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Bootcamp: What do I do?
Last Post 30 Sep 2017 11:43 AM by Ryucrat. 11 Replies.
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RyucratUser is Offline
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Ryucrat

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28 Sep 2017 10:31 PM
    Greetings and salutations, 

    My name is Jonathan Carter and I'm a DEPer headed to basic October 17th. I am 18 going on 19 a few days before I ship out. I guess my issue is this:

    I have an older brother who did 4 years in the Coast Guard from 05-09 and in the conversations we've had about military experience, he said that my best bet to make it through basic would to be just another fly on the wall. Don't give myself attention, and do my absolute best to not have my CC's remember me. He said his best day of basic was during his eighth week graduation when the rest of his company and himself were lined up and the Lead CC walked past him, asked him of his name, and said he didn't remember his name. Fly on the wall right? Worked for him, right?! Why not for me? 

    On the other hand... When I went to my local M.E.P.S. in April for my A.S.V.A.B., I was perched in a hotel overnight by my recruiter and my roommate was a fellow Coastie shipping out the very next day. Months passed and I called him last week and it left me in a bit of a dilemma I guess you could say? Our previous conversations, including his 6 weeks liberty and right out of bootcamp, he told me how he was the squad leader, and how he'd picked up other jobs during bootcamp to ease the 'experience'. I suppose you could say he had more responsibility, being 30 years old, with a wife and child, going through basic.

    Sooo, my dilemma is should I be a fly on the wall and try not to stick out, or take extra jobs here and there and be recognized by my peers? I know it's ultimately my decision, but I feel based off who I am to try and aspire as someone who pushes their limits and sticks out. On the other hand, I'm also quiet at times and I don't want to cause my squad any pain on my behalf. I guess I want to do both, but I can't. So, if these were your shoes, what would YOU do? 

    Thanks and God bless,
    "The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow if I can.
    ml1230User is Offline
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    ml1230

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    28 Sep 2017 11:32 PM
    Personally, I went the route of fly on the wall; this was in another branch, though all initial training has the same blueprint in terms of breakdown/buildup. I've pushed far too much at the expense of others who stood out, but more than that, I hate the feeling of being responsible for the smoking of my peers.

    However, going off what you said, it sounds like you would do well to go the extra mile for your shipmates, and step up to leadership roles, as they will be very good developments for your character as a person and as a member of something greater. Try anything once.
    hooliganUser is Offline
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    29 Sep 2017 05:29 AM
    Shut up. Listen up. Do what you're told. Make it thru. You can do it. Thousands have.

    The only one who's going to remember what you did in boot camp is you. What you do after in your career matters. I don't care if people get upset over this, in fact, if they do, then you know what quality of person you're dealing with; the big challenge in boot camp is getting everyone to chow and classes and training on time. The big challenge once you're out in the real USCG world is often whether someone lives or dies. You don't have to be Einstein to understand the relative difference between the orders of magnitude in the outcomes.

    Look at the awards and decorations and rank people in the uscg wear on their uniforms for an idea of what I am referring to. Find me the medal that says 'i was a boot camp company officer.'
    mkellyUser is Offline
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    mkelly

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    29 Sep 2017 07:57 AM
    I would say go to boot camp with an open mind. The only plan you should have is to be willing to learn and be molded into what the Coast Guard needs you to be. Once you see expectations, then you can decide if you want to volunteer for 1 or 2 or 5 things or nothing at all. Boot camp is a very small part of your Coast Guard career.
    Hooligan, there is an Honor Graduate ribbon out of boot camp and some people are really proud of achieving that ribbon. Ryucrat, if that becomes your goal to earn that ribbon, then give it your all. To me, awards are only good for service wide points and really just dependent on luck, how good you are at writing or how good officers are at writing your awards. Every medal I have received as a rescue swimmer is for doing my job. Thats it. I think if any other swimmer happened to be on duty instead of me, they would have done the same thing. Sometimes awards are political. Don't worry about awards, don't worry about the end of boot camp when you haven't started it yet.
    That kind of got off topic Sorry. My advice is get to boot camp, don't worry about what is coming next, and do your best. If a CC asks who wants to volunteer to be the laundry person and you want to do it.....then volunteer. If you don't want to do that job, then keep on keeping on.
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    29 Sep 2017 09:12 AM
    I think the best bet is a mix between the 2. Don't volunteer for EVERYTHING, you'll set yourself up for certain failure. Don't necessarily hang so far back no one knows you. Find a nice mix between the 2 and do what gets you through boot camp and keeps you satisfied that you lived up to your personal standard. If your standard and mine is different, that's ok. That's what will get us through life together. If we all strive to be everything, someone is disappointed. If we all strive to hide, nothing will get done and someone is disappointed. You do what you do and don't worry about what others say is best. Best for them might not be best for you.

    Good luck!!
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    jdhuskerUser is Offline
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    29 Sep 2017 09:20 AM
    My CC's didn't know my name through most of boot camp either. I never got singled out to do any physical punishment, and only filled out a handful of performance trackers. I did not volunteer for any of the different recruit positions, and im glad I didnt. The yeoman had a much harder time than any one else in the company. Squad leaders also got individually punished if people in their squad bay messed up. The laundry crew and the art crew towards the end of boot camp didn't seem to get much attention from the CC's but it is still extra responsibility and possible less sleep or free time for you. Boot camp is only as difficult as you make it for yourself. While I never volunteered for anything until the very end I wasn't hiding or anything. I was able to escape the attention of my CC's basically by doing what I was supposed to do. Do everything you are told, exactly how you are told and do it fast. If you are doing everything correctly you will avoid a lot of attention because they need to focus on those who are struggling. Nothing you do in boot camp is especially difficult, its really all just a matter of will power. I found boot camp to be more of 8 weeks of doing annoying things rather than being difficult. Know your required knowledge, all it is is basic military and Coast Guard knowledge. Be able to pass the fitness test. And finally just do what you are told no matter how much it sucks and you will get through.
    m1ashooterUser is Offline
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    29 Sep 2017 11:03 AM
    My son volunteered for the drill team. He already had experience with that. He said it was a brake from sweating with his company.
    RyucratUser is Offline
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    Ryucrat

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    29 Sep 2017 11:35 AM
    Thank you for the input guys!

    @ml1230 I've thought about the fly on the wall a lot, but I really didn't want to get the blunt of the blow of the bootcamp experience. I feel I could save myself some squats, push-ups, and even throw-ups maybe if I went for, say band practice, or toilet scrubbing.

    @hooligan I know I can make it through, I'm just overthinking the experience. Enough of me, what DID you do, and if you could go back, what WOULD you do?

    @mkelly That's what I plan to do, go through basic with an open mind. It's just since I'm not there yet, the possibilities seem endless! I'm at the point where I can see myself getting on the bus to go to the airport. I'm anxious to get it over with, but not to excited to have it start... You know? I'll be glad when it officially does, that means I can get on, get through, and finally get out. It's just a good story, I guess to pass on to the kids or someone looking to join up.

    @OldGuard2 I understand that. When I was talking with my friend and he'd just gotten out of bootcamp, I was thinking 'Fly on the wall with a set of skills' so maybe I'll go for something like that. I don't want to be like a LCC's pet, but I do want a 'get out of jail' card up my sleeve if given the opportunity.

    @jdhusker Free time, maybe towards the end of bootcamp, but if I were to pick up extra jobs, I'd be responsible for them so there would be no time to complain about the 'free time' I lost. The way I see it, if I have a job where I have to get up early to avoid the fire, fire, fire, that's great.

    @m1ashooter That's what I'm trying to do! Get out of the extra beatings lol!
    "The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow if I can.
    Old Guard2User is Offline
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    29 Sep 2017 02:40 PM
    Oh, in boot camp there is NEVER a get out of jail card. Even if you do it right, you've done it wrong somehow.
    Sector NY, Staten Island
    RyucratUser is Offline
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    Ryucrat

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    29 Sep 2017 03:56 PM
    Oh, in boot camp there is NEVER a get out of jail card.


    Well of course not. I mean like for example, CC comes in and messes up the racks because we failed rack inspection, and I had to go get the mail for that week. Skip out on a beating
    "The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow if I can.
    m1ashooterUser is Offline
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    29 Sep 2017 11:52 PM
    If you can play an instrument that is used in the band you might do that. The band is great and is a very important part of graduation.
    RyucratUser is Offline
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    Ryucrat

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    30 Sep 2017 11:43 AM
    I can, to some degree, play a snare and bass drum. I should probably practice some more. I compose electronic music on my computer mostly as of the past 8 years. Not sure if that will help much..
    "The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow if I can.
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