By Spc. Charlton PopeFebruary 12, 2018
VICENZA, Italy -- They both wear the name tape "Evans." They both wear the rank of Staff Sergeant. They both wear Senior Jump Wings and a Combat Action Badge on their chests. They have the same job as an 88M, or a Motor Transport Operator. They have also both deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division together -- twice.
Staff Sergeants Zachary and Michelle Evans have spent almost their entire military careers together. They met while in-processing at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in December 2010, after both completing Airborne School. They were placed in the same company and platoon after completing their in-processing. Michelle jokes about Zach having to ask her out on a date three different time before she finally said yes. They have been practically inseparable since.
Both Evans' came into the Army as privates and have risen through the enlisted ranks together. While Zach beat Michelle to Private First Class, Michelle has beat him to every rank since; however, he has never been far behind her. This competitive spirit has kept them both striving to get to the next level and to be better than they were before.
They deployed together in 2012 with the 82nd Airborne Division in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XII, both earning a Combat Action Badge. Soon after returning from deployment, the couple got married. In 2014, they were rotated back overseas for their second deployment in support of RC-East in Afghanistan. During this deployment, Michelle won the Sgt. Audie Murphie Board.
After returning from the deployment, their time at Fort Bragg had finished. They were off to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, heading to the Brigade Support Battalion. While serving in Italy, they both attended Jumpmaster school, failing together the first time. They were able to attend again soon after; this time, Michelle passed. Zach would have to attend one more time, finally passing in order to keep up with Michelle on their career paths.
As they gained experience as Jumpmasters, they both neared the requirements for their Senior Jump Wings. Michelle had been working the BSB S3 Air as the Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge, setting up manifests for jumps and assigning Jumpmaster duties. She worked out a way for them to both get their last jump needed for their Senior Wings as well as being on the same chalk for that jump.
This was one of only two jumps they shared together. Their first jump together was at Fort Bragg as privates. Their last was on January 19th, 2018, where they pinned on their Senior Jump Wings, thus closing their jump logs and ending their time as Jumpmasters.
Next, they will be heading to Fort Leonard Wood to be instructors at Advanced Individual Training. They are both looking forward to working in a new location and to teaching new Soldiers. Zach says that he has always had a passion for instructing soldiers and passing down his knowledge.
They are also excited about starting a family together. In September, they welcomed their first child, Elliot. They're very joyful about starting this new chapter in their life.
Zach and Michelle plan on continuing their Army careers until retirement. Whether or not they continue on the same career path is another question. While both Zach and Michelle like what they currently do, each has other passions in the military that they would like to pursue. Zach wants to transfer into the aviation field because of his love for being in the air. He strives to fly Blackhawks and to hopefully fly helicopters for Redbull after retiring from the Army. Michelle is looking for a change of pace and would also like to pursue another career path.
Zach and Michelle would like to thank a few people for helping them build their careers and for offering mentorship and guidance along the way. They would like to thank First Sergeant Neil Ruiz, Master Sergeant Michael Jasinski, Master Sergeant Johnny Kerns, Sergeant First Class Theodore Bird, and Staff Sergeant Tony Nice.
Zach and Michelle have reached many milestones in their careers. Through good mentorship, friendly competition, and, most importantly, encouragement from one another, they have been able to rise up above their peers together. Zach and Michelle both say that they would not be the Soldiers they are today without each other.