The Walls At Cape May Have Ears
In this article I'm going to talk about a controversial topic and I know some of my own shipmates disagree with me on this, but I want to address it anyways. I feel that even if I'm wrong on this, it surely won't hurt you to keep it in mind and exhibit your best behavior at all times. The surprises in Coast Guard Boot Camp are aplenty, so don't let this be one of them. My theory that I'm about to share with you is based on certain interactions that happened during my Cape May stay.
There were several times where very specific conversations took place in our bathroom and the very same issues we brought up in those private conversations, were then addressed by our Company Commanders the next time we saw them. On one occasion I remember that there was a very specific person doubting something and the next morning our Company Commander called him out by name and said something to the extent of "Oh and (person's name) in case you think that (what he was doubting), you're dead wrong". That was so specific that it was enough to convince me that our Company Commanders had bugs planted in the bathroom of our squad bay (the squad bay is the room you sleep in).
I don't see how my Company Commander could have known that unless he was listening to the conversation. I didn't see any other explanation and this happened more than once. I'm bringing this up because whether or not my theory is actually true, you should still be on your best behavior at all times. This is obviously a lot easier when you are actually in front of your Company Commanders, but make sure you maintain that same level of focus, respect, and behavior when they aren't there as well.
It's also important for another reason. Often times throughout Coast Guard Boot Camp you will have to finish up homework after lights out. Technically speaking, when lights go out you are required to go to sleep. The only reason you are allowed out of your rack (bed) is if you need to use the head (bathroom). Realistically you will have to take the risk sometimes and go to the head (bathroom) after lights out, and work on whatever you need to finish.
When you do this you are exposed to at least two types of risk. The first is if you have some really uncool shipmates who during their (standing watch) rounds decide to report that they saw you in the head (bathroom) working on homework. The second is if the Company Commander who's on duty for the night decides he (or she) wants to do his (or her) own walkthrough. Now let us suppose that my theory is true...if it is, that introduces a third type of risk, which is you giving yourself away by chit-chatting in the head (bathroom) with your shipmates while doing your homework.
Here is my big advice to you on HOW TO AVOID all three types of risk. It's pretty simple actually and you might laugh but it will work for you. Basically when you need to finish homework after lights out, instead of doing it in the general open area of the head (bathroom), find a toilet stall and do your work in there.
Remember, you are allowed to get out of your rack (bed) to use the bathroom so even if someone is doing a walk through, it just looks like you're taking a dump. You sit on the toilet and do your work. Even if they do another walk through and you are still on the toilet, if they say anything you can just say you have a bad stomach.
The second part to this is to keep your mouth shut unless it's absolutely necessary and if you do need to talk make sure you are whispering.
I hope you found this helpful and that it's one less surprise in Coast Guard Boot Camp that you have to deal with. For more mental preparation lessons, please head on over to the how to prepare for Coast Guard Basic Training mentally page.
Of course if you really want to be 100% prepared, then purchase the Coast Guard Boot Camp Survival Guide which covers 20 chapters of almost everything you need to know to show up ready.
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As always, thank you for your support.