Bravo 197 Recruit Journal Week 06

International Maritime Signal Flag Bravo

Bravo 197 Recruit Journal

Formed: Jan 08, 2019

Graduates: Mar 01, 2019


There aren’t many day sin boot camp that we can honestly say we look forward to. Today was one such day. Bravo finally recognized some of the fruits of our labor and got to experience on-base liberty! Today capped a transformative week 06 for Bravo that included some major milestones, including our first full week looking, feeling, and acting like the senior company on the regiment!


We have been given a lot more freedom this week (or as OS1 Repasi calls it, “adult time”). The CCs are starting to give us tasks and time objectives, and expecting us to accomplish them without supervision. We have also had the importance of setting the example for the regiment impressed upon us. Without a doubt, Bravo has started to walk a little taller, sound off a little louder, and hold ourselves to a higher standard. We are starting to grow into and enjoy (is that a word we can us in boot camp?) this leadership role.


In addition to acting as a role model to the regiment, Bravo has also had the chance this week to mentor the recruits from Echo-197, the junior company on the regiment. It has been rewarding to take what we have learned and try to set our future shipmates up for success. We are all in this together, after all.


Other major developments in Bravo’s growth spurt to being the senior company have been making first contact with our new units, and bashing each other senseless in the brightly-colored, heavily-padded, trash talk laiden showdown known as pugil sticks. On Friday morning Bravo was instructed on the finer points of pugil stick fighting by ET1 Fortenberry and YN1 Morris (Author’s takeaway: It’s mostly about the war cry). We were soon executing well-choreographed uppercuts and blocks, and felt ready to back up the squad bay smack talk. Once we stepped into the ring, naturally we forgot everything, and devolved into an all-out brawl.


Following these epic bouts, however, was something even more memorable. With all 5 CCs in attendance, Bravo knew we were in for something significant. We then formed up and began to march…and kept marching. We marched off the regiment, out the gates, and through Cape May neighborhoods. A mile or so later, we halted in front of the fisherman’s monument, and eerie and moving stone statue that depicts a woman and two children staring at the sea. With our faces to the monument and our backs to the ocean, ET1 Fortenberry gave us a moving speech about the seriousness of the job we are entering, and the need to continually strive for more. He then explained that the company had reached a certain level, and that this was generally signified by a company being given their colors. Motivated by the speech and the backdrop of the stone family awaiting a return that will never come, ET1 Fortenberry faced us toward the ocean, where the company guide-on was planted on the beach, a Bravo flag flapping in the breeze. “Go and take what’s yours, Bravo!”, and with that, we sprinted toward the water.


Marching back to the regiment, we got to sing cadence for the first time. It’s safe to say that Bravo’s chests were puffed out for the entire mile.


Finally, week 06 closed with us marching down to the pier and going on operational tours of the boat station and cutters located in Cape May. With the vast majority of our company going to cutters, it was good to get a sense of how we will be living in just a few short weeks. This was followed by on-base liberty, which was spent largely on our phones laughing and crying with loved ones. It was refreshing, but Bravo is ready to refocus on our important work remaining here as we enter week 07. The transformation is not yet complete, and we have work to do.


“Eyes in the boat, Bravo-197.”


SR Bates & SR Bosque


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.