Ready for Action: Delta 184 recruits apply lessons learned

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This post is the third and last in a three-part series focused on the interaction of Recruit Company Delta 184 and their co-mentors Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara and Senior Chief Petty Officer Tracy Ripkey as the recruits prepare for their first assignments. It was written by CDR Glynn Smith and Ademide Adedokun.

VADM Brice-O'Hara and SR Trish Tompkins
Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara congratulates Seaman Recruit Trish Tompkins at the Delta 184 graduation ceremony. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Recruit Company Delta 184 learned the basics of being Coast Guard men and women over the past eight weeks at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, NJ, and graduated on Dec. 3. While the training staff transformed them from a group of individuals to a team of motivated Coast Guardsmen, their mentors provided them critical guidance and insights that will help them be successful as they start their first assignments.

Over the course of our last two posts, Delta 184 progressed through their training and learned life skills beyond the classroom to prepare them for service. Now at graduation, their co-mentors, Coast Guard Vice Commandant Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara and Senior Chief Petty Officer Tracey Ripkey, pass on their final insights.
“It is your duty to acquire and hone professional skills so that you can contribute to the Coast Guard’s worldwide reputation for excellence,” said Brice-O’Hara.

Through the mentors, the recruits were able to go beyond their Cape May education and seek the advice they needed to begin their careers. The mentors answered questions, set expectations and gave advice on career paths and advancement opportunities; habits for personal and professional success; and education and off duty activities.

YNCS Tracy Ripkey talks with D-184
Senior Chief Petty Officer Tracy Ripkey, co-mentor of Coast Guard Recruiting Training Company Delta 184, talks with members of the company on graduation day. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

“I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been mentored by Vice Adm. Brice-O’Hara and Senior Chief Petty Officer Ripkey – two of the most knowledgeable women in the Coast Guard,” said Recruit Sobeye Freemen. “Their mentoring guided me to success.”

The Training Center Cape May staff witnessed the progress of Delta 184 more than anyone else. They know how important the mentors are to the recruits.

“It was an honor to have highly ranked female figures in the Coast Guard to be mentors for Delta 184,” said MST1 Mark Fisher, Delta 184’s lead Company Commander. “They went way above and beyond what is expected of mentors and the company was always looking forward to seeing them. This was a memorable experience not only for the recruits but also for us Company Commanders.”

With family and friends on hand to recognize the achievement, Delta 184 graduated, and the new apprentices departed Cape May to begin their first assignments or A-schools.

“Build on the high standards instilled in boot camp and always keep learning and improving,” said Brice-O’Hara.

Delta 184 earned the highly coveted Battalion Commander’s Pennant. This distinction, awarded for overall superior performance, is achieved by only 10% of all graduating recruit companies.

Delta 184, welcome to the Coast Guard!

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