Math teacher, Mr. Nick Davies recently returned from Cape May, NJ after completing a three week basic training program in the Coast Guard where he underwent a grueling training regiment designed to train recruits in predominately water based situations.
“Joining the military was something I had wanted to do for a really long time, for as long as I can remember,” Mr. Davies said. “In Oregon State, I was in Army [Reserve Officer Training Corps]… and that desire never really left.”
After discussing his options with his wife, Mr. Davies utilized advice from former Coast Guard Officer and current JHS teacher, Mr. Yanosy, who served as a point of reference for Mr. Davies as he considered his options.
“I was trying to decide between Navy and Coast Guard, and after talking to Mr. Yanosy who was in the coast guard reserves for over a decade, that fit what I wanted to get out of my service,” Mr. Davies said.
Mr. Davies completed grueling exercises involving stretching both his physical and phycological limits while in a camp completely absent of technology besides computers used for military purposes.
His daily schedule would often entail a early morning wake up call at 5:45 a.m. and starting the day with numerous pushups and sit-ups. After eating breakfast, from 7:30 to noon, Mr. Davies would alternate between classroom time and practical training exercises and after wolfing down a quick lunch, would return to exercise and training for the rest of the day.
“[Practical exercises] would often include line handling with ropes to tie up ships, small arms training with pistols and firefighting basics because on a ship, there are no firefighters, everyone needs to know how to fight fires,” Davies said.
Every day, each group member was required to completed basic tasks such as shaving or ironing clothes in a certain time because an important commandment of the Coast Guard is that each group member should not just complete the task, they need to complete the task well within a specific time range.
Punishments for breaking this rule would often include various forms of physical activity such as holding a two-pound water bottle above their heads for over 20 minutes at a time.
“The most grueling aspect of basic training was the mental or psychological element… and the ability to keep on persevering,” Davies said.
When potential recruits enter the reserves, they must balance their normal life, including their family and job, with their military life, which includes fulfilling their commitment to service.
“A lot of people forget that you are straddling two different worlds; you are both a civilian and a sailor, you are trying to manage a career and a family,” Mr. Yanosy said. “Service comes over everything… when they call you, you go, you are on deck because you have made that commitment.”