It’s a #NewYearNewFilter for the Coast Guard as we’ve launched our official Instagram account. To give you a visual sense of life in America’s Coast Guard, we’ve asked Coast Guard members from around the fleet to be guest Instagrammers. Last week, Seaman Frank Iannazzo-Simmons shared his unique perspectives of life at Patrol Forces Southwest Asia. This week, we’re taking you to the place where it all begins for the Coast Guard’s enlisted workforce – Training Center Cape May. Read a brief introduction from this week’s Instagrammer, below, then follow us on Instagram!
My name is Chief Warrant Officer Donnie Brzuska, the public affairs officer at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J. I oversee all internal, external and legislative outreach efforts here at the Coast Guard’s only enlisted basic training facility. It is a dream come true to serve at Training Center Cape May where I started my career with Recruit Company Kilo 158 in October 2000. This is truly an inspiring place. Every week I get to see some of America’s best volunteers endure one of the most arduous basic military indoctrination programs of the U.S. armed forces.
I’m never surprised by the quality and dedication of our recruits. Some of them earn the title Coast Guardsmen, and some of them don’t. We have a saying here to sum up the mentality of a successful recruit and Coast Guardsman – “It’s not JUST 8 weeks.” Many people have asked what that saying means. Coast Guard recruit training is still an eight-week program for about 60 percent of the recruits who come here. However, this is not JUST eight weeks. This is the challenge and opportunity of a lifetime. Because being a Coast Guardsman is a lifetime commitment to a higher set of values and promise to serve humanity at any cost.
My hope is to tell the story of Coast Guard Training Center Cape May through this week’s photos. Because more than 80 percent of Coast Guardsmen start their careers here, it’s really the story of the Coast Guard’s culture, people and missions. Enjoy the photos and follow the future of America’s Coast Guard because it starts here. Semper Paratus.