Mike 197 Recruit Journal Week 07

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike

International Maritime Signal Flag Mike


Mike 197 Recruit Journal

Formed: May 21, 2019

Graduates: July 12, 2019


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



M-197 Final Summary


What makes a Coast Guardsman? What makes someone from a singular and independent to plural and caring for another? 07 weeks of training, surrounded by our legacy in the Coast Guard. A few weeks ago, M-197 rolled past the gates of TRACEN Cape May, confining us into this set location with no chance of successful departure for a minimum of eight weeks. The company, not knowing anyone or anything, was vulnerable with blind innocence to the future. We all stared at one-another believing we were fast and loud; a true mirage. We were nothing, at least not yet. Over time the faces grew to be accompanied by names and familiarities, leading to friendships and stronger communication, but most importantly – unity. The core values we live by every day are to never be in the case of a one-man show, it is all about sacrifice and understanding two key concepts in recruit training: you are never alone and you can always improve. When we all got off the bus, we were M-197, nothing more and nothing less; a letter and a number. Now, we are known throughout the regiment as the, “Senior Company, M-197, the loudest and the fastest.” We carry our coast guard ball covers with the non-rate insignia in lieu of those giant RECRUIT letters on our old weathered ball covers. We don’t carry these because they were given to us like the old recruit covers, not at all. Our Lead Company Commander, Chief Heinze, and Assistant Company Commanders made sure of it. Anything that we get will be earned. Yes, we have cried, broke down mentally and physically and questioned our potential, yet look at what we are now; we carry our company colors and non-rate covers across the regiment with pride. Our true potential was unraveled through our lowest moments. Our Company Commanders saw something that none of us saw at first. But shipmates pulled through, from indoctrination weekend, through Search and Rescue week, and to now, we have all been locked on to the same end goal.

On 06JUL2019, M-197 was allowed to explore the civilian world of Cape May, the place that has been so close but so far for weeks. By far, the highlight of boot camp was watching 77 paranoid recruits attempt to act normal with loose fists and no close order drill movements. Many civilian men, women, and children approached us to thank us for our service which was a true eye-opening and heart-warming moment for us. The realization of the second to last line of our ethos, “I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman,” as families went out of their way to look in our direction and smile or wave. Petty Officer Gunn told us it was a privilege to wear these uniforms. Some of us did not fully understand up until that point. As we looked at one another in our crisp blue uniforms we thought back to the times of sweat-sessions, punishments and sniper positions. Yet there we all were in the same attire, smiling and enjoying each other’s presence. These joyful emotions weren’t a thing in week 01 or even in week 06. No. We needed to be sure we were completing the mission, which wasn’t just to simply graduate; it never was. It was to leave those front gates fully qualified to be a new tool to the fleet. It’s one thing to check the boxes and graduate, but our endgame is leaving here as assets. Many recruits watched the, “How to survive Basic Training,” video and laughed until it became our reality. But in addition to the wrath that every company has in common, we hold another key factor near and dear – Chief Heinze’s retirement. The man that changed the outlook of life for M-197 with Petty Officer Gunn and Petty Officer Duran sends us off with his final stamp of approval; we will only feel accomplished if he is satisfied. The man that has respect from literally everyone on the regiment has M-197 as his last company.

Chief Heinze told us on day one and it stuck thereafter: “Make no mistake about it, you will be the loudest and you will be the fastest,” and, “Make it hurt MIKE.” As we approach the straight-away to graduation, we step off, left foot first, with the intelligence and strength given to us by each other, Chief Heinze, Petty Officer Gunn, Petty Officer Duran, and our other TRACEN Staff that has helped us pave our own way into being proud Coast Guardsman.

“See something you want MIKE, go get it.”


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.