Mike 197 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

Mike 197 Recruit Journal

Formed: May 21, 2019

Graduates: July 12, 2019


MIKE-197 WEEK 05


Week 05, “Search and Rescue” week gave us the experience of being called into action on a moment’s notice, making way to our first destination after being woken up within fifteen minutes. The overall panic-driven instinct caused us to focus on what truly needs to be accomplished. The objective of the week was simple – to be always ready for that emergent distress call. We commenced the week with M-197 heads held high receiving insight from Chief Heinze about the probability of an inspection being performed on the company. Ignorance is a curse for some, however, so those with experience have offered their insight. 86 recruits waited to be judged and inspected in the military version of a pageant. For 35 minutes the company shook in their safety-toe boots as the Assistant Battalion Commander, Chief Piersol, and our Section Commander, Chief Knapp, came around and critiqued our uniforms with white gloves and fine-toothed combs. The voice of Petty Officer Duran echoed throughout the squads of recruits, “Close ranks, March,” offered us relief because it meant we were finished with our nail-biting walk-through. As we ascended to our squadbays to hydrate, recruits all around were discussing and complimenting one another with celebration in their hearts. The joy of success ran amuck and M-197 celebrated all as one. Many parts of this week felt as if it were out of a movie. We donned the survival suits that boat crews all over the Coast Guard wear and floated casually on the water as a unit of 86 like cereal in a milk bowl. What came after this modernized training evolution was tradition: The obstacle course. This mature military playground is known as the Confidence Course (made of metal bars, wooden walls, hurdles and the climbing-rope) with good reason as it pulled every one of us out of our comfort zones. As we turn onto week 06, we have completed another week of recruit training; A minor accomplishment in comparison to our future potential. With M-197 receiving their orders to first duty stations and having the opportunity to call home felt beautiful yet strange for us as we have built the muscle memory to say, Aye aye,” and yell constantly. We have all come to the same realization at this point in training and that is the fact that we are never alone. Our future brothers and sisters in uniform root and chant for us as, one-by-one, we let go of the individuality we reported to basic training with. However in the words of Petty Officer Duran, “Training is not over.”


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.