Way back in the early days of 2001 I had just graduated from Basic Training and Infantry AIT in the US Army. Next up was the revered Airborne School. My brother (4 years older) had just received the same school as a re-enlistment bonus from the USMC. The only problem, I was slated for class #3 and he was scheduled for class #4. After a couple shenanigans and hijinks, I found a way to get “held-over” to the next class without jeopardizing my chances at attending Airborne and then the Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP, now RASP) immediately after.
When we met up in the Airborne barracks, my brother and I devised yet more hijinks to make sure we would end up in the same “stick”: a group of jumpers. Just before the school kicked off, one of the instructors announced the Discovery Channel would be there filming for an Airborne School special. Despite the show producer having a great interest in featuring such a rare pairing of siblings in the school, we declined the opportunity to do any on-camera work.
Highlights during the course were exiting the aircraft as #1 and #2 together on all 5 jumps, getting stuck in trees after the pilot missed the drop zone completely and when, on the final day, an instructor finally figured out we were brothers. It was a hell of a good time and a unique one at that. I can be spotted a couple times, the most obvious is at the 11:55 mark. My brother is shown near the end at the 44:34 mark.
I went on to graduate RIP, then was assigned to 2nd Batallion, 75th Ranger Regiment. After 5 deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, I left the service just a couple months prior to my brother ETS’ing from the Corps. Enjoy the show!
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