By Mr. Thomas Mani (JFHQNCR/MDW)January 25, 2010
When Baron and Braulio Fulp graduated from high school in 2002 they both knew what they wanted to do: become military policemen.
Now staff sergeants nearing the end of their tours with the 289th Military Police Company they continue to follow ambitions that have resulted in parallel careers, mostly served together.
Staff Sgt. Baron Fulp is a marksman observer on the 289thAca,!a,,cs Special Reaction Team. His twin brother, Staff Sgt. Braulio Fulp, six minutes his junior but a few months senior in rank, is a squad leader in the 289thAca,!a,,cs First Platoon.
Both reenlisted over the holiday, taking an oath of enlistment Dec. 18 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Aca,!A"We went for two years with a college option,Aca,!A? Baron said. In March they will attend Ranger School and are aiming for an assignment in Hawaii.
It is their second reenlistment. It made use of the Commander's Retention Policy, according to Master Sgt. James G. Warner, the Old Guard's senior career counselor. "They extend for an additional year of stabilization at the Old Guard and they can apply the education benefit to an ASI or SQI school that qualifies them for their next assignment.
"They go straight to the top of the 'order of merit' [priority for the Advanced NCO Course, a requirement for promotion to sergeant first class] on completion of the school."
They reenlisted in Baghdad to come to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, 4th Battalion, 289th MP Company.
At the time Braulio was assigned as personal security to the commander of the 89th Military Police Brigade in Camp Victory, while Baron pulled the same duty for the command sergeant major.
Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs pretty cool,Aca,!A? being in the same company, although on different squads, Braulio said. Aca,!A"You have somebody to depend on all the time.Aca,!A?
The brothers are part of an Army family that remains close. Their father, Roney, retired as a master sergeant after a 22-year career in the Signal Corps, using the Troops to Teachers program to land a teaching position in the Tampa Bay, Fla., area that he still holds.
Their mother, Maria Delgado, spent three years in the Army before getting out and taking up teaching English as a second language. She continues teaching ESL students in the primary grades while her husband teaches 10th grade world history and coaches track.
The twins arrived in September 1983 -- two years behind their older sisterAca,!a,,cs birth and two years in front of a younger brother Aca,!" while the family was in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Baron describes the life of a military family of that era, with accompanied tours in Panama and Germany and Fort Bragg. Aca,!A"We visited all of Europe,Aca,!A? Baron said.
The brothers went to schools in Tampa Bay from middle school on, taking part in football and track but knowing that they wanted an Army career. Aca,!A"We took the summer off, but we went in [to the recruiting station] with a plan.Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"We werenAca,!a,,ct the buddy program,Aca,!A? Braulio noted, but they went to Basic and Advanced Individual Training together at Fort Leonardwood to become what the Army most needed at that time, military police.
Aca,!A"TheyAca,!a,,cre very competitive with each other,Aca,!A? another MP in the 289th observed, a fact the twins will acknowledge.
Aca,!A"We drive each other,Aca,!A? is how Baron puts it. He also says the two Aca,!A"unwind together.Aca,!A?
Brazilian jujitsu is a current passion. Both Aca,!A"did K9Aca,!A? and both Aca,!A"did SRT.Aca,!A? They were dog handlers at Fort Hood, their first assignment. And they competed in the MP Warfighter competition, Braulio part of a team that took fifth place in the 2003 competition.
Baron said he and his twin have competed in Soldier boards, but never against each other. In those cases, the family support ethic prevails.
The twins say they are as close to their younger brother as they are to each other. Roney took a different path out of highschool, however, and went on to college and ROTC. He is a lieutenant stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C., now and engaged.
Braulio said the only time the two have been separated was when his brother had to delay his departure for Iraq when their unit, the 89th Military Police Brigade, was engaged in Iraqi Police training.
Baron said the unit was extended while in Baghdad, eventually serving in theater for 15 months before returning at the end of 2007.
Having someone so close helped with the stress of deployment and processing everything that happened. Aca,!A"You have a different view on life after combat,Aca,!A? Baron declared.
Aca,!A"We were always out on different missions, but when we came back we could unwind together.Aca,!A?
They expect to continue to continue to be able to share their Army careers into the future. While the new enlistment adds a little over a year to their former ETS date, even Hawaii, when that eventually happens, likely wonAca,!a,,ct be the end of their careers.
Beside the education option, Baron hinted that the two Aca,!A"might drop an SF packetAca,!A? in the future, adding Special Forces service to their military experiences.
Asked if he was aware of other twins serving together in the Army, Baron acknowledged hearing of a set that had become sergeants major. Aca,!A"But theyAca,!a,,cre not serving together.Aca,!A?
For the Old Guard, the Fulps are but two in a large number of Soldiers reenlisting this year to advance their careers. "We'll definitely meet our [retention] target," Warner said. "We did last year and we'll do it this year. The commander's retention program makes a big difference."
Soldiers like the Fulp brothers also make a big difference: for the 289th, the Old Guard, MDW and the Army. Ask their first sergeant, who calls them "great assets to the Military Police Corps -- aggressive, tactical and technical leaders."
Predicting bright futures for both, 1st Sgt. Corey Henderson commented further: "Their efforts do not go unseen. They have made their names and abilities known not only to the Military Police Corps but the Army as a whole.
"These are two names to watch for in the future, and with continuing education and getting more experience through the military these two will succeed."