Charlie 198 Recruit Journal Week 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Charlie

Formed: October 22, 2019
Graduates: December 13, 2019

Week 04 had some highs and lows for C-198 and the whole company is feeling the intensity of the week. We started our week with a Close Order Drill practical, which we passed even if just barley. Despite passing, Chief Knapp got C-198 up against the ropes and dealt out a fury of blows, such as rephasals, RAMP Selections, and probation judgement, not all of C-198 was able to make it through, and we had to say goodbye to some shipmates. We wish them the best of luck with delta. Those that did the make it through got to get dressed up for graduation photos however, and I must say we are not a bad looking group all spruced up. Certainly beats the usual look of a wicked concoction of exhaustion, stress, and anxiety.

More spirits were lifted by our classes on firefighting equipment and fire chemistry as well as the very exciting firefighting practical, not only were the classes fun and engaging but we also got to hear some killer stories from the instructors. Although I believe the instructors want to tell us constructive and educational stories we simple could not help ourselves and had to ask, what were some of the craziest missions they had been a part of? Our satisfaction was met by stories of excitement, adventure, exploration, and of course some gruesome injuries. Apart from just hearing about cool experiences, we had a pretty cool experience of our own with the firefighting practical. After quickly throwing on heavy firefighting gear, we entered a room filled with smoke so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, as we entered we had to be squatting down as much as humanly possible, since to raise up even a couple feet could put your mask into temperatures that would cause it to melt. I don’t think that is the type of plastic surgery anyone wants. Working out way through the gas filled room we followed the fire hose to our “fire” that we needed to extinguish. We practiced the different strategies for fighting fires and then relinquished control of the hose to the recruit behind us. The hose we used in the practical was only set to 25 pounds per square inch compared 125 pounds per square inch for a hose on a cutter, so it is a good thing we have our own personal trainers encouraging us to get stronger with incentive training sessions.

The firefighting practical was not the only thing having C-198 thinking about life on an actual cutter, as this week we also got to fill out our dream sheets, which allow for us to provide our preferences for where we are stationed and what sort of work we would be doing, the buss of excitement was hard to contain where we all imagined where we may end up after we completed training. Some recruits have a guaranteed “A” while others have a guaranteed district. A select few await to hear about joining the honor guard, and a very fortunate, as well as deserving one, will be joining the crew of the Eagle. The jealousy is palpable. Never the less before any of that can happen we all first need to graduate from here. This week we had the opportunity to see the graduation experience up close as watch standers for the ceremony. Watching families and graduates walk the base with smiles and laughter certainly got our minds racing ahead to our graduation, and imagining just how great it must feel. We still have a long way to go, but with each day we creep closer. That being said we better keep improving if we want to make it in Charlie-198, since one of our recruit while watch standing and greeting failed to recognize one of our own assistant company commanders and addressed him as sir, let me just say, we see these company commanders all day everyday sometimes with them yelling inches from our face, and that has been the case for the past 04 weeks. Perhaps the recruit was simply too far gone in daydreaming of graduation, but I can guaranty you that embarrassing moment will stick with him for a while. I’ve mainly talked about the highs of the week since the lows are not as much fun, but the biggest low was losing some good shipmates due to physical fitness issues. They will be missed, and left some shoes to be filled, it is time for some member of C-198 to step up and take on the challenge of filling those roles.

Petty Officer Madrid told us this week this uniform we wear doesn’t mean anything until we take pride in wearing it, wearing it and show that it means something to us, which is something all of our company commanders would agree upon. In the coming weeks C-198 will have to go far beyond our confront zone and strive for what is expected of us, greatness. If we want it bad enough I am certain out company commanders will get us there.     
C-198 Historian
SR. Smith

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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