Echo 198 Recruit Journal Week 05

Formed: November 19, 2019 Graduates: January 10, 2020

For many of us here in Echo Company, it feels like we just got here, to Coast Guard boot camp. For others it seems like the outside world is only a distant memory. But somehow, regardless of the timeless regiment, Echo-198 has miraculously made it to the end of week 05: and what a week it was. First of all, this particular week of training is nicknamed “SAR (search and rescue) week”. This means that in simulation of an actual rescue response time frame, recruits have less than 10 minutes from the moment they wake up to sprint onto the quarterdeck, conduct muster, sprint back to the squad bays, dress, groom, stow their sleeping gear, and sprint outside to formation. This leads to all sorts of chaos.

One morning, most of the company misunderstood orders and went straight to the galley. Another morning, most of the company lined up with the wrong weather gear. But the week certainly had its perks as well. Seamanship class continued, as we learned the different roles of the boat crew, such as coxswain or engineer, and we learned how to pronounce the phonetic alphabet. On Thursday, we had our survival float. Geared up in mustang suits, full body coveralls fully insulated in foam, designed to keep personnel safe in the event of going overboard. It feels much like donning a layer of blubber, like a seal. On land the suit feels heavy, and it’s intimidating to consider stepping into the water with it. But you step to the edge, step off… and find yourself floating like a cork. Multiple recruits agreed that this was one of their favorite experiences so far.

Last week we filled out our dream sheets, preparing for our orders, requesting where we want to be stationed, and hoping our requests align with the needs of the Coast Guard. This week, the suspense finally gave way to excitement as Echo recruits finally received our orders. Each of us was authorized a 05 minute phone call to our families back home, to let them know where we were going. It’s a huge motivator, knowing that now we have a unit relying on us to complete our training. The week concluded with a confidence course, led by our 04 company commanders. Hurdles and obstacles challenged the courage of our recruits, and many found themselves doing things they never imagined themselves physically capable of doing.

We survived week 05 somehow, and we’re about to step into week 06. This upcoming week features Christmas, so our families will be hearing from us again soon. But this doesn’t mean we can relax by any means. We need to strive to be on our A-game until we graduate.

So until next time! Echo-198, signing out.

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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