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Just graduated, ask me anything!
Last Post 14 Sep 2019 04:23 AM by jdhusker. 171 Replies.
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OttopilotUser is Offline
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25 Mar 2015 04:50 PM
Wow all these comments are bringing back a lot of memories. I was in X-126, thankfully from start to finish. There was a 50% reversion rate back then (1987). I had no idea what I was getting into, my recruiter called it "Basic Training" so I thought it was just to go over the basics. I had no idea I was going to boot camp. I didn't know anyone who was in or had been in the CG, so no one to ask. So different now with the web.

I had a package of Fig Newtons with me on the bus from the Philadelphia Airport to Cape May. They were like money on that bus, like a last meal for all of us. I think of that trip every time I have a Fig Newton.

When I got to boot camp I was told that it was ranked the toughest of all the services. I don't doubt it. I was scared to death. I had never even heard of a Petty Officer before getting to Cape May, and I didn't even know there was a difference between officer and enlisted. But, I worked really hard, and aced the test that covers the ranks/rates/military stuff. I became the Master at Arms (or was it Sergeant at Arms?) over all the female recruits. I avoided all the drama as much as possible and studied hard. I won the Marlinspike Seamanship Award, which went to the recruit with the highest score in the seamanship area. I remember getting the award at graduation from the CO. He shook my hand and said I was the first female recruit to win that award which shocked me. Truthfully I went after it because I thought it would be cool to have a souvenir to take home from boot camp. I still have the knife.

It was so cold there. Especially standing at attention waiting outside the chow hall while the snow blew through. I only ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, because I was afraid of the food servers. I only lost 4 lbs while in boot camp, but I had to buy new clothes when I left because the ones I arrived in were way too big then.

I didn't have much experience with guns before then. I was very nervous about that. We shot the M-16 and 45s. Right after that they switched to 9mms. IIRC I qualified expert and sharpshooter. The range coaches said the women tended to do better at the range than the guys because the women would listen to the coaches and the guys would assume they already knew how to shoot.

Boot camp changed me. Even though I was terrified of it when I arrived, I know that I grew up there. The Coast Guard has everything to do with who I am now and where I have gone in my life. 

I was a reserve for about half of my 7 years in, and it was great because I could do stints of TEMAC (temporary active duty) and various places and have so many new experiences. I learned to embrace challenges and opportunities. I would drill on Fridays and Saturdays so I would have a head start on the weekends at my units. I didn't wait for permission to qualify as JOD (junior officer of the day)  or Boarding Officer or Pollution Investigator at my MSO ( I was at Miami and San Diego), and it really helped me gain respect from the regulars when they saw I made the effort, especially when it would mean that they wouldn't have to be on duty on the weekends since I was qualified as JOD and could take the duty for them. Even though I was just an E-5, the officers on my weekend would have to report to me since I was more qualified than them. That is the greatest thing about the Coast Guard; if you put the effort in and do more than is expected from you, you will get respect and more responsibility. It is not as rank-based as the other branches.

BTW, I have a recurring dream where I'm back and boot camp and excited to be there. The thought of being able to have that challenge again is somewhat appealing to me, but then I remember what a metal trash can sounds like when it is thrown across the squad bay at 5 am.

So for those of you who are thinking about enlisting..... seize the opportunity with everything you have. It will change you and the rest of your life.
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25 Mar 2015 06:29 PM
Excellent share Ottopilot. My ex was India 121, graduated October 1985. It's funny that I wasn't the one there... But I can still remember the company name, the CC. Yep, changed even us civilians at home.
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31 Mar 2015 08:29 AM
Getting ready physically , my question is for the running , what is a good distance i should be doing to train for the pt ? i am currently doing 2 miles every day or every other day depending on my schedule .
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03 Apr 2015 06:35 PM
For running, 2 miles is a good bare minimum prep....but make sure your pace stays up because pace will matter for the PFT (i.e. your minimum passing time...plan to beat that by 2-3 minutes AT LEAST to consider yourself in satisfactory shape). It will also depend on the time of year you're going. If you go in the summer, expect to run a lot, and good distances. I knew I was going in the dead of winter, so I trained on stationary biking more (too cold to run outside most days), which turned out to be a correct strategy.
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08 Apr 2015 07:35 AM
what types of things are recruits getting reverted/dismissed in regard to honor violations? Ive read about stealing candy bars from desks and studying in the bathroom, but is this the kind of stuff it really is? Are recruits getting caught lying, not telling the entire story, cheating? I personally am glad to know that recruits are being held to a high standard and expected to behave honorably, but find it hard to believe how many seem to struggle.
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08 Apr 2015 09:26 AM
It just depends. Some people are dumb enough to lie directly to the CC's. Others just can't keep up with required knowledge and need more time. if you leave your rack unlocked and are not within arms reach expect to be reverted. It really depends but it is not always an outright honor thing. One guy in my company was reverted for having his blousing straps not hooked around his shoe shine kit, but laying on top of it. He hadn't done anything else wrong but if it is late enough in the weeks something like that is enough. It's simple, follow the rules. Still, if it happens just keep moving forward.
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08 Apr 2015 10:55 AM
What weeks, typically have the highest reversion rate? 1-8.
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08 Apr 2015 11:10 AM
Every week. That changes from company to company. At the beginning it takes more to get reverted since you don't know anything. At the end you are expected to set an example so it doesn't take much. Just always do everything to the best of your abilities. If you do that you should be fine. Sometimes that isn't enough but if you truly gave it 100% what else can you do?
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08 Apr 2015 11:41 AM
Thanks, my son in in A-191 (week 5), and so far so good.
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29 Apr 2015 08:26 PM
What eye color test do they give you when you first get to Cape May? Im all set to swear in and I would like to make sure they retest you at boot as my recruiter told me . Thank you!
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27 May 2015 06:11 AM
Hey, I leave June 2nd, and I don't have my physical copy of my helmsman, I've been using the online version, will I have an opportunity to receive one at basic? Also, I really suck at push-ups...I can barely do one....what do I do? I've been trying like hell to build up, but it's just not working out for me. Will I automatically be reverted?
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27 May 2015 10:20 AM
You leave for basic in 6 days and you can barely do one push-up? Thats not good... Unfortunately there is not much you can do. On October 1 of 2014 they changed the rules, you show up ready to pass the physical requirements or you get sent home. Your recruiter should have made this clear to you. I would call your recruiter and let them know the situation there is no point for you to ship out just to be sent home.

IF you get the chance to enlist again you need to start physically preparing MONTHS in advance. Work out every single day. During your workouts make sure you do running, sit-ups, flutter kicks, and pushups as well as other endurance training. When you’re not training do pushups every chance you get, no matter how busy your life is you can find time to drop down and push the deck. If you can only do 1 true pushup do as many as you can on your knees every single chance you get. Eventually you will work up to 10 true push-ups. That’s when I would switch from knees to regular.

Improving push-ups is a slow process that takes patience but it’s not the most difficult exercise to improve on. This is all from experience, when I first started the recruitment process I was overweight and could barely do 5 pushups, 3 months later and I could do 35 and my weight, run time and sit-ups improved greatly.
"You can't run from the wind. You trim your sails, face the music, and keep going." - Captain Sheldon, White Squall
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27 May 2015 08:47 PM
From my understanding, I thought I only had to do 6 push-ups or more by the first week. I believe that I can work up to those six by the 2nd. Don't get me wrong, I've been working my butt off trying to build. I'm solid in all other areas of physical fitness, but I'm really weak in the arms. As far as re-enlisting, I'm in the CSPI program which is a precommissioning officer program, so I don't know how that would work out as far as having to do basic training again if I'm sent home.
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28 May 2015 04:58 AM
I can answer the question about the Helmsman. You will be able to get one at boot camp, either on your first or second day (can't remember which). They ask if anyone needs one. You'll probably get yelled at for not having one (regardless of the circumstances), but you get yelled at for literally everything in those first few days, so don't worry about it.

Good luck with the push-ups.
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28 May 2015 06:01 AM
Mfrazie... Reverted??? You can and will be sent home. If you cannot pass the PFT you need to speak to your recruiter NOW. It will not be beneficial to show up unprepared. If you can barely do one more when you are rested, calm, no one yelling at you... You will not be able to do 2 under the extreme stress of boot camp. You are setting yourself up for failure.
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28 May 2015 12:25 PM
My son is leaving for Cape May on Sept 1st. Looking at Bootcamp.coastguard.dodlive.mil it reads bootcamp is a 3 month program? thought it was a 8 week program?
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28 May 2015 12:56 PM
It can be as long as that. Its 8 weeks if you dont get reverted or get injured. When I was there the CC's told us to think of it like a 12 week program because you only graduate in 8 weeks if you are on point. They made sure we knew that none of us were on point and made us think that none of us would graduate. In reality about 50% of the company got reverted. So on average the program is longer than 8 weeks for a large group of recruits.
"You can't run from the wind. You trim your sails, face the music, and keep going." - Captain Sheldon, White Squall
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28 May 2015 05:55 PM
Posted By James59 on 28 May 2015 01:25 PM
My son is leaving for Cape May on Sept 1st. Looking at Bootcamp.coastguard.dodlive.mil it reads bootcamp is a 3 month program? thought it was a 8 week program?

It's an 8 week curriculum.  That having been said, about 35% of recruits get reverted (the 35% figure was told to me by the commanding officer of Cape May, I assume it is accurate), and more will get rephased for any of various reasons.  But I would hazard to say that the majority of people make it through in 8 weeks.
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28 May 2015 06:20 PM
Thank you very much.
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31 May 2015 12:15 PM
I am studying the helmsman and getting physically prepared for bootcamp. I ship out July 21st. I have read a few things online, is it true that the CCs ask you a lot of required knowledge questions when you are in the galley? And is it just mainly there or do they drill you on that other times too? The knowledge is probably gonna be my bigger weakness so im studying every day for it until i leave.
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31 May 2015 06:51 PM
Just graduated, this place was a great resource so ask away!
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31 May 2015 10:41 PM
I'm about to graduate highschool and get shipped off for basic training what the basic day to day schedule for pt. How much do you run a day? How many pushups and situps ? Pull ups? Butterfly kicks?
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01 Jun 2015 05:10 AM
PT all depends on how your company is. If you have a smart company that everyone gets a long well and does the right thing you might not have to PT as much as other companies. On the other hand you might be the one called out in class to go outside the room for some one on one therapy. All depends on everyone working together.
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01 Jun 2015 06:07 AM
@coastiebrothers you can be asked your general knowledge questions at any time. Learn that stuff quickly and thoroughly.
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01 Jun 2015 12:59 PM
@bootstraps As TheLonelyOS said it varies company to company. I honestly don’t remember the first couple weeks, I went on a kind of auto pilot and there is a lot of it that is just blank. But I do remember days in which we did nothing but sweat from 0500 to 2200, literally every article of clothing was soaked to the bone in sweat due to all the PT and punishment. As long as you show up with the ability to exceed the minimum standards you should be good.
"You can't run from the wind. You trim your sails, face the music, and keep going." - Captain Sheldon, White Squall
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02 Jun 2015 07:27 AM
Posted By coastiebrothers on 31 May 2015 01:15 PM
I am studying the helmsman and getting physically prepared for bootcamp. I ship out July 21st. I have read a few things online, is it true that the CCs ask you a lot of required knowledge questions when you are in the galley? And is it just mainly there or do they drill you on that other times too? The knowledge is probably gonna be my bigger weakness so im studying every day for it until i leave.

They will almost always be grilling people on required knowledge in the galley, yes.  However, you are subject to being asked questions at any time.  It isn't that bad, and you will get better at retaining bits of information as you go.  Just stay on it.


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02 Jun 2015 07:32 AM
Posted By bootstraps on 31 May 2015 11:41 PM
I'm about to graduate highschool and get shipped off for basic training what the basic day to day schedule for pt. How much do you run a day? How many pushups and situps ? Pull ups? Butterfly kicks?

As others said, it varies.  In the beginning, you can expect to get ITed multiple times per day.  Figure each time that happens you'll be doing push-ups, squats, flutter kicks, and crunches, one set of about 20-50 reps each.  Other exercises will be added in later weeks, but by that time you'll be in good enough shape to handle it.  The really tiring part of boot camp isn't really the PT or IT, it's just being on your feet and on the move for 15+ hours per day.

Show up being able to comfortably exceed the requirements listed in the Helmsman and you'll be fine.  Just realize you will be pushed to exhaustion and during exercises you will be pushed until failure.  That's just how it is.  If you're in good shape when you get there, though, you'll recover quickly and it shouldn't be that hard.
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11 Jun 2015 07:49 PM
Hello! I ship out June 23rd, and I was wondering about the shampoo and bodywash in the little bottles you mentioned earlier. I'm a guy, and its says that it's permitted for women only in the Helmsman. Am I still able to bring it and use it, or no?
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12 Jun 2015 03:11 AM
Your haircut, as a make, in boot camp.... shampoo is not necessary. Bar soap to wash your head is enough or liquid soap. I don't see why a guy couldn't bring liquid soap but bar soap is probably easier.
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12 Jun 2015 02:37 PM
Posted By Jinxman23 on 11 Jun 2015 08:49 PM
Hello! I ship out June 23rd, and I was wondering about the shampoo and bodywash in the little bottles you mentioned earlier. I'm a guy, and its says that it's permitted for women only in the Helmsman. Am I still able to bring it and use it, or no?

You will be given a big bottle of shampoo and some bars of soap.  A lot of the time I used the shampoo as body wash as well.  At some point in your first weekend or first week you will be taken to the exchange to make any purchases you might need (purchases that aren't considered contraband).  It will probably depend on your company commanders as to what exactly they allow, but many people in my company bought body wash, different shaving cream, etc.
USCG STA New York, Staten Island
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