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Just graduated, ask me anything!
Last Post 05 Mar 2019 10:15 AM by Strix. 166 Replies.
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UrsusAureusUser is Offline
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UrsusAureus

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07 Mar 2015 04:16 PM
    I just graduated yesterday from V-190- if you have any questions about recruit training, just ask me anything! I'll answer everything I feel is fair to be answered...being surprised on certain things is an important part of the training.

    My orders? USCGC Morgenthau home ported in Honolulu!
    stealthtt24User is Offline
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    07 Mar 2015 04:18 PM
    Congrats! I'm going in 30 days. What did you put down on your dream sheet? Hawaii, sounds awesome!
    UrsusAureusUser is Offline
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    07 Mar 2015 04:48 PM
    Hawaii was my #1 choice. A big cutter wasn't, but I indicated that area was more important than which job (sn or fn), as long as I can get involved in LE operations and get on a boarding team- so all in all I got what I asked for.

    The way it worked was: you have to indicate/request ONLY your top 4 districts (nothing more specific), whether you want to be a seaman or a fireman, and indicate whether the job or the area is more important. You have a free comments section to give them a better idea of what you want, but you CAN'T use proper nouns such as the names of cutters, units, states, cities, etc.

    Which always leads to funny/creative writeups that I've been told crack the detailers up. My shipmate that wanted Texas asked for "The largest state in district X that has a single star on its flag and borders our neighbor to the south"

    An important thing that our YN did beforehand was show us the most current "open billet count" for each district: it showed how many spots were available in each district broken down by afloat, ashore, and support. At the time district 14 showed zero ashore billets, so I knew not to expect to get my desired small boat station.
    stealthtt24User is Offline
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    07 Mar 2015 05:08 PM
    Wow thank you so much! I really need to contemplate job or location then. Anything you wish you would have worked on more before you left ie studying something or physically worked out more?
    tsmoore88User is Offline
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    tsmoore88

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    07 Mar 2015 09:49 PM
    I ship out in mid April- any tips for boot camp that will help me be more efficient?

    Few more questions if you've got the time:
    What were some reasons you saw recruits get reverted for?
    What was a typical morning like? PT and running?
    Sounds silly but should I pack a toiletries bag?
    God, Country, Family
    "Once more into the fray. Into the last good fight I'll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day."
    ebeeUser is Offline
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    08 Mar 2015 01:46 PM
    Welcome to dry dock, UA! Let me tell you how much fun it is......
    UrsusAureusUser is Offline
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    UrsusAureus

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    08 Mar 2015 06:50 PM
    stealth: Definitely memorize everything in your Helmsman and any materials that they give you at your recruiting station. Some material you don't get until you arrive (which must be memorized), so just worry about those items you actually have access to for now. Have it 1000% locked down in memory so you can focus on all the other stuff once you arrive. Especially Rates and Ranks. Your chain of command (Battalion Commander and Above) can easily be found in any pdf of a recent grad program, brought to you by Google.

    As for getting in shape, yes that's a definite given. Especially the exercises used on the PFT and definitely swimming. If you fail the swim test, you have to wake up at 0400 to go to remedial swim, which will really screw with your ability to do well in other areas. Practice shaving and showering quickly. Very very quickly. Like 30 second showers (combo shampoo/body wash helps with this), and 1 minute shaves (see how well you can handle no shaving cream or my trick, liquid hand soap). If you show up well-practiced in the basics of ironing and clothes folding, that will also be very helpful.

    tsmoore: See above for efficiency. Reversions for the ones I saw were almost all for a combination of many little things. They just weren't "getting it." They couldn't communicate like we were taught, they couldn't absorb any required knowledge, they couldn't keep their military bearing, they couldn't arrange their racks every day. Mornings vary depending on weather and the week of training you're in. For us the weather was bad so it was mostly indoor PT...bikes or weights mostly. In your toiletries bag make sure you bring at least 8 razor cartridges and lots of combo body wash/shampoo. Everything else needed will be provided.
    tsmoore88User is Offline
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    09 Mar 2015 01:13 PM
    UrsusAureus- Thanks a lot for the lengthy reply and all of the info! I didn't know we worked out with weights at boot, I know it sounds crazy but I am looking forward to it!

    From what I have read you process through the USO office in Philly- do you get a chance to go shopping before our am I gonna have to buy a bunch of tiny shampoo/body wash bottles?
    God, Country, Family
    "Once more into the fray. Into the last good fight I'll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day."
    UrsusAureusUser is Offline
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    09 Mar 2015 09:27 PM
    tsmoore- You can't check any luggage, so you have to bring whatever is allowable by carryon for TSA. I brought combo soap shampoo in a bunch of refillable little bottles from Target. Once you arrive in Philly you *could* shop inside the terminal, but you probably won't find what you need and you're supposed to go straight to the USO anyways because they are waiting for you so that they can fill the bus to Cape May.

    Keep in mind they will issue you plenty of bar soap and shampoo, I'm just saying what I think is a good idea to help with efficiency.
    chuklesUser is Offline
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    10 Mar 2015 03:17 AM
    We have pinned this post. Feel free to ask away and those newly graduated will chime in!
    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted Coastie, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.
    tsmoore88User is Offline
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    11 Mar 2015 08:14 AM
    UrsusAureus,

    What was the most fun you had at boot camp?

    Just wondering, I don't think I've ever seen anyone ask that so I figured I would!
    God, Country, Family
    "Once more into the fray. Into the last good fight I'll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day."
    evelin.1094User is Offline
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    11 Mar 2015 09:38 AM
    My boyfriend just left to the Coast Guard bootcamp yesterday. I have a couple questions.

    1. How often does he send letters, and when can I send my letter.
    2. On the booklet that he received it gave an example on how i should write the name and address, but what if i dont know what hall he is in what do i do?
    3. After his graduation does he get to come back with us? For how long?
    4. When he gets to choose the 3 places where he wants to be stationed, can he pick states close by?

    thanks for the answers in advance!

    AuxnoobUser is Offline
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    11 Mar 2015 10:04 AM
    Hi Eve, My son is there now. You can send a letter right away. We haven't used the hall name on any letters, and they got through. He might or might not get a chance to write. They have almost no free time until the second Sunday, and I have no idea what kind of letter writer your gut is. Ours is not much of a writer, but we've gotten 4 letters and a card. I suggest you join the Facebook page for his company. You just need to know the company name. The administrators are very knowledgeable and helpful. They get 5 days leave afterward, then travel time (usually). He'll be able to request district. But there are usually lots of states in a district. Google Coast Guard Districts and you'll see what I mean. And he can request a small boat station or a cutter, large or small. And there is a spot to add comments about preferences. That doesn't mean he'll get it. But our son's company just got their assignments, and most seemed to get something similar to what they wanted, or at least were pretty happy. Good luck!
    GearsUser is Offline
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    11 Mar 2015 10:55 AM
    When he gets to choose the 3 places where he wants to be stationed, can he pick states close by?


    You should start preparing yourself now for him to be stationed in a state far, far away. The CG will do its best to put give him an assignment he wants, but it's not always possible.
    “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
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    11 Mar 2015 01:39 PM
    Evelin -

    Your recruit can write on Sunday's. You can write every day if you like.
    When the Hall is posted, I'll let you know what it is. Right now, just address it as it is in the book, include Recruit Company Alfa-191.
    He does get to go home, if he so desires. He will get 5 days of leave.
    He chooses 3 districts. So if you live in Texas and he picks D8, he could get stationed in North Dakota (not likely but it is included in that District). Gears is probably accurate, get ready for long distance. But it isn't that bad. You adjust. My son and his then fiancé, now wife, managed. She was in Connecticut, he was in Washington state. They just did what they had to do. They did that for a year before the wedding. Longer if you count his A School in Petaluma, California before he was stationed in Washington.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    evelin.1094User is Offline
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    11 Mar 2015 02:42 PM
    Thank you so much for the answers!
    what does Recruit company alfa-191 mean?
    where are you able to find out where the hall is?
    Also, i was just surfing the web and seen they get something like Whiskey 190, Xray 180 what is that?
    MossyRhoadesUser is Offline
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    11 Mar 2015 04:48 PM
    evelin.1094,

    Alfa-191 is a company name, whether or not that is his company--I'm not sure. Whiskey-190, Xray 180, etc., are other company names. Companies use the phonetic alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, etc.), from A-Z and then a number. As far as I understand they go in order from A-Z with a number (ex. Alpha-189), once they get to Z (ex. Zulu-189) they go back to A with the next corresponding number (ex. Alpha-190). I hope this helps, and I hope I didn't confuse anything as I'm just DEP'd in and ship to Cape May April, 27th

    Good luck!
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    11 Mar 2015 06:29 PM
    You explained it perfectly. And yes, Alfa 191 is who shipped yesterday.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    UrsusAureusUser is Offline
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    UrsusAureus

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    12 Mar 2015 12:25 AM
    tsmoore:

    Deciding what was "fun" is hard to answer since so little was "fun." I think what comes to mind as "fun" was really what was "relaxing." The most fun I had in bootcamp, other than the stuff that happens at the end of training that you shouldn't be thinking about anyways (liberty, CC debriefs, pizza party), was volunteering for all the random work details.

    Call me crazy, sure. But when you're getting screamed at or ITed all day, going out with my shipmates to do nothing but shovel snow was a chance for some peace and quiet. And because of that I found it to be somewhat meditative and therapeutic. Some work details end up being pretty unusual and turn out to be fun/interesting. We got to spend an evening role playing scenarios to help train the students in Company Commander school, for example.

    Something else that was fun was survival float/mustang suit day. We were so sleep deprived, that putting on a big puffy suit and peacefully floating for 10 minutes on your back in the pool turned into an involuntary nap for pretty much the entire company.
    skip21146User is Offline
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    12 Mar 2015 01:02 PM
    UA,
    My son left a few days ago. Did you every think that you would not make it through? My son knew the General Orders and could identify most of the ranks and insignias. His PU/SU and mile were all good. AT least in the comfort of home. I am sure that all the required knowledge and physical aptitude is much harder while getting screamed at and little rest.
    What was the worst part of Basic for you?
    evelin.1094User is Offline
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    13 Mar 2015 09:49 AM
    can someone write how to exactly form the address and the name when sending a letter'
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    Old Guard2

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    13 Mar 2015 10:35 AM
    In the FAQ section and family section there is a thread about What company is my recruit in. I have to edit it when I get home to clean up the Alfa-191 post. But that will have the format of the address there.

    http://www.uscg.org/Forum/aft/12196.aspx
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    UrsusAureusUser is Offline
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    UrsusAureus

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    15 Mar 2015 06:20 AM
    skip: I personally didn't think I would not make it through, but from what I understand most people do have those types of doubts. One doubt I and everyone else had, which is what I would say was the worst part of basic, was doubting we would make it through IN EIGHT WEEKS.

    The worst part for me was the constant looming threat of getting reverted to an earlier company. There's so many things that you can do to get reverted, and as the weeks get later on the easier it is to get reverted. You see so many of your shipmates publicly reverted (in the Galley, in formation, in the squad bay, etc) "for effect" so that everyone else can see and hear.

    That is used as a huge psychological tool to weigh down on the recruits, and it's very intentional. They want you to get used to working under stress. But man, it sucks to worry about it for 8 weeks. For most, redo-ing 7 days isn't the worst thing ever, it's the worry about disappointing and inconveniencing your family, having them lose money and time having to re-book travel for your graduation, or in the worst case not be able to come to graduation anymore with your new grad date. So since you're the recruit's family member, I'd say to reassure them (by mail) that they should just focus on doing well, not worry about family plans regarding graduation, that the family will take care of all that, etc, to help put their mind at ease.
    KinchUser is Offline
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    15 Mar 2015 08:05 PM
    That's crazy. How many get reverted? Like what percentage? It's weird that it's late in the process that they revert people. You'd think they would revert the ones having problems earlier.
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    15 Mar 2015 08:08 PM
    Also, when is the first PT test? I am prepping my son who doesn't leave until September, but the sit ups are hard he barely makes it. Cupping your hands over your ears ends up making it pretty difficult. He touches his elbows to his knees and shoulder blades to the ground is that how they count it?
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    Auxnoob

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    16 Mar 2015 06:17 AM
    My son is in basic now. They started with 120, now have 59. Going on to week 7. Most were reverted, some discharged (not honorably). I do not know if the 59 includes those reverted from previous classes. We had our first phone call with on base liberty last Saturday. He said the pressure is getting worse, and they are reverting for the smallest things because they should know better now.

    It is tough.
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    16 Mar 2015 07:26 AM
    @Kinch - I've told this story before but you are new... When my ex was in boot, week 7, off base liberty. That was back in the day you got a full 24 hours. They warn you, don't come back hungover, drunk, sick, don't eat spicy food, don't drink... But there are always a few in every crowd. Well several of my husband's shipmates came back to base still drunk from the night before. They literally had 1 week left, graduating on Friday. I don't remember how many of them there were but they were bounced back all the way to week 2! They got to have that fun ALL OVER AGAIN, almost from day 1.

    There really is no percentage, no calculation. The CC's are just taught, you see something wrong, if the only way to fix it is bounce someone, they will. Recruiters and CC's look at these boots and say there is a chance I could be on a ship with them. I want to be able to trust them with my life. One of the CC's that was in Cape May when my son was there (he wasn't my son's CC) transferred to his ship. Colin asked him a lot of questions about being a Company Commander. Colin never had a desire to do that and talking to this particular GM cemented that for him. But he has a lot of respect for those guys and girls. They work harder than the recruits and have to know ALL the answers. People can get reverted for the smallest and largest of reasons.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    AuxnoobUser is Offline
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    16 Mar 2015 09:44 AM
    The Admins for his company facebook page said that there was an extreme case where a recruit was reverted on the morning of graduation. It must be noted it was for disobeying a direct order.
    KinchUser is Offline
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    16 Mar 2015 12:28 PM
    Thank you for the responses. We are prepping now hard for the PT and the required knowledge. The pt thing scares me and my kid is in excellent shape. He can do it all but sometimes depending how hard he worked out at school that day he barely passes the sit-ups. Also my kid is not a drinker nor is he disobedient. He is also great at memorization. What he is is someone who is very naive and does NOT pay attention to detail. I was in the army and know how much that is emphasized at basic. That too worries me. I guess being reverted isn't the end of the world if it happens. It sounds like it happens more often than I thought. In the army it was called being recycled and it wasn't the end of the world but it was close. And that was starting back at day one.

    Oldguard2 we toured the Midgett this weekend it was fascinating. Wish I could join. Incidentally the kid we visited is new and is doing fabulous. Just got out of basic late last fall/winter. Is in good shape and was a great high school athlete. He missed one of the events on the first Friday pt test by a couple of reps and had to do some remedial for maybe 2 weeks I think. Under the new standards he wouldn't even be in the Coast Guard now. That's the kind of crap that worries me.

    Thanks for the responses guys and gals.
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    17 Mar 2015 05:15 AM
    Just make sure he/she is fully prepared. Don't be so worried about reversion rates. As the poster, don't book airline tickets until week 5 or even 6. I'm a fan of southwest. They don't charge a change fee, only the difference in the price of the ticket if there is an increase.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
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