Twin brothers train forces in Army, Marine Corps
April 17, 2014
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Twin brothers are taking it upon themselves to train future forces in the Army and Marine Corps.
"I felt that there was an apparent lack of discipline in Soldiers across the board. I'm not going to change the United States Army, but I wanted to do what I can here at the source," said Drill Sgt. Ruben Ramos, A Battery, 1st Battalion, 19th Field Artillery.
He and his brother, Marine Staff Sgt. Raul Ramos, 1022 C Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, at Parris Island, S.C., became a drill sergeant and drill instructor simultaneously.
"We were in school at the same time," said Ruben. "On the weekends I would either go down to Parris Island or he would come up to Fort Jackson and pitch our modules to each other."
Raul recently graduated a class of recruits April 4 and was here visiting his brother during his cycle break.
"We try to see each other as much as we can. We just try to squeeze in a couple days here and there," said Ruben.
Ruben was born three minutes before his brother and from that moment forward the competition began. It is that spirit of challenging each other that led them both to be the best.
"If you ask anybody in the Marine Corps the top 10 or top one percent in the Marine Corps are drill instructors. Everybody does their part, but if you're a Marine Corps drill instructor it's like wow," said Raul.
"Same thing with the Army. We're the top 10 percent of the Army and if you want to see first sergeant or sergeant major usually they have a drill sergeant badge," said Ruben.
The two started in the Marine Corps originally, with Ruben joining first before switching to the Army to go Airborne.
"I was rolling my sleeves before him, so I was like hey guy you want me to give you a class on how to roll your sleeves properly? And he's like I've figured it out thanks a lot guy. And he'll come back and say so when are you guys going to roll your sleeves up? And I'll say we were just talking about it," said Ruben.
"And I'll say because the Marine Corps did it first," said Raul.
"He's always jabbing, of course," said Ruben.
When it came to actually signing up for the military, their mother put up resistance.
"She kicked our recruiter out of the house and said 'They will join over my dead body.' It's her fault. She sent us to military school at 12 years old. That's where we first got the idea of joining the military," said Ruben. "After that I literally joined behind my mother's back. I asked for my social security card and my birth certificate and said I need it for a job. I wasn't lying. I really did need it for a job."
That was in 1997. Now their mother proudly shares the fact that her sons are a drill sergeant and drill instructor.
For two people who are very similar, they enjoy discussing the differences between their services and how they train others.
For example, while Ruben wears a uniform with the drill sergeant badge on it, Raul has to wait to the end of his three-year assignment to put on his according to Marine Corps regulations.
Others distinctions include the length of training: Army Basic Combat Training is 10 weeks long; Marine Corps Recruit Training is 12 weeks. Soldiers are up for duty at 5 a.m. compared to the Marines 4 a.m., but Soldiers also stay up later compared to the Marine Corps.
Anything you can do, I can do better
When it comes to high standards, the brothers enjoy teasing each other about ... everything.
"He's communication. I'm infantry," said Ruben.
"I got my combat action first," retorted Raul. "I think I deployed twice to Iraq before he even went."
"But have you ever been to Afghanistan?"
"Thank you very much."
For as much as they disagree, they both said they get satisfaction on graduation day when they get to see the final product from their hard work.
"We have 70 training days. I hate 69 of them, but that final day makes it worth it," said Raul.
The two have already been in close to 20 years and when asked how long they plan on serving, Ruben said he wants to make it to the rank of command sergeant major. Raul was hesitant to say how long he would serve, but he said the Marine Corps is perfect for him.
"I can't imagine doing something else at all," said Raul. "I'm sure somebody would probably yell at me like you can't yell at the employees. What do you mean? He was late. Take him out back and do some incentive training."
"It definitely fits our personalities," said Ruben.