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    Coast Guard

    Arrival at Basic Training(03:26)

    Seaman Recruit Cliff Boon shares how he felt when his bus pulled into Coast Guard Basic Training at Cape May, N.J. As soon as the bus arrives, company commanders begin telling recruits what they must do to transform themselves into Coast Guard members.

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Seaman Recruit Cliff Boon: Seaman Recruit Boon. I'm an X-Ray 181, and we just finished our first week, our forming week.

Well, we left from Philly, and I was pretty tired because we had to wake up at 4:00 that morning, so I was trying to sleep on the way here. Then, all of a sudden, the next thing we know, we're pulling into the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May.

It's something you only experience if you come to the Military, somebody getting on the bus, coming and yelling straight in your ear, and you can't do nothing except look forward and "Sir, yes, sir," or "Sir, no, sir." That first night, marching in, trying to figure out how to march and everything, and then the petty officers screaming and everything at you, it was intense. It was probably one of the most intense moments through boot camp so far, just that first night, just trying to figure out where to go, what to do, and doing it on time.

Once we got through, once Friday hit, that's when it kicked up another notch. We got our company commanders, and they started giving us incentive training. Every time somebody messed up push-ups, or flutter kicks. I think everybody in the company, their whole body is sore by now. I know mine is, but we all keep pushing through it, trying to do our best.

When I first saw our company commanders, the first thing that struck me is, "Wow, they look young." They all look like they're really young. Petty Officer Leathers looks like he's barely out of boot camp. He looks young. I was like, I don't think they'd be able to be able to get as loud as they can, but they proved me wrong. They're straightforward. They'll help us out, but when we screw up, they sure let us know that we've screwed up. They're pretty thorough with everything. If they are questioned, they'll answer it for you. As long as somebody that asks the question, two minutes later, somebody asks the same question.

You listen and do exactly what they say, when they say it and try and be there early. If you're right on time, you're late. You've just got to set your mind to it. The first week is pretty much horrible. It sucks, so just mentally prepare yourself for all of that. Get in shape. If you're not in shape, you're going to get in shape really quick. I would suggest getting in shape as best you can. Start doing push-ups and crunches as much as you can, and flutter kicks because we've been doing a lot of those here lately, it seems like. 

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