Fort Bragg twins pilot Kiowa Warrior for their 40th birthday
July 22, 2011
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Michael and Matthew McEvers have spent the past 10 years stationed at Simmons Army Airfield together, flying what Michael called the “sports car” of military helicopters.
The OH-58 Kiowa Warrior is an observation and direct fire support helicopter used by the U.S. Army in 1969.
“There’s a higher level of excitement flying the Kiowa Warrior,” Michael said.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael McEvers of Troop F, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment and his twin brother, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew McEvers of Troop D, 1st Sqdn., 17th Cav. Regt. Task Force Saber scheduled a flight together in the OH58D Kiowa Warrior for their 40th birthday July 8. It was a chance for the brothers to reflect on their service together.
Michael has served 18 years and six months, while Matthew has served 18 years and nine months.
“It was the same ol’ story, I joined to get money for college. My intent was to get out after my obligation and attend college, but you see how that worked out,” Michael said.
“I don’t think there was ever a time that I did not think I was going to join the military,” Matthew said.
The brothers said their father’s career as a chief warrant officer 4 with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment as a physician’s assistant was their inspiration to become pilots.
“I’ve been around Army aviation my whole life,” Michael said. “We were around helicopters quite a bit growing up.”
Matthew was inspired by his brother’s ambitions and his father’s history.
“My father was a flight surgeon and then my brother went to flight school,” he said. “I thought I would carry on the tradition.”
The twins shared a lot growing up, but sharing their lifelong passion into adulthood has given them a unique relationship.
Matthew has been stationed at Fort Bragg his entire military career, and Michael chose Fort Bragg after graduating flight school to be close to his brother.
It’s not a secret that the twins love working together.
“It has been a very special career being able to work with my twin over the past 10 years,” Michael said. “We have always been competitive growing up and we always try to strive to be better than the other in everything, including flying. It’s made us better pilots.”
Matthew noted the impact working together has had on their relationship.
“I wish more people would have the opportunity to work side-by-side with their sibling,” he said. “Sharing the same passion, you have a lot to talk about on and off duty. We always have questions for one another.”
When asked if they are ever apprehensive about flying, the brothers admitted to occasional worry.
“The element of being scared or worried is always there,” Michael said. “It comes with the job.”
Matthew said he’s not scared of flying, but he is scared for his brother.
“I don’t think you can be scared,” Matthew said. “You have to be level-headed and always be one step ahead of the aircraft and the enemy. I worry that my brother is out on the battlefield doing the same thing I am, exposed to the elements and the enemy. I think that would make anybody worry.”
The McEvers brothers are a part of each other’s favorite flight memories.
“The best experience I have had since I started flying was conducting battle handovers with my brother in Mosul, Iraq,” Michael said.
“My favorite time is when Mike and I flew together for the first time on our birthdays,” Matthew said. “Since then we have tried to do it every year.”
The brothers depend on their Family’s support.
“My Family, is very proud of what I have accomplished,” Michael said.
“I think our Family knew that we were going to join the military,” Matthew said. “They didn’t try to talk us out of it. Our Family knew joining would make us happy and we will always have their support.”
With their Family’s support, neither of the twins plans grounding themselves any time soon.