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How coronavirus is impacting the United States Coast Guard boot camp – Insider

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is changing boot camp at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May, NJ. 
  • According to the Training Center’s Commanding Officer Capt. Kathy Felger, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the center. 
  • Due to the crisis, however, the Coast Guard has implemented a 14-day “Restriction of Movement” period for incoming recruits. 
  • After that, they resume their remaining six weeks of training, but with physical distancing incorporated into various aspects of training and daily life.
  • All visitors are prohibited from attending graduation ceremonies, but the events are streamed live online.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Recruit: Females entering!

Recruits: Females entering!

Kathy Felger: What’s happened over the last couple of months is we’ve had to modify almost every aspect of training.

Company commander: Stop touching your face!

Felger: We still have the same mission, to turn civilians into the future of the Coast Guard, to the same standards, to get out there to conduct Coast Guard missions. But we’ve had to modify quite a few things.

Narrator: According to Capt. Kathy Felger of the United States Coast Guard, there have been zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the training center in Cape May, New Jersey. But recruit training has seen drastic transformations because of the pandemic. The Coast Guard provided this footage that shows what recruit training is like during the crisis.

Felger: When they arrive, we do temperatures, we look for symptoms, we ask the same basic questions under the guidance of the CDC. They’re monitored daily, and anybody that does present symptoms, fever, coughing, et cetera, will get tested for COVID-19.

Narrator: Upon arrival in Cape May, a new policy known as restriction of movement, or ROM, keeps incoming recruits quarantined for 14 days before they begin their training. And training looks a lot different from when we visited Cape May in November of 2018, long before physical distancing became the norm.  This is what it looked like when recruits arrived in 2018. And this is what it looks like now.

Felger: Our normal company size is anywhere from 100 to 120. And under this new process, we’re only bringing in 48 to 50. And that’s based on safety, basically, and what we could isolate here in the event that we did have an outbreak of COVID, so we’ve reduced the size of the company significantly.

Company commander: That’s an officer, right? And how can you tell?

Recruit: ‘Cause of the word.

Felger: So, during this two-week restriction of movement period, the staff that’s working with them, they can still instill the discipline in the squad bay, but not in an intense, disciplinarian environment. The lessons that they’re getting are about obeying orders, following rules, learning their Coast Guard recruit regulations, a little bit of light physical fitness. So they’re getting some of the content of the curriculum in this period without the intensity.

Narrator: Once ROM ends, recruits begin their regular six-week training program, albeit with some limitations.

Recruit: Papa One Niner Eight! Bring it on in!

Felger: After the two weeks, it’s presumed, you know, we’ve mitigated the risk as much as possible. The company commanders will be maintaining that physical distance. If the company commander needs to engage and be closer than six feet to a recruit, they will wear a mask and engage that way. 

Recruits: No discipline, no peace! No discipline, no peace!

Felger: But the recruits themselves will still be in close-quarters training. That’s part of the team building, getting them to march together, close-order drill.

Narrator: One place physical distancing is strictly enforced is the galley, where recruits eat their meals, or chow. This footage from 2018 shows what chow used to look like. And this is what it looks like during COVID-19. One of the biggest impacts is how the crisis has affected graduations. As you can see in this footage from 2018, graduation ceremonies are normally an emotional, celebratory occasion attended by friends and loved ones. But amid the pandemic, it’s a much different affair. Each ceremony is livestreamed on Facebook.

Felger: On a normal graduation, we might have 100 views. Recently, I think we had up to 900 because all the families, aunts, uncles, grandma, grandpa are watching from home, having watch parties instead of being there to celebrate in person. That’s been the biggest change for us. And we don’t see that changing for the foreseeable future. We’re trying to still put the same product out to the Coast Guard, that we have young men and women ready to operate, ready to conduct Coast Guard missions. And we have to be able to assure that they’re meeting those graduation standards. So we have not really modified the product that we’re giving out, just the way that they’re training in some environments. 

Article source: https://www.insider.com/how-coronavirus-changed-coast-guard-boot-camp-military-covid19-2020-5

Short URL: http://militaryfeed.com/?p=66387

Posted by on May 30 2020. Filed under Coast Guard. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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