XRay 198 Recruit Journal Week 05

International Maritime Signal Flag Xray

Formed: June 23, 2020
Graduates:  August 14, 2020

Week 05 has come and gone, and it is time we start acting like Seamen, Seaman Apprentices, Firemen, and Fireman Apprentices. It is time we remember why we came here. It is time we start carrying ourselves with the pride that comes with being the most senior company on the regiment, because this is the week we earned that honor!

The week began with a mixture of excitement and nerves. The company split into two groups: half would be completing seamanship, while the other half began firearms training. After XRAY 198 had completed their seamanship final, we were presented with the seamanship pennant to put on our guidon. The seamanship pennant is awarded when a company as whole scores 92% or higher.

XRAY wasn’t done there, though. Throughout the week, we earned our First Aid and CPR certifications, and completed our physical fitness test, our Close Order Drill test, and Manual of Arms test. Physical fitness started off indoors as shipmates conducted their pushups and situps. When it was time for the run, we were instructed to run on the track. Once we started running, the first rain drops of Tropical Storm Isaias fell down on Cape May. The wind began to pick up, and by the time XRAY 198 had finished running, it was clear the storm had arrived. Despite the rain and the wind picking up, XRAY overcame and conquered the fitness test! A few days later, we received the highest scores on our Close Order Drill and Manual of Arms tests that our section commander had ever given out.

Although XRAY was on fire and we were crushing all of our tests, it was not all fun and games. XRAY had gotten complacent, and our section commander had conducted a squad bay inspection, which resulted in a couple squad bays failing. This failure set off a rather serious, intensive training evening with our lead company commander. Petty Officer McPeters taught us the importance of teamwork and self-discipline. Due to our lack of teamwork, and our complacency, our company colors were taped up and we were left marching with a taped up stick. 

Days had passed, and XRAY was ready for redemption. It was clear some shipmates were struggling with required knowledge, marching, and uniform and rack inspections. As a team and without guidance from our company commanders, XRAY worked around the clock to develop the struggling recruits into squared-away sailors. This did not go unnoticed as our lead company commander acknowledged the growth and rewarded XRAY 198 with removing the tape from the guidon, revealing our colors once again! Our lead company commander, Petty Officer McPeters, also surprised us with a “debriefing”. That was when we got to talk like humans, ask questions, relax, and express ourselves. While the opportunity to relax does not come around much for XRAY, it was well-welcomed!

          On Friday, the company encountered the surprise of a boot camp lifetime. We were told by our assistant company commander, Petty Officer Barsness, to pack our seabags and be on-line in our compressed squad bay with a full canteen. As we scrambled to complete the task, and also meet the time objective to mitigate any more disciplinary action, it was to the entire company’s surprise when we arrived and found both Petty Officer Barsness and Petty Officer Demond relaxing in physical fitness gear and smiling, awaiting to conduct a debrief. It was a great moment. Our seabags were used as backrests. The canteens, well, they were just used as canteens this time!

          In conclusion, this week was a very pivotal one for XRAY 198. As we are all stepping into the role of the senior company, we literally have raised the flag! With that, the bar is set high and our feet are on the gas as we race to graduation day!

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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