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Ask any boot camp questions:
Last Post 25 Sep 2014 03:21 PM by DANEYBB. 44 Replies.
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McDonaldI189User is Offline
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06 Mar 2014 04:47 PM
    My name is Seaman Apprentice McDonald. I just graduated on 28Feb14 with India-189 and had a bunch of ups and downs. Before boot camp I was wishing that I could ask someone questions prior to going off to boot camp. So I thought i'd do it for the recruits going in now. So if you have any questions, just post them below and i'll try and answer to the best of my ability. 

    -SA McDonald
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    06 Mar 2014 05:22 PM
    Congratulations on the graduation. Where are you headed? Best of luck at the first unit.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    BapptoUser is Offline
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    06 Mar 2014 05:37 PM
    Congratulations! And thank you for taking the time to help us (hopefully) future seaman recruits. I was wondering about two rumors that I have heard. Is it true that you have to yell at the top of your lungs anytime you speak in boot camp? Including the in the galley? Also, is it true that you should never go to the pasta line unless your ready to be berated by multiple Company Commanders about required knowledge?

    Thanks! I appreciate your insight.
    "You can't run from the wind. You trim your sails, face the music, and keep going." - Captain Sheldon, White Squall
    JDMDUser is Offline
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    06 Mar 2014 05:45 PM
    Yes, you will yell pretty much every thing you say pretty much everywhere you go... Off the top of my head, you don't yell after taps in the evening (2200), in medical, in the admin building and others.

    The "pasta" line has other stuff like soup and salad too, you don't always get yelled at while going there, but you definitely have a little higher probability.
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    06 Mar 2014 05:51 PM
    Posted By Old Guard2 on 06 Mar 2014 06:22 PM
    Congratulations on the graduation. Where are you headed? Best of luck at the first unit.

    Thanks Old Guard, I've been assigned in the CGC Forward out of Portsmouth, VA. I actually reported today. Super excited
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    06 Mar 2014 05:55 PM
    Posted By Bappto on 06 Mar 2014 06:37 PM
    Congratulations! And thank you for taking the time to help us (hopefully) future seaman recruits. I was wondering about two rumors that I have heard. Is it true that you have to yell at the top of your lungs anytime you speak in boot camp? Including the in the galley? Also, is it true that you should never go to the pasta line unless your ready to be berated by multiple Company Commanders about required knowledge?

    Thanks! I appreciate your insight.

    You will literally yell at all times in Recruit Training, except when: In Medical, Admin, or after TAPS(2200). I ate at the pasta bar probably 2-3 times a week and only got called out once. But I did see/hear other recruits get yelled at constantly. 

    My personal advice: Don't utilize the pasta bar unless you know all the required knowledge. Good luck in training
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    06 Mar 2014 06:21 PM
    I ate at the pasta/ potato bar quite a bit. Chop up a potato and mix it with chili and cheese and broccoli? Why not?! The CC's will see who is confident and who is not. If you're not confident it doesn't really matter if you are at the pasta bar or on the other side of the galley, they will call you out. One of our really confident guys full out wiped out in front of the CC table, didn't even drop his cups, and no one said a word to him. They know who to mess with. Just be confident, whether you are right or wrong, be confident.

    As stated above, if you know what is good for you, you will yell louder than you ever imagined possible with the exception of a couple places that you will find out about. Although, if you prefer some personal attention, go ahead and whisper.
    GearsUser is Offline
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    06 Mar 2014 06:27 PM
    CGC Forward out of Portsmouth, VA


    My first cutter. It's gonna be tough until you get fully qualified and messcooking sucks. After your first patrol you'll settle right in. Good luck!
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    06 Mar 2014 08:54 PM
    My son got the Seneca after boot camp, another 270. It is good duty. Like Gears said, some parts are going to suck. But take advantage of everything offered, you can make it a great experience.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    10 Mar 2014 05:17 AM
    Hello, and congrats SA McDonald! I was actually at your graduation. since I live in philly, my recruiter took me and another to Cape may to give us a chance to see what we have to look forward to. 
    I'm shipping out in April myself, so I'm getting pretty excited. My question is, in goin thhrough basic, do you get a good idea of the jobs? because I'm really unsure what rate I  want to pursue, I'm hoping getting a dose of the ins and outs at tracen will help me decide. 
    Also, did you know what station you wanted? did you get what you put on your dream sheet? 
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    10 Mar 2014 05:29 AM
    You won't really get a good understanding of a rating until you actually work with them in the fleet. Your CCs will give their opinion of a rating, but they are usually pretty biased!

    As for getting a unit that you have wanted after boot camp, don't count on it... You get what they want to give you. You are allowed to write in a district and unit type you would like, but not any specific unit.
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    10 Mar 2014 05:29 AM
    Don't worry so much right now about focusing on rates. There is so much to learn that's truly the least of it while in Cape May. You will get exposure to ratings when you get to your first unit. You don't have to make a decision the day you graduate Cape May so it's ok to still not really have any clue.

    Funny story - When my son was in boot camp, near the end, his CC asked the company "Who wants to be an MST?" My son really knew he didn't want that but his dad was an MST so he raised his hand, along with a few others, he wanted to see what this was all about. Chief said "Come with me." They walked into his office. There sat another recruit, sunglasses on, feet up on the desk, coffee mug in hand and didn't move. Chief said "This is an MST. If we are very quiet we might actually see it move. SHHHH" Then she shifted the coffee mug to the other hand. Everyone busted up laughing. That was the exposure to the MST rating.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    10 Mar 2014 05:38 PM
    Posted By jaytortor on 10 Mar 2014 06:17 AM
    Hello, and congrats SA McDonald! I was actually at your graduation. since I live in philly, my recruiter took me and another to Cape may to give us a chance to see what we have to look forward to. 
    I'm shipping out in April myself, so I'm getting pretty excited. My question is, in goin thhrough basic, do you get a good idea of the jobs? because I'm really unsure what rate I  want to pursue, I'm hoping getting a dose of the ins and outs at tracen will help me decide. 
    Also, did you know what station you wanted? did you get what you put on your dream sheet? 

    Prior to boot camp I knew I wanted to be a ME(Maritime Enforcement Specialist), then during boot camp we had a BM1(Boatswains Mate First Class) as our company commander and he explained the difference between a BM and ME. So during boot camp I switched to wanting to be a BM. Now that I'm at my first unit, I'm stuck in between both rates. But like Old Guard said, don't worry to much about that now, get through boot camp and then at your first unit you'll figure it all out. And once you're in the fleet, everyone is really cool and super nice. 

    Regarding units: You can choose either shore or sea unit. or location. But don't expect to get what you request. Either way, you'll enjoy it! Good luck in boot camp!
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    11 Mar 2014 02:57 PM
    Okay, thanks you guys. That's all really good advice, I appreciate it. Lol, MST, ME and BM are all on my list but I have my eye on eventually becoming a helo pilot or even going into the PA since my ASVAB lit scores were so high, and I was studying English/Creative Writing in college. It's actually a huge relief that I don't have to worry as much about what I want. I felt a kind of pressure to choose, or to know what I want because everyone keeps asking, including my recruiter and everyone I've met at MEPS and my family and friends. I feel like a lutz when I show how undecided I am. I'll try not to sweat that anymore, thanks to your advice. Now I can focus on sweating the whole basic training part.

    And Oldguard2, that's a hilarious story!

    And McDonald, are you shore or sea?

    Personally I don't mind where I go, as long as it's not super cold, I'm terrible in cold weather. I have a motto; some are born tall, some are born short, I was born for warm weather. Give me sunshine and a humid tropic heat any day.
    McDonaldI189User is Offline
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    12 Mar 2014 06:21 AM
    Posted By jaytortor on 11 Mar 2014 03:57 PM
    Okay, thanks you guys. That's all really good advice, I appreciate it. Lol, MST, ME and BM are all on my list but I have my eye on eventually becoming a helo pilot or even going into the PA since my ASVAB lit scores were so high, and I was studying English/Creative Writing in college. It's actually a huge relief that I don't have to worry as much about what I want. I felt a kind of pressure to choose, or to know what I want because everyone keeps asking, including my recruiter and everyone I've met at MEPS and my family and friends. I feel like a lutz when I show how undecided I am. I'll try not to sweat that anymore, thanks to your advice. Now I can focus on sweating the whole basic training part.

    And Oldguard2, that's a hilarious story!

    And McDonald, are you shore or sea?

    Personally I don't mind where I go, as long as it's not super cold, I'm terrible in cold weather. I have a motto; some are born tall, some are born short, I was born for warm weather. Give me sunshine and a humid tropic heat any day.

    Sea duty. I'm on a 270 and we go out for 2 months at a time normally.
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    12 Mar 2014 08:26 AM
    Congratulations, and thanks for taking the time to make this thread. I leave in a few months and I've got a few questions.

    What items are allowed and the majority of people bring? In the helmsman it has quite a bit of items, but I've heard from other people that some of those items are not allowed or will get confiscated. Is there anything you wish you had brought?

    How much time is spent in the pool?

    How much running is there? Is the majority of it short distance or long distance?

    Did you get your first or  second pick for your dream sheet?

    Have you seen the videos Cape May has put out about training with exercises and I believe stretches? Are those an accurate representation of the physical work that happens at training? (I'd assume so, but wouldn't hurt to ask)

    Thank you!
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    12 Mar 2014 04:06 PM
    Posted By Drbayer on 12 Mar 2014 09:26 AM
    Congratulations, and thanks for taking the time to make this thread. I leave in a few months and I've got a few questions.

    What items are allowed and the majority of people bring? In the helmsman it has quite a bit of items, but I've heard from other people that some of those items are not allowed or will get confiscated. Is there anything you wish you had brought?

    How much time is spent in the pool?

    How much running is there? Is the majority of it short distance or long distance?

    Did you get your first or  second pick for your dream sheet?

    Have you seen the videos Cape May has put out about training with exercises and I believe stretches? Are those an accurate representation of the physical work that happens at training? (I'd assume so, but wouldn't hurt to ask)

    Thank you!

    The helmsman tells you everything you can/cannot bring. Except for socks, you can either bring your own or you can buy them at boot camp. If I had to do it all over again, I'd bring my own socks(More comfort). 

    My company went to the pool maybe 8-9 times, I believe on our schedule we were suppose to go more, but other things came up.

    I went during the winter when it was freezing cold outside, so we ran outside maybe 5-6 times. And the furthest we ran was 2 miles(in less than 16:30 mins)

    I got the complete opposite on what I wrote on my dream sheet(same with half of my company). The other half got exactly what they had requested. So its always a toss up(Needs of the service will out weigh your needs, you'll hear that a lot) 

    The videos DO NOT do IT any justice. Start this routine now: Wake up around 0530 and do about 60-70 pushups, then do about 20 more, same with situps, squats, and flutter kicks. do this routine about 5-6 times a day and you'll be ready and prepared. 

    If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. I check almost daily. Good luck in boot camp

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    13 Mar 2014 05:29 PM
    Drbayer,


    We went to the pool quite a bit. Our first few times we just swam the width of the pool in groups and then progressed to the length of the pool. Depending on your speed some people were able to swim a mile, others less.


    I went in the summer so we ran quite a bit. It really just depends on what the CC's have in store. Some times we would just run less than 1/2 a mile and other times we would "get to" run around the perimeter of the whole base. Sundays you will go on runs through Cape May. The furthest we ran was a little over 3 miles and we did that a handful of times.


    The videos are alright as far as warm ups and stretches go but not remotely close for IT. IT will be fun and creative. Just make sure you work out a lot (read endurance workouts, not heavy lifting) before you go or you will most likely be very sore for a long time.
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    23 Mar 2014 08:35 PM
    The helmsman tells you everything you can/cannot bring. Except for socks, you can either bring your own or you can buy them at boot camp. If I had to do it all over again, I'd bring my own socks(More comfort). 


    What kind of socks are required ? just plain white crew socks ??
    i am guessing white boxer briefs too ?
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    23 Mar 2014 08:46 PM
    Yea I'd bring black boot crew socks and white crew socks. The ones they give out suck... And yes white boxer briefs will work.
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    24 Mar 2014 07:37 AM
    SA McDonald,

    First and foremost, Congratulations!
    I was hoping you could provide more info in re: the swim test.
    I've been training daily for 2 months... I was a complete non-swimmer and right now I'm working on perfecting stroke; in the pool daily.
    Can you tell me about remedial swim? The swim test in general? Do we pencil jump into the pull, swim to the closest edge and begin the 100m? How was the swimming as far as the recruits? Any details at all would be helpful. Is it a full 100m? I report to TRACEN Cape May 15 April.

    Thank you!
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    24 Mar 2014 11:37 AM
    Posted By desbmc on 24 Mar 2014 08:37 AM
    SA McDonald,

    First and foremost, Congratulations!
    I was hoping you could provide more info in re: the swim test.
    I've been training daily for 2 months... I was a complete non-swimmer and right now I'm working on perfecting stroke; in the pool daily.
    Can you tell me about remedial swim? The swim test in general? Do we pencil jump into the pull, swim to the closest edge and begin the 100m? How was the swimming as far as the recruits? Any details at all would be helpful. Is it a full 100m? I report to TRACEN Cape May 15 April.

    Thank you!

    The swim was nothing, probably the easiest and most relaxing thing about boot camp was the pool. You jump in from maybe a 5 ft platform and swim 100m in a square pattern. Don't sweat it, if you can swim, then you'll be fine. Don't worry about perfecting your stroke, you can use any stroke you want to. We had maybe 5 recruits that had to go to remedial swim. Take my advice, if you can swim, great! Move onto something that you struggle in most. Strive to be able to do 50 Pushups, situps, flutterkicks, and squats. No breaks. 

    If you have any more questions feel free to ask
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    24 Mar 2014 04:20 PM
    yes white boxer briefs will work.


    Do they have to be white or can they be black ?
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    24 Mar 2014 04:28 PM
    White.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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    24 Mar 2014 04:34 PM
    rodger that sir !
    thankyou oldguard2
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    24 Mar 2014 06:55 PM

    Swim is probably my weakest area. Well, and 50 push ups straight through! I'll post more questions as I think of them. Thanks for taking the time!
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    23 Apr 2014 01:38 PM
    You are at Base Portsmouth? I live near there. It's a really nice base. I've been on base for Sea Scout weekends. Do you have any advice on learning how to do pushups and build yourself up to be able to do 50? I can swim, do situps, run, and everything but pushups. For some reason I have trouble with them...
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    23 Apr 2014 01:49 PM
    Try the 100 pushup challenge.. http://hundredpushups.com/week1.html
    “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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    26 Apr 2014 07:59 PM
    I think one of the best ways to get better at doing push-ups is to do them. A lot of them. All the time.
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    27 Apr 2014 11:27 AM
    Haha. I've tried but I can't. I can't get myself lowered down. I have poor upper arm. My mom has started to help me by holding my middle while I do push ups. It helps keep me from collapsing. Hopefully, I'll be able to do them on my own soon.
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