Delta 199 Recruit Journal Week 04

International Maritime Signal Flag Delta

Formed: August 11, 2020
Graduates:  October 02, 2020

For Delta-199, search and rescue week turned out to be a whole lot more than an early chow time. Mentally, physically and emotionally our Company Commanders turned everything up to the max. Records of counseling fell from the sky like snow and some of the shipmates falling behind were crushed in the avalanche. Getting sent back to Echo or even Foxtrot Company. The whole week was a crazy tangled mash up of major wins and major losses.

Don’t get me wrong, Delta-199 still has a ways to go, but the sluggish group of civilians that stepped off the bus and onto Training Center Cape May 06 weeks ago is no longer. By the end of this week we had gone from seeing our Company Commanders as soulless monsters whose sole purpose was to make our lives miserable to understanding that they are pushing us to the max to transform us into better, stronger, efficient people.

When I first met Petty Officer Hernandez in forming, I thought he was the most terrifying person in the world. His face was almost completely obscured by a pitch black cowboy-style face mask, the brim of his hat covered his eyes so that all you could see was shadow, and his fearsome gravelly voice sounded like an evil Batman. To be honest, he is still completely terrifying, but after hearing him talk about the realities of being in the Coast Guard and all the genuine advice and life lessons he has given us, we have a much clearer idea of why he pushes us as hard as he does. One recruit who had Petty Officer in ROM went from being absolutely horrified by his loud, in-your face abrasive teaching style to admiring him so much she wanted to personally design his ditty bag. We see Chief Zwearken’s relentless attention to detail and ability to catch us slipping in any microscopic way as a challenge to be better and always do the right thing. Petty Officer Rapattoni constantly calling out sandbaggers pushes us to have proper form and get stronger. We are starting to see all the methods behind what used to just seem like madness.

This week, we did not just sweat for our mistakes but sweated to earn our colors. We got another Mentor visit from Master Chief Hollandsworth, who gave us the 03 best things any recruit could ever ask for; Candy, information about our future units, and a break from our Company Commanders. As a whole, Delta-199 carries itself with a new sense of pride as we march behind our new fancy guidon. We get to flaunt it around the regiment and sing cadences. Delta-199 has to hold themselves to the standard of being a senior, almost “the senior” company. At this point in training, we know what we have to do, now is the time to do it. We overcame the confidence course, now it’s time to crush week 05.   

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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