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Just graduated DEPOT - Useful info
Last Post 09 Jul 2019 06:16 PM by FLtoNC1979. 18 Replies.
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ricodeeliteUser is Offline
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ricodeelite

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11 Aug 2018 09:17 PM
    I just graduated DEPOT this past Thursday, and I know how hard it was getting information on the course prior to attending, so I figure I'd give some updated info for those going tomorrow or next month.

    -Graduation is at 5 PM on the third Thursday after you get there, but you will send a packet with all the info your family needs on the first night you get there.
    -Bring white tube socks, underwear, deodorant, body soap, toothpaste and toothbrush.
    -Bring 1, at most 2 white v-necks.
    -Bring a phone charger
    -Buy a $9 digital watch at walmart and wear it 24/7
    -Bring your birth certificate and/or social security card as well as your driver's license.  You'll need these for your ID card.
    -STUDY your helmsman, know the rates (alphabetically and out of order), ranks, chain of command, shoulder boards, sleeve insignia, collar devices, coast guard history.
    -Get to the USO as early as you can and get to know your classmates.  You are going to have to work together in everything you do at DEPOT, so if you can figure out strengths and weaknesses early on, you'll be better off.  Not to mention, it'll make communicating with each other easier since you won't be complete strangers.
    -The prior service folks will be used to the boot camp lifestyle, but I can tell you from my own personal experience, that this is not like Army boot camp was in the least.  This is much more of a mental program.
    -Be LOUD.  Your throat will hurt, a lot.  When it does, yell more.  It should feel like your entire core is contracted whenever you talk.
    -Get ready to shave 2-3 times/day
    -Learn to take very quick showers.  Lather up while walking into the shower, and be rinsing off once you hit the water.  No reason why you can't get clean in under 2 minutes.
    -Make sure you can pass your PT standards with flying colors before going.  You will get IT'd before you take the PT test (which is on the first Weds), and the swim test (the day after the PT test).
    -Always remember, regardless of your preconceptions about this program or the Coast Guard, this is a boot camp and you have to stay focused on completing the program at all times.  Never get complacent, never drop your guard.
    -When you pull into Cape May, a CC will board the bus and give you a list of instructions you need to follow.  It will be brief, and your mind will be elsewhere, but pay attention and make sure as soon as you get off that bus you're following those instructions.
    -Dress comfortably your first night, as you'll be sleeping in those clothes and wearing them the next day as well.
    -Listen to the Galley (dining facility) procedure instructions.  This is where you will get destroyed if you are not on your A game at all times.
    -There are a number of roles/jobs that need to be filled in the class (squad leader, yeoman, maybe assistant yeoman, supply petty officer, laundry crew, mail person), and nobody will have more than one job.  Yeoman is by far the most difficult job there, with squad leader being a distant second.
    -There are awards for certain things at DEPOT.  PT award (not based on your PT test though), Academic award and a Leadership award (voted on by the class).  These awards are nice, but once you're out of DEPOT I don't think anybody will ever be able to know you've won them anyway, so focus on just making it through the course.
    -Bring an extra large bag (or two) to bring stuff home in or make sure you buy a second sea bag at the Lucky bag/CGX.  You'll be issued a sea bag, but you will need more than one to bring everything you get issued.
    -If you have a time objective, make sure you meet it.  If you finish early, make sure you help out others in your company to get themselves together.  If one person fails, you all fail.
    -Make sure you address people correctly and get the language down ASAP.
    -The CCs will be 'mean' and will yell at you a lot.  It's not personal.  This is designed to put you in a stressful environment to make sure you can handle the job ahead of you.  However, if they see you are not taking it serious, you can kiss the Coast Guard goodbye.

    We started with 17, and it sounds like that's the number they may be aiming for moving forward in the DEPOT classes.  Only 15 graduated.  1 quit because it was too physical and the other was booted out after about 10 days because they weren't taking it serious and were completely unprepared for the environment.

    It's only 18 nights, but every day will feel like it's a week long.  Make the most of it, stay focused and just keep reminding yourself that you volunteered for this and it's what you want.  If you lose that mindset, you will not make it through.

    Prior to DEPOT I knew almost nothing about the Coast Guard, but after the past 3 weeks I've now learned that it is by far the greatest branch of the military for a multitude of reasons.

    Good luck.

    Any questions about DEPOT, please feel free to ask me, but keep in mind I'm not going to get into crazy detail.
    TombRaider330User is Offline
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    12 Aug 2018 03:53 PM
    This pretty much summed it all up and I concur every detail on here! Great job shipmate! It’s absolutely tough but as long as you put forward above 100% and know the required knowledge and pass PT standard before getting on that bus you will be better ahead as there will be more materials to learn. I had to do the remedial swim but I was glad I did because the Coast Guard swim instructor taught me new simple methods. You don’t have to be a great swimmer just have to be comfortable. In my case I had to get over the mental barrier since I have a history of almost drowning as a child twice but thankfully I got over that weakness and passed the swimming portion in one week! After a while jumping off that platform multiple times was like at water park. Again tough environment but enjoy the process, nothing personal, as it is all to mold recruits to meet Coast Guard high standards and prepare us for what is ahead. Semper Paratus.
    m1ashooterUser is Offline
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    12 Aug 2018 07:30 PM
    Congratulations and thank you.
    BuckyCopUser is Offline
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    23 Aug 2018 06:28 AM
    Just to really highlight a couple of points you made (great DEPOT post btw).

    Cannot stress enough how prepared you need to be for the PT test. You will get beat before the test so you need to be able to do the push ups and sit ups and run while you are sleep deprived, sore and tired.  You better be able to exceed before you ship to Cape May.  This is my #1 tip for anyone going to DEPOT, we lost 1/3 of our class to PT related failings.

    Also your point about bringing an extra large bag is correct, I had to buy an extra duffel at the CGX before I left because I had so much issued gear.  I wish I would have brought an extra bag to bring the rest of my gear home.

    And yes, DEPOT is boot camp. It is a short version of it for recruits who are in a more mature stage of life, but it is tough, physically demanding and not something to brush off.  The Coast Guard does not need you if you are not 100% committed.  If you get complacent you will be sent home and the fleet will be better without you.

    Thanks for the good post.  I had a great time in DEPOT and love being in the Coast Guard, but many people do not know what they are getting into.
    fsav247User is Offline
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    24 Aug 2018 10:19 AM
    ricodeelite, thank you for the great information! Where there any civilians in your DEPOT class or was everyone there prior service? I am a civilian hopefully going to DEPOT in January 2019. I am studying my ranks, general orders and all the other required knowledge already but am nervous I will not be on par with all the prior service members there who are used to boot camp. How did the civilians in your class do compared to the prior service members? Could you tell a difference between those that where prior service and those that weren't?

    Thank you!
    ricodeeliteUser is Offline
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    29 Aug 2018 06:20 AM
    fsav247, there weren't many prior service in my class at all.  I thought this program was mostly going to be prior service folks, but of the 17 in our class, only about 7 or 8 were prior. We had a LOT of civilians with no military/police/fire background, which really took me by surprise.  When we all met at the USO and got acquainted, I was actually kind of dreading going through the program with so many non-priors, but it worked out very well, and we all still keep in touch on a very regular basis.  I will say that there were 4 of us that were prior service Army and I think we had a harder time than everybody else with the ranks than everybody else (including the civilians) because the CG ranks/titles and how to address them go against everything you're taught in the Army.

    When you study the rates, make sure you know them alphabetically and how many start with each letter.  I made up an acronym to help me, MAIDE / 43322.

    M (4 rates)
    -MST
    -MK
    -ME
    -MU

    A (3 rates)
    -AST
    -AMT
    -AET

    I (3 rates)
    -IV
    -IS
    -IT

    D (2 rates)
    -DV
    -DC

    E (2 rates)
    -ET
    -EM

    Everything else only has 1 rate and there are 22 total.  Also, FS (food services) was recently changed to CS (Culinary Specialist), but this isn't reflected anywhere.  We had a CSC as a CC, so this was particularly important for us to know.

    As for the ranks, sleeve/collar insignia and shoulder boards, there's a certain way you need to say them too, so when you study, get it into your head that same way.  I knew my ranks and all the insignia before DEPOT, but couldn't describe them the right way.  For example, you may be asked "what is the sleeve insignia for an echo-7?".  The only correct response is "Petty officer/Chief (their name), seaman recruit (your name), the sleeve insignia for an echo-7 is zero three gold chevrons below zero one gold rocker".  Omit the eagle/crow, rate designation and everything else.

    Similarly for officer sleeve insignia/shoulder boards.  You'll be asked "what is the sleeve insignia for an oscar-4?".  The only correct response is "Petty officer/Chief (their name), seaman recruit (your name), the sleeve insignia of an oscar-4 is zero one half inch gold band below zero one quarter inch gold band below zero one half in gold band".  Oscar-4 is probably the hardest one to describe, but I wanted to give you an idea of how specific you need to be.

    Don't worry about being non-prior service honestly.  You could tell them apart from the prior service folks, but it didn't matter because you were all treated the same and everybody got held accountable for the actions of the company.  Individuality is not something that exists in basic training.  All that matters is that you know this is something you want.  In all honesty, I almost quit the second day, because I had so much personal stuff on my mind outside of DEPOT, but I reminded myself of how much work I put in to get there and the fact that I could never look at myself in the mirror again if I didn't make it and I never lost focus again during the class.  If you always keep that in mind and focus on the task at hand at all times during DEPOT, you'll be fine.  Get to know your classmates, communicate well with them at all times and help them out if they need it.  You'll have the benefit of being among adults, so you won't have to deal with the 18-year old bickering about stupidity.

    Good luck, and feel free to shoot me a message if you have any other questions.
    otterboxUser is Offline
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    30 Aug 2018 06:10 PM
    This is an amazing write-up ricodeelite, I wish I had all this info prior to shipping out for DEPOT!
    Your rates acronym was pretty much spot-on what we did as well, good thinking there.
    I'll second that about the Oscars. Everyone always had a hard time memorizing the O-2 through O-4 shoulder boards vs sleeve insignias, so if anyone else is reading this, make SURE you get those down backwards and forwards before you ship. We had a guy memorizing his 11 General Orders at the USO..... don't be that guy. Yes, he made it, but boy did he make his life unnecessarily difficult.

    I want to chime in with setting up a sleep schedule similar to DEPOT if you can prior to shipping. Reveille is at 0530. Lights out 2130. Make sure your body clock is on point as best you can before going there. Your first few days will be a LOT easier if you can.

    But honestly, ricodeelite nicely done!
    fsav247User is Offline
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    31 Aug 2018 08:22 AM
    Thank you for your helpful response! Any tips or tricks for memorizing the required knowledge would be helpful and greatly appreciated!
    ricodeeliteUser is Offline
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    ricodeelite

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    31 Aug 2018 12:44 PM
    So, for the required info, there is a lot to remember, and be able to recite at a moments notice at the top of your lungs, but I have always had a HORRIBLE memory and I didn't have a Helmsman until one of my shipmates gave me one at the USO.  This was a really bad way to start off DEPOT, but I just studied like hell because I never wanted to be the reason my shipmates would be getting punished.

    I wrote out my chain of command, the rates, the sleeve/shoulders/collars, over and over and over again like Jack Nicholson in the Shining.  The history was the toughest part because the dates were so similar, but I just came up with ways to remember each of them.  I also found that quizzing my shipmates (even on topics I didn't quite have committed to memory yet) helped me to remember them.  If I heard anybody get asked a question, I would answer it in my head.  I made acronyms to remember things, like the MAIDE one above, and BaLLeRS (B.L.L.R.S.) for the 5 former agencies that make up the CG.  Firearms safety rules acronym is T.A.K.K., but just think of these as being in order from the time you see the firearm until the time you shoot it.

    To make things more complicated, as you progress through training, not only will you be expected to know each of the categories, but you will be expected to know them as a combination of categories.  For example, you'll be asked "What is the sleeve insignia of the Battalion Commander?" and the correct response would be "Petty Officer (their name), Seaman Recruit (your name), the sleeve insignia of the Battalion Officer, Master Chief (their name), is zero three gold chevrons below zero one gold rocker below zero two white stars".  You don't just answer their question, you have to insert the name of the actual individual they are asking you about as well.

    The best way to study for it, is whatever works for you.  The best way to prepare for this environment is to practice the way you'll have to do it there (stand at attention, look straight ahead, use all the appropriate terminology).  Before DEPOT, have friends, family or coworkers quiz you at random and you answer them immediately.  You'll feel dumb doing it, but you'll be much more well-prepared.
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    28 Dec 2018 10:53 AM
    Thanks so much for this post.  I go to DEPOT in March and am already nervous about it, but this info will help me focus my studies and preparation.  Moving forward I will practice my pushups and run AFTER a workout so that I am prepared to succeed while tired.  I'm pretty close to having my 11 orders down, but will be starting memorizing my rates and ranks next.

    Question for you.  I hover right on the edge of my required weight for my height.  Is this an issue at DEPOT, or are you weighed again when you get there?

    Thanks again!

    Kirk 
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    28 Dec 2018 06:33 PM
    I will be with you in March Kirk. Looking forward to it! I put a March Depot ship date on the boot camp ship date section on the forum if you want to introduce yourself ghere.
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    28 Dec 2018 09:27 PM
    If weight is an issue, you probably shouldn't ship.  I'm not sure if it is a requirement, but it's recommended you are 5 under your max weight before shipping.  One of the recruiters here may be able to shed some light.
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
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    31 Dec 2018 07:38 AM
    When I went through a DEPOT in 2013 if you didn’t make weight I think you just had to be down by graduation. And 3 weeks is t a very long time to lose weight. I’ve heard that now you just get sent home. Best to focus on weight loss for the next couple months and go in 5lbs under the weight limit for one inch shorter than you are. A couple guys got measured short and were 1-2 lbs over.
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    ricodeelite

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    31 Dec 2018 08:23 AM
    Posted By kjvaughn on 28 Dec 2018 11:53 AM
    Thanks so much for this post.  I go to DEPOT in March and am already nervous about it, but this info will help me focus my studies and preparation.  Moving forward I will practice my pushups and run AFTER a workout so that I am prepared to succeed while tired.  I'm pretty close to having my 11 orders down, but will be starting memorizing my rates and ranks next.

    Question for you.  I hover right on the edge of my required weight for my height.  Is this an issue at DEPOT, or are you weighed again when you get there?

    Thanks again!

    Kirk 

    I was told you had to make weight on day 1 or you were out, regardless of body fat.  I was 30 lbs "overweight", but below the body fat about 2 months prior to shipping, so I switched up my routine and did nothing but cardio, drink about 1 1/2 gallons of water a day and eat salads with lots of hot sauce to make weight.

    I didn't see anybody get booted for weight, but I wasn't going to take that chance.  You will lose weight while in DEPOT.  I lost another 10 lbs while there, but I also went in the middle of summer.  I would say absolutely make sure you lose the weight before shipping out and give yourself a buffer too.  Download the Quizlet App and look for coast guard rates and ranks, general orders, etc.  That will help.  Once you've got them memorized, just practice screaming at the top of your lungs whenever you talk and you're good to go.
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    30 Jun 2019 12:18 AM
    My husband let for Coast Guard Reserves boot camp, is this called DEPOT? I have not received any letter about his graduation or return ticket. I don't know if we understood how intense it would be. It's been a week now. What can I do for him from home? I won't be able to be at graduation in person. (on the west coast with a 1 yr old and 2 yr old) I can't figure out how to live stream the graduation or anything. I emailed his recruiter asking for a mailing address and got no response. I've found other resources online now and I hope my letters get to him. Any information would be very appreciated. Thank you.
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    30 Jun 2019 04:20 PM
    Posted By ScallanC on 30 Jun 2019 01:18 AM
    My husband let for Coast Guard Reserves boot camp, is this called DEPOT? I have not received any letter about his graduation or return ticket. I don't know if we understood how intense it would be. It's been a week now. What can I do for him from home? I won't be able to be at graduation in person. (on the west coast with a 1 yr old and 2 yr old) I can't figure out how to live stream the graduation or anything. I emailed his recruiter asking for a mailing address and got no response. I've found other resources online now and I hope my letters get to him. Any information would be very appreciated. Thank you.

    He would know if he was going to DEPOT vs the standard eight week boot camp and if he didn't pass that info on to you, then shame on him. Not all Reservists will go to DEPOT.  Those who enlist with over 60 college credits or on the basis of their civilian job skill set will attend DEPOT.  Did he leave on a Sunday or a Tuesday? DEPOT recruits ship on Sundays, while those going to the standard boot camp go on Tuesdays.  If he went to DEPOT, you should be hearing  something from him regarding his return sometime around the end of the second week.  If he went to regular boot camp, then that info should be available week six or seven (I think).
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."-Jonathan Swift
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    30 Jun 2019 04:40 PM
    Just CALL his Recruiter and ask if he’s a DEPOT or Boot Camp. Don’t waste time with emails. Do you have a copy of his orders? They will say where he is. It appears you and he did not communicate completely on this.
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    30 Jun 2019 06:25 PM
    Like chief said, if he left on a Sunday he is in DEPOT and he will have pretty regular communication with you and his unit in order to make travel arrangements home and reporting to the unit. If he left on a Tuesday he is in the 8 week boot camp and you will receive a postcard saying he arrived to boot camp any day now. His first phone call will be the Friday or Saturday of week 5 usually.
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    09 Jul 2019 06:16 PM
    Recent DEPOT graduate. June 2019.


    DEPOT is not a cake walk, IT IS STILL BOOTCAMP! 
    Do as told and be VERY loud.
    Be on time, not too early, not too late!
    Learn the recruit communication standards. 
    Help your shipmates out. 
    Learn from your shipmates mistakes. 
    We started with 14, and 14 graduated!
    Graduation is on Friday, not Thursday.



    bring with you:
    toiletries, I recommend body wash and shampoo all in one. tooth brush, tooth paste, dental floss, mouth wash, a good quality disposal blade razor (like Fusion) shaving cream or oil, and deodorant. 
    6 to 7 pairs of undergarments ( color was not an issue)
    2 white v-neck t-shirts. you can get by with one.
    1 extra pair of socks for the first day, so you have fresh socks.
    bring silver sharpie
    1 roll of 2" masking tape (lint will attach to everything)
    a lighter if allowed. (clothing maintenance and shoe polishing)  
    purchase an extra grey PT and blue ODU t-shirts and possibly a pack of white socks to split with your shipmates if you end up sweating a little extra from bad choices.
    bring a spare large duffel bag to carry extra luggage home.
    buy a garment bag at the exchange ($40) 
    Minimum of $50 cash, purchases at the exchange can be on debit card, and ATM located in lobby as well. $1.50 charge for withdraw.  (group photo, group t-shirt, pizza party, challenge coins require cash)
    The cheap watch was very helpful as recommended by my shipmate above.


    Memorize:
    Rates and Ranks. be able to identify ranks at a glance. View, identify, process, speak (loudly and swiftly)
    11 General orders
    Coast Guard Ethos 
    Chain of Command and Officer of the day, Regimental Duty Officer, and Regimental Sunset times. 

    PT:
    Running, push-ups, and sit-ups... Be able to do 10% to 20% or more of than the required. 
    Swimming- Make sure you can swim, and you will be fine.
    Treading water- Breath deep, slowly, and move slow. This was almost 


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