X-Ray 197 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Xray

Formed: August 27, 2019

Graduates: October 18, 2019

This week XRAY-197 experienced search and rescue week. It started with a normal morning muster after reveille, then the recruits were given just 15 minutes to get changed out and get to the galley. This occurred every day this week. Every morning felt like a race against time. Monday was a big day for the company. Recruits general knowledge was tested as well as their ability to wear an inspection ready operational dress uniform. Recruits were inspected by their section commander, along with other section commanders on the regiment. This was a test on basically everything the recruits were taught up to this point in training. Classes this week were mostly search and rescue based. XRAY-197 attended Seamanship for instruction on boatcrew, signaling devices, watch quarter station bills and radio communications. Each class taught recruits the techniques and protocol for search and rescue cases. The Company also had a survival float class in the pool. This consisted of putting on a Mustang suit in 02 minutes, jumping in the pool and performing a survival position solo float for 5 minutes then doing it again as a group for 5 minutes. The purpose of the Mustang suit is to prevent hypothermia in freezing waters. This was a nice change for recruits. They also attended financial management, family benefits and travel entitlements class. On the physical side of this week, the company found themselves off base for a 3 mile run. This was the first time XRAY-197 was able to run to some type of cadence lead by our company commanders. The company run was 3 miles around Cape May. The Company also did the confidence course. This is a series of obstacles that challenge you physically and mentally. Every time and obstacle is finished recruits had to pick up wood chips and throw them down on the deck and yell XRAY. This was very encouraging because it was the first time the company was able to cheer each other on. Recruits received their orders to their first unit this week. It was very exciting to find out where everyone is going. The next day the company met with their mentor Master Chief Petty Officer Salls and his wife Petty Officer Salls. They seemed to know everything about our orders. They explained to us what we could expect at our first units which eased the company’s stress. You would think that at Coast Guard Boot Camp you would get close enough to the ocean to hear the waves crashing before week 5. Not for XRAY. Towards the end of the week we were told to pack our Sea Bags and get flashlights in hand. The company had no idea what was about to happen. The Company formed up outside and was lead on 3 mile walk with Sea Bags on each recruit’s back lead by Petty Officer Lake. During this walk, XRAY finally heard the waves crashing. When this happened, Petty Officer Lake made it very clear what it takes to be in the duty of saving lives through words that brought tears to the recruit’s eyes. Each recruit woke up the next morning more devoted to the Coast Guard and its mission. And that is, to save lives. That walk was most likely the highlight of the past weeks for the recruits. The lighthouse that gave them new light.

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.