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    Coast Guard

    From Boy to Man(03:15)

    Seaman Recruit Cliff Boon reflects on how much he's accomplished during Coast Guard Basic Training. Basic Training is designed to show recruits what they are capable of, and it motivates them to take on new challenges.

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Seaman Recruit Cliff Boon: Seaman Recruit Boon. I'm headed into week eight, finally. It seemed like it'd never get here, but it's finally here. Now that I sit here and think about it, it's crazy to look back on it. I think you go from "This is never going to end," to "Hey, we're right here at the end, and this is it right now. This is our last week."

I'm looking forward to the Guardian Challenge tomorrow morning. That should be interesting. I don't know what to expect for that. That'll probably be the icing on the cake for me, other than graduation, finally part of the Coast Guard, officially. It's going to be a big day for me. The peak of boot camp is being able to graduate and actually being a part of the Coast Guard. It seemed like just two weeks ago, if that, we were getting off that bus. And yet, it's been two months, and since we've been learning so much, and doing so much these past eight weeks, it just flies by.

The confidence course was really fun. It was intimidating at first because I'm a short guy, and all I saw was the high wall. It was good. I think it helped everybody a lot, just to get a bunch of people's confidence up that wasn't up as much before. Climbing that rope, and ringing that bell, and yelling out who you are and just knowing that you made it through it, I think, helped a lot of people out just so they could get through this last week. How hard I pushed myself to get through this, that first couple of weeks. I didn't think, "What am I doing here? Why did I do this, especially when we pulled up on that bus that first night? Why am I here? What am I doing here? I'm not going to be able to do this."

Now I sit back and look back at it all and see how far I've come. My first interview, I was just a kid, and now and now I'm grown up. I'm my own man now, and just the responsibility that I might have is probably going to be more responsibility than I've ever held in my life. So, you've just got to set your mind to it, and tell yourself that you can do it. Just grit your teeth, and grind through it. That's all you can do. Even when you're feeling down or something, and you're feeling like you can't do it, you've got to overcome that and just say, "Hey, I can do this," and think of your family back home, and how many people you're making proud that you're going to be a part of the U.S. Coast Guard. That's probably what I'd say is, "Just set your mind to it, set goals for yourself and exceed those goals."