Whiskey 197 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Whiskey

Formed: August 20, 2019

Graduates: October 11, 2019

Our Monday was like most, disappointing. Whiskey- 197 had the Battalion Inspection. It did not go as planned, we failed. Most would think that after 05 weeks of Coast Guard training, recruits would be “squared away”. This was not the case, Whiskey was given 35 minutes of an intense training session lead by one of the Section Commanders. After this sweat session, some of the recruits began to realize that maybe they should have better prepared. Thursday, the company completed the swim circuit. Every recruit learns about hypothermia and also different types of survival floating techniques. Recruits put on what the Coast Guard calls “mustang suits”. Mustangs suits are basically like a full body zip up, that fills with water. The water then begins to get heated by your own body temperature, slowing down hypothermia. Flying into the weekend, Whiskey -197 completed the confidence course. The confidence course many of us refer to as “the big boy playground”. The course is very dangerous if not taken serious. Therefore, the company commanders demonstrated each part of the obstacle course. To ensure each recruit was properly taught how to complete the course safely. This again did not go well, most of the recruits tried to be “the biggest one in the room”. Trying to complete the course as fast as possible, not using proper techniques. This ended very badly, some of our shipmates almost got injured. ALL military bearing was lost during the confidence course. It almost felt as if we were all civilians again. One of our company commanders made us act as civilians for the rest of the night, due to our behavior. Sounds confusing right? It was, every military bearing that was taught to us was dropped. Just like a bad habit. No more standing at attention or screaming our faces off when told to respond. As the clock went by, the hours passed. The clock soon struck 2130 (9:30pm) and the lights turned off for the night. Sunday morning we were all still civilians. After taking morning muster to make sure that every recruit in Whiskey -197 was accounted for, our morning company commander came into the room. He told us to face the wall and close our eyes. He came into the room with a speaker and a recording on his phone. He then explained that the recording on his phone was a real life mayday call that had happened. The speaker then turned on and the recording played. There was a man asking for help, his vessel was going down. 50 seconds passed listening to the recording, the man’s voice then disappears. The man and 03 other civilians had lost their lives that day. The room was silent. My shipmates had tears rolling down their faces. Realizing we are the United States Coast Guard. Whiskey -197 we are no longer civilians. We are training to be Coast Guardsman. Whiskey -197 will continue to train and move forward, becoming “Semper Paratus”.

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.

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