Written by Chief Warrant Officer Donnie Brzuska.
Some may see Coast Guardsmen jumping out of helicopters, driving boats through breaking surf or firing dangerous weapons as intimidating, or even frightening, but to the more than 200 Coast Guard recruits who got a sneak peek of the Coast Guard’s Top 10 Videos of 2012, the thought of doing these things is motivating.
“The videos made me excited to get out there and start doing the missions,” said Seaman Recruit Leilani Kalulu, 19, of Oahu, Hawaii. “It was also a reminder that there’s a reason for everything we do here, so that we can do the same missions when we graduate.”
The recruits packed the Ida Lewis Auditorium at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May for the second annual Coast Guard Top 10 Video Premiere at the only enlisted Coast Guard basic training facility in the nation. The premiere was a welcome break for the recruits of companies Papa 187, Quebec 187, November 187, Oscar 187, Lima 187 and Mike 187.
The staff at Training Center Cape May used the premiere as an opportunity to show the recruits what they’ll be doing in just days after their graduation from boot camp. Most recruits will report to a cutter, small boat station or another operational unit to augment Coast Guard crews and start conducting frontline Coast Guard missions.
“We regularly receive reports from the field of our new Coast Guardsmen making a lifesaving grab, steering a cutter during a high-speed drug chase or performing lifesaving first aid,” said Cmdr. Owen Gibbons, the executive officer of Training Center Cape May. “Today’s recruits could actually be the stars of one of the Coast Guard’s Top 10 Videos in 2013.”
The top brass at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington also asked the recruits to vote on their favorite videos before the American public, so they could see which videos will standout out during the video contest. The videos will be released one-by-one on the service’s Facebook and YouTube pages beginning Saturday, and the public can vote on them by liking their favorite videos.
Facebook and YouTube are distant memories for the recruits at Cape May, so they cast their votes by placing a ticket in Coast Guard hats – or covers as they are known to recruits – which were placed in front of logos for each of the units featured in the videos. The Coast Guard cover carries a specific meaning here because recruits must earn the right and privilege to wear the cover or emblem through sweat, trial and sacrifice.
“It was really cool to get to vote because it was the first choice we’ve gotten to make since we got here,” said Seaman Recruit Victor Delamora, 19, of Florence, Ore., who reported for training Nov. 27. “‘Surf’s Up’ reminded me of my home back in Oregon and it was a good video, so it was an easy choice for me.”
After the voting was done, Gibbons announced the recruits’ selection. The HMS Bounty rescue video, which is scheduled for release Dec. 31, was third place. “I Train So Other’s May live,” which is scheduled for release Dec. 25, was second place. The winner was “Surf’s Up,” which is scheduled for release Dec. 27.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Jamie Vancore of Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., and the star of “I Train So Others May Live,” made a surprise appearance for the recruits, and told them to give 100 percent in their training here so they would be ready for when they made it to the fleet.
“That she would take time out of her busy day to speak with us, answer our questions and motivate us shows how much Coast Guardsmen care for each other,” said Delamora.