By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterApril 3, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 3, 2014) -- With long hours, grueling duties and limited communication with the outside world, the Warrant Officer Career College can be considered one of the most challenging schools to complete in the Army.
But its halls were brightened a little the past few weeks as three brothers battled the courses, tests and restraints of the confined environment.
Alvin, Daniel and Tu Bui, members of the New Jersey National Guard, all enlisted within a year of each other, and all of them had Aviation military occupational specialties.
While two brothers, Alvin and Daniel, were deployed to Afghanistan last year, the youngest, Tu, learned that their state needed Black Hawk pilots.
"I was a UH-60 crew chief and began talking to my superiors about how New Jersey needed warrant officer pilots. I told my brothers that it would be great if we all put in packets to become pilots together, and they were on board," said Tu, 22. "So, when they came back last summer, we motivated each other to complete the packet requirements."
Although they all had different reasons for wanting to change jobs to become pilots, they all agreed that it is the coolest and most unique job in the Army.
"Having my brothers here has helped me more than hindered me because we know each other's strengths and weaknesses, and they can bring me up more than one of the other candidates," said Daniel, 24. "This is a story we can retell when we are old men."
CW2 Kimberly Johnson, the primary training, advising and counseling officer for the brothers, said they are always upbeat, and motivate each other and the platoons.
"All of the candidates love the Buis because they are friendly and they are always looking on the bright side of things," she said. "A few weeks ago we had a Bui-Off where they had to march their platoon around a drill field and whichever brother did the best their platoon got dessert. It really motivated everyone, and it was fun."
She added that having Family here didn't give them an unfair advantage because they were immediately separated into different platoons and different rooms.
"We have tried to keep them as isolated from each other as possible. We haven't had to alter their training in anyway, but I think it has helped them, in a way, because they are able to experience WOCC separately, but still together," she said.
The brothers said they usually get in trouble when they are seen together, but that when they are together it's usually by accident, such as when they first arrived at school.
"We were doing the bag drag, where we have to move everyone's bags into the barracks. It was a little chaotic, and even though we were split up, somehow we all happened to go for the last three bags. So, when we got to the building they thought we were trying to talk to each other and of course we got yelled at," Daniel said as his brothers laughed while remembering the story.
"No matter how we try to stay away from each other, somehow we always end up near each other, like at chow," he added. "And sometimes it's bad because we know how to mess with each other, and make each other laugh or get under each others' skin."
Alvin Bui, 25, said during the Leaders Response Course March 25 that each of them wants to show everyone, and themselves, that they can do it on their own.
"We all try to help each other out because we all want to graduate together, so that motivates us to keep up all of our grades and performances," he said. "But, it never hurts to say you did a little better on one test or another. Sibling rivalry in this case is a good thing to make us better."
Their Family immigrated to America in 1994 from Viet Nam, and the brothers said since they didn't have much in Asia they wanted to take as much of the financial burden off their parents as they could because they have five other siblings. They also hope to set the standard for younger Family members.
Three brothers have never come through the school before, said Johnson, which is why the cadre got excited when they heard about the brothers arrival.
"They are sometimes the joke of the company, but I think they like that because they help the stress levels of the platoons," she said. "They are a good group of brothers."
All three brothers graduated together April 2.