Coast Guard recruits from Training Center Cape May packed the Ida Lewis Auditorium to get a sneak peek at the Coast Guard’s Top 10 Videos of 2011 during an exclusive screening aboard the training center.
The 158 recruits from Zulu Company 185 and Alpha Company 186 are currently in the Coast Guard’s intensive eight-week basic training program learning everything from weapons familiarization to water survival. The recruits are pushed everyday to their mental and physical limits, so today’s screening was a welcome break.
“I thought the videos were awesome,” said Seaman Recruit Ahmet Ferizovic, who is in his seventh week of training with Zulu and has orders to Station Detroit. “It gives me a lot of motivation, and I’m pretty sure I’ll get to experience some of the same situations I’ve seen today.”
Several of the recruits from Zulu Company were actually being stationed at some of the units featured in the Coast Guard’s Top 10 Videos, and for many, it offered insight in to their next duty station.
“I’m going to the Cutter Spar from Kodiak, Alaska, and at first, I was a little apprehensive about going to a buoy tender,” said Seaman Recruit Patrick Joyce from Zulu. “However, you could see on the video that they were working very hard, and that they are an important part of America’s maritime safety and security.”
Once the recruits watched all the videos, they had the opportunity to vote on their favorites using ballots. The recruits placed their ballots in Coast Guard covers with the coveted Coast Guard emblem affixed on the front. Both companies are still vying for their opportunity to wear the Coast Guard’s emblem, but they won’t receive it until they successfully complete their culminating event in their eighth week of training. It was a fitting reminder to the recruits of what they are striving for here.
The company squad leaders and yeomen from Zulu and Alpha companies tallied the votes, and the winner was the rescue of a pilot by an aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point who had to ditch his Cessna airplane in the ocean 13 miles northeast of the Big Island, Hawaii. Cutter Heron from Sabine Pass, Texas, came in second for their video of a turtle release and Cutter Mohawk from Key West, Fla., came in third with the drug-sub bust in the Caribbean Sea.
“Most Coast Guard operations occur in brutal weather conditions, the black of night or thousands of miles away from U.S. shores, and they aren’t caught on camera,” said Capt. Bill Kelly, commanding officer Training Center Cape May. “We were glad we had the opportunity to show the recruits at least some of the challenges they’ll face when they leave here.”
The public is also encouraged to vote for their favorite videos by “Liking” the videos on both the Coast Guard’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Voting began Dec. 22 and will continue through Jan. 13, 2012.