By Sgt. Anthony Hewitt (82nd Airborne)September 13, 2016
Back in the early 1990s, two young brothers from Caldwell, Texas stuffed small, plastic, green, army men into model C-130 toy airplanes. They lined up their forces across the room from each other and used mouse traps as catapults, slinging rocks of ammo at each other to simulate their toy battlefield and cause destruction to each other`s forces.
Army Sgt. Flint Elsik, a Paratrooper assigned to 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division and Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Elsik an Airman assigned to 12th Special Operations Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. have spent their lives against each other.
Flint traveled from Fort Bragg to Cannon in order to stand side-by-side his brother and become promoted to the pay-grade of E-6 at the same time on Sep. 9.
"We have spent our entire lives trying to one-up each other in everything we did," said Flint.
" We would compete at everything. From whatever we we`re playing as kids, hunting or competing at the rifle club for district and state," said Michael.
From an early age, the two brothers said they were deemed for greatness and service following in the footsteps of their grandfather who served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and their uncle who was a Paratrooper in the Air Force during Vietnam.
"Mike and I were always interested in the service, especially in high school, said Flint. "We would always engage with branch recruiters whenever we got a chance."
Flint was the first one to enlist at the age of 19 as an infantryman in to the Army. Following, Michael joined the Air Force at 21.
The two brothers parted ways and started their military careers. Learning very different skills and training, but were always somehow connected by Family or the service.
"Once my squadron was flying a mission for Paratroopers in the 82nd [Airborne Division] and I came to find out that Flint was in my formation and we supported his unit`s jump," said Michael. "That was a special experience to know we were both doing the same mission, from different sides and somehow came together for it."
The brothers have continued to stay in touch as they traveled all over the world, participating in multiple deployments; perhaps big brother Michael was playing big brother for Flint in more than one way using his skills and service.
"I was operating a mission one day and my unit received the call to support 'troops-in-contact', said Michael. When I supported the mission, I noticed that it was my brother`s unit on the ground that needed help."
Both have high aspirations and long-term goals that involve staying in the military.
Flint, a Ranger school graduate said he's striving to become a Jumpmaster, Pathfinder and hopefully a Ranger instructor.
Michael is working to complete his bachelor's degree in geography and commission into a pilot program.
Future ambitions are on the horizon for these two brothers with limitless opportunities available. They both may compete to become officers in their respective services.
Soon, they will meet again to share their success together as they have since the beginning of their childhood and military careers.
Both have very similar reasons the thing about why they do what they do, It`s not about competition, we do it for family, god and country but we are honored to represent our name and hometown of Caldwell, Texas.