Charlie 198 Recruit Journal Week 06

International Maritime Signal Flag Charlie

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

It’s high noon on the regiment, Charlie 198 stands on the parade field ready to draw. A lone tumbleweed rolls by as a paper silhouette of a man appears to face Charlie 198. Quick as Billy the kid Charlie 198 draws and fires, and with that shot takes down the paper man and earns themselves the marksmanship pennant. Honestly we are not the greatest shots as a company maybe because we are trying to draw it like Billy the kid and are nowhere near that level of skill but we were so well behaved in class and at the range that our instructor presented our pennant in person.

Another goal we can be proud of for the week is passing our fitness assessment! We have been doing a lot of workouts over the last six weeks focused on cardio, muscle strength and muscle endurance. Evidently this hard work has paid off and led to all of us being successful in our assessment. We did have one shipmate who was just shy of the mark her first try. But after she read took the assessment she was able to stand proud amongst the ranks of Charlie Company knowing she had earned her place. She and the rest of the company also earned desserts in the galley. Cookies, cakes and donuts are now up for grabs and no longer an item we are teased by 03 times a day. Although after taking our personal fitness plan class shipmates may want to reconsider the option of a dessert. The Coast Guard not only expects us to learn, retain and utilize an abundant amount of information in performing our job but also demands that we maintain a healthy and active lifestyle so whenever we are called upon we are prepared to answer the call.

With that being said we were still allowed to stuff our faces over the Thanksgiving holiday and are extremely grateful for the families that took us in. I can’t quite word just how enjoyable it was to feel welcomed and appreciated by total strangers. By the end of the day you were laughing with them and hoping to see them on graduation day. The gratitude and appreciation showed by the families for us simply signing up for the service inspired many of us to earn their gratitude by serving to the best of our ability. One of the main things the recruits were grateful for was being able to call our families and loved ones. After weeks of contact being 95% snail mail being able to talk on the phone was a real game changer. Hearing the voice of a loved one can go a long way, boosting morale and reminding us why we are here. Another great aspect of having our phone was being able to call our new duty stations and sort out our move. With each day we are getting one step closer to moving on from Cape May and today we achieved a very big milestone, which in my opinion made today the best one all week.

With all of our stuff jammed into our sea bags we marched off into the distance with them strapped to our backs chanting “Earned not given”. For all we knew we were marching off to some desolate area to pass them around until our arms fell off. Instead we were halted and told to reflect on how far we have come and look at all we have accomplished. Our Lead Company Commander Petty Officer Vercellone had us remind ourselves why we joined the service and to think of all the people who look up to us. To think of the pride they feel knowing all the hard work we put in and continue to put in to earn our place in United States Coast Guard. Her words inspired intense motivation and determination to course through our veins and as we marched on chanting “Honor, Respect and Devotion the Duty” we saw our colors (Charlie Flag). The immense satisfaction in knowing we had earn them as a strong and proud company was a privilege. To celebrate we marched back to the house not by cadence but by song and it felt absolutely incredible. We may still have a ways to go and can always improve but no one can take away that feeling or memory because that belongs to Charlie 198.

– SR Smith C-198 Historian

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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