Romeo 198 Recruit Journal Week 03

International Maritime Signal Flag Romeo

Formed: May 05, 2020
Graduates: June 26, 2020

The recruits of Romeo 198 had a warped idea of what this week would be like. With the anticipation of getting orders creating a muted buzz through the squad bays, we let our guard down just enough to be shocked by how hard this week would be with Company Commanders like ours.

For instance, the meal period with Petty Officer Lake that brought out trackers for all of us. Posted front and center where no recruit could be missed, he stopped all of us in our tracks for required knowledge none of us had heard of. Much like the scary house you have to pass on your way home from school with the dog that’s too big behind a fence that’s too small, he waited to pounce. Knowing it was almost your time to pass, hoping he’d be too busy barking at the recruit in front of you to see you running past. But the dog lets no one pass that easily and we all left that period shocked and relieved that we made it home once again. Or as we work daily on our military bearing, standing silently, frozen in place waiting to be picked up by a Company Commander and suddenly chills run down your spine and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Probably just the Cape May wind, so we ignore it.

That is until you see Petty Officer Barsness silently pass you, slinking through the rows of recruits trying to see if someone is whispering or if they will look around. There’s no way to warn your shipmates in front of you so you put all your might into warning them silently that the beast is behind them. Please don’t move. But we are still learning so of course, someone makes a quiet comment about how we think we should march back home. With Petty Officer Barsness whispering that maybe we should say it louder, the people in the back freeze. Still unknown to the rest of the company our Company Commander continued on. These are our tests. Pain or Train Romeo.

Perhaps this week was also hard because of Petty Officer Patchell. As we spend our days in the heat tossing line and doing dressing in and out of our uniform drills, he dances to our misery. Dancing may not be the best descriptor but as we suffer with sweat dripping into our eyes, our blurred exhausted vision sees him dancing to our agony. Our lungs ache from yelling and chanting. None of us knew sweat could drip from our elbows while we stand at parade rest, or how exhausting our legs would feel with sweat pooling into our socks. But he still dances to the tune of our days, which is the only kind of songs we get to hear. No longer are the top 40 songs stuck in our head. Now all we hear in our minds is “late recruit sweat”.  A warped reality indeed for ROMEO 198, but this is now our routine and we will endure with strength.

All was not bad for us recruits because this week, we did in fact get our orders. Ringing the bell on the regiment brought chills for most. Some got exactly what they hoped for while others were very surprised. This is the life we chose and we are in for the ride regardless where it takes us. ” Earn your phone call home.” Quietly we were taunted by our Lead Company Commander Chief Frazier. As he always says “Everything is earned, Nothing is given” and man we were determined to earn it. Never has ROMEO 198 been so loud. Never had we felt more like a team, working together to get all of us what we wanted. Funny how the allure of home was stronger than the threat of punishments we’ve been having. Whatever it was, we finally felt what ROMEO 198 could be. A five minute phone call home brought some to tears, made us smile proudly and helped remind us that there is life outside boot camp. 100% of our calls were filled with pride on the other line. Now we know what’s next for us and in less than three weeks we will be real Coast Guard men and women. This life decision becomes more and more real as our days move on. Almost there and we will be moving all over the country, we sure are ready to get going!

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:

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