Years ago my brother-in-law, Casey Bell, attended Coast Guard basic training at Training Center (TRACEN) Cape May, New Jersey. This is my retelling of one of the many stories to come out of his time there…
At TRACEN tradition dictated the newest recruits were always last in line for lunch. On days when the meal was particularly good this worked in their favor because the officers were too busy eating to pay attention to the newbies filing past their table. However, on days when the chefs’ culinary skills were lacking the officers switched their attention towards the recruits. Infractions were called out and punishments were administered randomly.
The day my brother-in-law came under their scrutiny it was obvious there had been a plan in place.
“Bell!” one of them yelled, jumping from his chair and rounding the table to stand nose-to-nose with Casey. “Your cup is not in its place!”
As this was going on another officer had left the table to corner a different recruit. More accusations were leveled and then the punishments were administered…
“Both of you! Go to the front of the room and take turns yelling out your last names. Loud!”
Together, the two sailors marched to the end of the room and for the next half hour…in their most military sounding voices…they yelled;