PHOENIX, AZ - Twin brothers Derick and Frederick Aidoo recently pinned on the rank of master sergeant here. These literal brothers in arms serve the state and nation in the Arizona Army National Guard. According to their colleagues, they serve with two-times the dedication, two-times the commitment, and two-times the honor.
May 3, 2014 - Frederick and Derick Aidoo were recently promoted to master sergeant. The twins joined the National Guard together 19 years ago and continue to serve side-by-side. (Arizona National Guard photo by Air Force Capt. Matthew Murphy)
Like many twins, the Aidoos have a tendency to finish each other's sentences. About his service in the Guard, Derick said, “The Army has kept me on track. It keeps life on track with fitness and lifestyle.” Then Frederick said, “It's a foundation. Something to tell your kids,” and Derick again with, “about being a Soldier and proud to tell people who you are.”
The brothers are also two-time combat veterans having served in Iraq in 2004 and in Afghanistan 2010. While Frederick is an architect in his civilian life and Derick is a construction engineer, their military careers and training are mirrored.
Chief Warrant Officer Hector Mendoza deployed with the brothers to Afghanistan. Frederick served as Mendoza's noncommissioned officer in charge. Mendoza had an opportunity to observe the brothers in action. “If one does one thing, so does the other. Their work ethic, their fitness level, their commitment – it's exactly the same,” said Mendoza. “Frederick worked with me and Derick worked with another chief warrant officer. During the entire deployment, the brothers worked nonstop and refused to take a day off. I really admire them.”
Looking back at their 19 years of service from when they joined in 1995, the brothers chuckled over their memories of basic training and AIT, or advanced individual training. Derick said, “The drill sergeants didn't like us too much because they couldn't tell us apart and we were in the same group. So if they told one of us to drop and do pushups, the other had to do them too.”
The Aidoos trained in supply and logistics where Frederick currently serves as the operations NCO/NCOIC for the 198th Regional Support Group and Derick is the logistics support NCO. They speak in unison about their love of the Guard and “working with the soldiers and helping families. We've had good leaders and they pushed us to this point. You have to have good leaders,” they said.
Capt. Edwin Longwell is the assistant plans officer for the 198th RGS and the twins' current supervisor. “The Aidoos always see what needs to be done and they get it done. They don't hesitate to take action and they don't hesitate to speak up to help their chain of command. They are a cohesive team and their performance is identical as they are,” said Longwell.
Achieving the rank of master sergeant in the Army is one rank short of the highest available. The brothers have no plans to slow down.
“Having a sibling join the Guard with you is a good idea. I can always talk to him [Frederick] about the Army. We help each other and we feed off each other and it motivates us,” said Derick. “Now we just look at the next opportunity,” said Frederick.
By U.S. Air Force Capt. Matthew Murphy
Provided through DVIDS
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