Identical Twins Share Deployment Together
by U.S. Army Sgt. Zachary Mott
September 7, 2019
“It feels like I got a cheat code for a deployment,” said New
Jersey Army National Guard Pvt. Matthew Maurino, an infantryman with
Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry Regiment. “You don’t
feel as far away from home when your brother’s here. Especially your
Private Maurino and his identical twin brother, Spc.
Joseph Maurino, an infantryman with the New Jersey Army National
Guard’s Bravo Company, 1st Bn., 114th Inf. Rgt., are deployed
together to Qatar and serve as part of the security forces element
for Area Support Group-Qatar. Joseph joined the Army after
graduating high school in 2017; Matthew joined in 2018 after
completing his first semester of college.
May 23, 2019 - Spc. Joseph
Maurino, left, and his identical twin brother, Pvt. Matthew
Maurino, enjoy time together during their deployment to Camp
As Sayliyah, Qatar. Both are infantryman with the New Jersey
Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry
Regiment. Matthew is with Alpha Company and Joseph is with
Bravo Company. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Zachary Mott)
“I’ve always wanted to join since I was a little kid,” Matthew
said. “I didn’t plan on joining so soon, I planned on going to
college first. But my brother came back and I saw him in his nice
uniform and I said, you know what, I might as well join up now, get
some excitement going and go to college when I get back.”
Joseph, his journey to the Army began with a properly placed pen.
“I basically was at lunch one day and a recruiter was there and
I needed a pen for class and I took it,” Joseph said.
there, the recruiter contacted him and, after some discussion about
military occupational specialty options, Joseph signed up as an
infantryman by October of his senior year in high school.
part of me always wanted to learn how to fight,” Joseph said. “I
figured if I’m going to go military I’ll go guard. I wanted to make
sure I’ll go to college, too.”
The opportunity to deploy
together came about while Matthew was still attending one station
unit training at Fort Benning, Georgia.
“I knew he wanted to
go, there (were) like two slots left, and (my first sergeant) put my
brother in one of those slots,” Joseph said. “So before he even was
finished with OSUT, I knew was going on the deployment.”
that they’re deployed, the brothers, who are separated by less than
3 minutes at birth, enjoy spending time together when their
“Whenever he’s back and I’m back on my days
off, we’ll always be meeting up smoking cigars and going to the
movies,” Joseph said. “Usually we’ll just knock on each other’s door
at obscene hours of the day like 1 o’clock in the morning. I’ll get
over there and he’ll blast some music as he’s telling me all these
crazy stories he had. That’s usually how it goes every time. Either
me doing it or he’s doing it.”
The random door knocks are not
the only way these Manalapan, New Jersey, natives find themselves
spending time together.
“Sometimes we wake each other up, but
generally we’re both up at the same time,” Matthew said. “It’s
interesting with twins, especially identical twins, we actually just
naturally tend to do the same things even if we’re in different
environments. If he’s up at a random time, odds are I’m up. If one
random night I just want to chill at the (Post Exchange) – and I
never do that – he’ll usually be there, too. The odds shouldn’t be
that we meet up so much in random places but we tend to always go to
the same places by ourselves and meet up. I think that has to do
with being a twin because all throughout our life we’ve done stuff
coincidentally in the same area.”
Having family close by
while deployed is an advantage both brothers enjoy. But, they also
enjoy keeping connected to their family in New Jersey.
mom will send us snacks and we’ll meet up and we’ll bring a big
thing of snacks and we’ll trade what we want because sometimes she
sends us a different one,” Matthew said. “But those plants are a
thing. We’re keeping it going.”
“Those plants,” are also a
gift from their mom, Cynthia Maurino. She sent each twin a grass
plant in a small pot with a smiley face on it.
little grass plant, that’s all it is, but me and Joe we make sure
that this grass plant is in the best conditions possible. We try to
make this grass plant survive as long as possible,” Matthew said.
Once this deployment is complete, both Matthew and Joseph plan
to continue serving. Matthew has his sights set on earning his
degree and becoming an officer. Joseph is also pursuing his college
degree and plans to join the New Jersey State Police in the future.
“You miss out on a lot, as a twin especially, when they’re so
far away and you don’t have time to talk,” Joseph said. “Now that
he’s here, I don’t really lose that. I’m not nearly as homesick as I
would be. I haven’t felt homesick at all yet.”
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