turning into a team that is starting to realize that the Coast Guard is a team the work together to accomplish whatever the mission is. We might be the brightest company on the regiment but I guarantee you that we are the strongest!


Week 06

Week 06 has been unlike any other… filled with so many emotions and so many items checked off our to do list. Monday started with a peaceful morning and ended with the craziest receiving of our colors. We finally replaced the white flag with a Z on it that we have been marching around with and now proudly march with the actual ZULU pennant. The sweat session was extreme, but ended with the most motivational and inspiring words from our lead company commander Petty Officer Wilderman. That sweaty and tearful evening was our company commander’s way of telling us that we had become a team.

Tuesday consisted mostly of classes and the company getting to travel to the gun range and test our accuracy. We managed to achieve the marksmanship pennant to add to our guidon. We didn’t beat Yankee company, but we did get to watch our lead CC absolutely destroy his paper target like a pro. We now have the midterm, blood drive, and marksman pennants to add some flair to Layla.

Wednesday and Thursday were a little more laid back consisting of calling our new units to find out as much information about them as possible.

Friday we woke up to a beautiful day and got to assist the senior company, by standing watch all over the regiment while their family members wandered the regiment and attended the graduation ceremony. Seeing all the smiling faces and the pride that filled the graduates was heartwarming.

Saturday we got to tour the local small boat station and cutters. We learned a lot about what life will be like when we make it to our units. After the tours and barrage of questions were complete, we were given on base liberty. It was a nice refresher and was definitely needed.

Signing Off

Zulu Company


Week 07

Week 07

Week 07 is complete for Zulu-196! Man was this week killer. We had so many items on the agenda we thought our heads were going to explode. Classes, on top of classes, on top of no sleep due to standing watch. We worked so hard these past 07 weeks and now we are finally going into the sought after week 08!

Monday, we spent hours training for our CPR certification. Tuesday, was the hands on part for CPR training and the scenarios we performed were considered our final test. Those that didn’t miss any of the training are now CPR certified. We also had our Seamanship final examine Tuesday and another class on line handling. Wednesday was the line handling practical which was fun, but a very serious learning experience. Shipmate Fanczi won the seamanship award for achieving the highest score on the test and practical exams. Thursday we signed our orders making them official!

Friday was the craziest day of the week by far! We took our written final on all the classes we had attended throughout training and later in the day we were judged during our Close Order Drill and Manual of Arms tests. Everybody has now passed the written exam and we scored high enough to earn another pennant for Layla. YNC Snyder, our Section Commander, graded us on our performance for COD/MOA and to our surprise gave us 10 out of 10 on both portions! He presented us with his pennant to add to our guidon as well.

Saturday was our off base liberty, it was exactly what we needed to decompress from all the stress. The next thing we are looking forward to is graduation. We are all anxious to see those friends and family that can make it here and/or to get home to tell you all the stories that haven’t made it into our letters home. See you next week.

Signing off for the last time,


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.