Echo 197 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Echo


Echo 197 Recruit Journal

Formed: Feb 05, 2019

Graduates: Mar 29, 2019


Good morning Friends and Family of Echo-197.


“Did you want somewhere warm or somewhere cold?” “East coast or west coast?” “What was your top choice?” As our Lead Company Commander handed out our orders, you could tell it amused everyone when someone found out they were going to the opposite of what they asked for. Friday was the fateful day when all of Echo-197 found out where they would be reporting for their first unit. A personal and slightly sarcastic PowerPoint slide was created for each of us. One by one we stood up and anxiously received the one thing we had no control over. Some of us laughed and smiled, while others of us had the color drain from their face and possible shed a tear. The emotions I mentioned of course happened internally since we would have to sweat if we even slightly thought about smiling.


A select few saw our orders and wondered if it was a made up location. Have you ever heard of Wanchese, NC? Apparently google images hasn’t either. Happy or sad, most of Echo will be at this unit for about a year. I hope all of you have some storage space for the belongings of everyone that ended up on a cutter or an extra couch for those at a station.


Besides the big news, Echo had an action packed week. Week 05 is what is known as SAR (Search and Rescue) week. As a company we have 15 minutes to do muster, dress ourselves, shave or fix hair, brush teeth, and be on the galley ramp for chow at 0545. Muster is when we take roll call and you would be amazed at how many people their own name at this time of the morning.


This week we also received training on keeping warm and survival floating, all while wearing these giant orange suits made for extreme cold. We looked like a bunch of oversized tic tacs bobbing around in the pool. While I’ve talked mostly about the fun, the bar has been raised and the expectations are higher than ever. Two high stress rack and uniform inspections took place this week and resulted in the loss of a few more shipmates.


Some of you received the 05 minute phone call yesterday and trust me it was so good to hear your voices. Even better was to talk and have a conversation with someone who wasn’t screaming their face off. Keep writing, start making plans for graduation, and pray that we get doughnuts at breakfast starting next week.


–Reporting from Training Center Cape May, SR Atherholt–



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.