CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - A 7th Engineer Battalion Soldier who re-enlisted in the Army received a special honor when his brother administered the oath.

Sgt. Christopher Alvelo, 23, re-enlisted April 23 for six years with a future assignment to Germany. What made this event significant was that he received the re-enlistment oath from his older brother, 1st Lt. Gilbert Alvelo Jr.

Sgt. Alvelo began his military career in the Army National Guard on April 13, 2007. He said his brother convinced him to sign up for the active-duty Army.

"I have always looked to my brother as a role model, and he inspired me to accept the challenge and go active," he said.

Alvelo's first active-duty assignment was as a construction equipment repairer, assigned to Forward Support Company, 7th Engineer Battalion.

"It is an honor to have my brother give me my re-enlistment oath," he said. "It's such a rare chance to have two brothers who are both deployed to the same country at the same time. This means so much to me, and I will never forget this."

His brother, an ordnance officer assigned to 53rd Infantry Brigade, Peninsula Park, Fla., was grateful to be able to participate in the ceremony.

"This is a privilege for me to be able to do something like this for my little brother," 1st Lt. Alvelo said. "My brother says he looks up to me, but actually I look up to him. I am so proud of all his accomplishments. He gives me the strength to push forward."

Both Soldiers hail from Jacksonville, Fla. They are sons of Gilbert and Wanda Alvelo.
Sgt. Alvelo hopes to one day become a U.S. Army warrant officer and pilot.