Mike 197 Recruit Journal Week 06

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

Mike 197 Recruit Journal

Formed: May 21, 2019

Graduates: July 12, 2019


M-197 Week 06


Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame. M-197 chants it as we march with our heads hung. Recruits had failed another time-objective, “But what else is new,” as Petty Officer Gunn says. Left and right, true disappointment was on each recruits face; a week 06 company missing a time-objective is basically an overall failure for the company. As we marched the terrain began to change, cement became rubble, and rubble became fine white sand. “STOP,” Petty Officer Gunn commands of the company, “Files of two.” Two shipmates break formation at a time following a trail leading to the private Training Center beach. A breath-taking view of the midnight-blue Atlantic, soft sand, lifeguard posts, and then him – our Lead Company Commander, Chief Heinze, staring deeply into the horizon. About a few yards from him was the guidon with the company’s MIKE flag; our colors. We huddled up around him as he explained to us a very important aspect of the ocean, “The ocean takes no prisoners, it can swallow anything or anyone.” He tells us that he is done leading us and that it is up to us now. The job that he has done for 21 years is now being passed to us, M-197. The sobs of shipmates scattered throughout our huddle was a losing battle with our military bearing. “You see something you want,” Chief Heinze asked. A yell roared across the beach as the echo of our battle cry ravaged through the base. M-197 sprinted toward the flag as a unit. With each step, each jump and chant, each tear, each sob a memory ran through every recruit’s head of the journey that we had to go through to get to where we are now; holding our flag up high and singing out the Coast Guard Ethos. “Make it hurt MIKE!” M-197 chanted in respect to Chief Heinze. On the hill stood the iconic trio in their iconic pose, Chief Heinze with fingers interlocking, Petty Officer Duran with arms crossed, and Petty Officer Gunn one hand on hip, the other down by her side. The trio that has molded M-197 into what it is today. In retrospect of this week, from the marksmanship practice held at the private Department of Homeland Security indoor range to the battle of the Pugil Sticks, earning our colors trumped all. Enjoyment was felt throughout all, but pride shined bright in the light of MIKE. A true Coastguardsmen lives by 03 values, Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. Recruit training is not over, but another step towards graduation is achieved each week and day-by-day. We are the senior company on the regiment now and more responsibility comes with that privilege. It feels like just yesterday that a trash bag was wrapped around our Mike flag as it hung on the quarterdeck and now we carry it with pride as we sing cadences everywhere we march. 02 weeks away from the best day of our future lives. Let’s continue on and close the epic tale of MIKE strong.


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.