India 198 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag

Formed: January 07, 2020
Graduates: February 28, 2020

Good morning, Friends and Family of India – 198.

Week 05 is perhaps the busiest and most stressful week India has gone through yet. Every morning we have to be up, take muster, dress out, make our racks, males shave, females put up their hair, and we have to be on the galley ramp, all within 15 minutes. From forgetting the guidon the first day, to our ship mates leaving gear adrift in the head to try and get an early start and still wind up being late, it’s been a struggle.

What better way to begin the week then with a personnel inspection? By the battalion commander no less. We technically passed, but in our lead company commander’s eyes we were far from it. Petty Officer Stephens is not training us to meet the minimum standard. Keeping true to his word sweat seeped out of our bodies like water from a wet mop. The next day, we found ourselves back at the uniform distribution center. There we were fit and issued the items for our dress uniforms. Stepping off back to the house before noon chow, with our seabags full again. This time not for a remedial but a refreshing step towards graduation. Later during the week Petty Officer Stephens would spend several hours in the evening showing us how to wear and maintain this new uniform.

Thursday, right after lunch we went straight to the pool for our survival float class. Putting on the orange and black suits and assuming the different positions we would take in the event of abandoning ship. Following a swim workout and then showers we returned to the house for the defining moment for week 05. Receiving our orders. If we make it to graduation, India 198 will be stretched thin across the United States. From Maine to Florida, Alaska to Guam, there was a buzz of excitement for the coming weeks. Our travel entitlements class the following day only added to this. As it answered many questions regarding what may come next.

Saturday, we met with Rear Admiral Penoyer our company Mentor. Again, he and his other Force Readiness Command associates Master Chief Waters and Lieutenant Commander Pecora answered many of our questions. After our time in the Sexton Hall classroom was done, we were rushed outside like we were back when we first got off the bus. Outside stood all of our company commanders, the admiral, and many other men and women with their families who have been involved with training us since the beginning awaiting with our company colors. After a brief speech from our lead company commander we charged across the parade field to finally claim our colors. We begin chanting India, India, India followed by the Coast Guard ethos which echoed all the way across the regiment. This is something none of us will ever forget.

For the last five weeks we have been marching around this regiment and we’ve been carrying a guidon with a white flag with the capital letter I. Our colors, the India pennant which is a yellow flag with a solid black ball in the center, show the regiment that we are not only just a senior company, but we have finally earned the right to march around this regiment while singing cadence along with our company commanders. Some of these cadences are more of an adlib style where are you adjust the song to fit the situation, and other cadences are completely original, written by our very own company commanders.  

After stomping around the regiment singing for a while, we headed to the confidence course. We joined Rear Admiral Penoyer, Master Chief Waters, and Lieutenant Commander Pecora on the confidence course. We all got a lesson in leadership, and facing some fears we didn’t even know we had. Whatever obstacles that we faced, our mentors faced too. It was a motivational experience for all of us. Later on when the adrenaline had faded, we climbed into our racks eagerly awaiting the start of the next week, hopefully there are more days like Saturday of week five in week six.

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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