Echo 198 Recruit Journal Week 07

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

International Maritime Signal Flag Echo

With the conclusion of Week 07, we find ourselves in a new year, a new phase of training, and hopefully, a new way of life for the recruits of Echo-198 as we enter a career of honor and discipline. As always, transitioning from writing “19” to writing “20” in dates makes filling out paperwork, logs, and entries interesting, but a new start is always exciting.

Sunday was a significant event in our story. With our company run canceled, recruits were ordered instead to pack our sea-bags with everything we owned. Assuming we did something wrong but unsure of what, we obeyed and were marched around the regiment until we lost track of time. We were incentively trained, sweating bullets and screaming our lungs out that afternoon-and it was worth it. Our company commanders presented us with our company colors, a proud Echo flag with the pennants we’ve earned. “If you want something, then take it,” CS1 Cichosz had told us, and we took our colors snapping the guidon in the process. But now with our company colors, we march proudly around the regiment, and get the new privilege of singing cadence! The main rule is to sing loudly. Luckily our company commanders sing well because most of the company is out of tune, but we sing with gusto anyway.

On Thursday, we were addressed by Master Chief Petty Officer Vanderhanden, and we had the opportunity to listen to his wisdom and advice. We had a chance to ask lots of questions. We are all appreciative of the time he took to talk with us. Friday was a big hurdle for Echo Company though, as we faced our academic final, followed by our Manual of Arms and Close Order Drill Tests. For the academic final, many of us were challenged by the closed book questions, but most of the company passed the test. Thankfully those who didn’t were able to retest on Saturday. For Manual of Arms, we scored 7/10, meaning we should’ve practiced more. For Close Order Drill, we scored 9/10.

One of the most impactful things that happened this week was debriefs with our company commanders. CS1 Cichosz and IT1 Neves did theirs together, while BM1 Lacy and CSC Frazier picked their own times. During these evolutions, we sat down and were allowed to ask questions and in a slightly more informal (albeit respectful) environment. We had a chance to get to know the individuals behind the campaign covers. Recruits were able to inquire about their rates and experiences, and we walked away with so much more respect for the people who poured themselves into training us.

Week 07 is the week where the recruits of Echo-198 get to focus less on surviving boot camp, and more on how the training has affected us as individuals. Our core values should align with the Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty of the Coast Guard and we are getting to discover what kind of non-rates we’ll be in the fleet. Graduation and the future, the whole New Year, are right in front of us and we are going to take it.
Echo-198, signing off

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.

Graduation Program: Posted Thursday afternoon
Go to: Under the “Graduation Date” Tab you will be able to find the Graduation Program .

To view the Graduation Live:
Time: 1100 AM The live stream of the graduations are viewed by going to the training center’s Facebook page at *It should be noted that the live streams are a courtesy and not a guarantee. There could be technical issues or resource availability issues that would interfere with the stream. The live streams are not intended to be high definition productions of the graduation ceremonies. If you are looking for higher quality video products from your loved one’s graduation, you should contact VTS at 609-365-8889.

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