By Cpl. Nathan Hoskins; 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div. Public AffairsNovember 27, 2007
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - They hear "Are you two related'" and "If I punch you, will your brother feel it'" more times than they care to mention, but these twin brothers from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, have only heard the oath of enlistment twice now.
Bothell, Wash., natives Spcs. Chris and Nick Duncan, both AH-64D Apache attack helicopter mechanics for Company B, 615th Aviation Support "Cold Steel" Battalion, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div., took the oath of enlistment together Nov. 19 during a reenlistment ceremony in their maintenance hangar here.
This reenlistment is not the first thing these brothers have done together in their military career, said Chris, the older brother by three minutes.
They attended both basic training and advanced individual training together, along with their first duty assignment. After that, it was their first deployment together to Afghanistan, he said.
Now they are in Iraq and reenlisting for four more years together.
The brothers both received an $8,000 reenlistment bonus and took advantage of the six-month college plan - a plan that gives them six months of full-time college, said Chris.
Being deployed with each other comes with some benefits, like having someone to confide in when things are looking down, said Nick.
"Everyone here is usually by themselves. They usually have to keep (their problems) bottled up inside or call and stress out their (spouses)," he said. "I can just unleash all my stress on my brother and he can just calm me down."
Still, moving to a new unit as twins does have its downsides, said Nick.
"Every time you go to a new unit all the jokes start over again and everyone expects a laugh from the joke that they think is original," he said.
It's actually rare for them to hear an original twin joke, and they are happy to hear one of those, Nick said.
"(Creative jokes) pop out there every once in a while. You're like 'Wow!' I kind of appreciate it ... somebody has something creative to say, but it doesn't happen very often," he said.
Yet, worse things have happened in their military career than the lame joke, said Chris.
One time, at their prior unit, Nick messed up on something and Chris was around to be confronted by his brother's boss, he said.
Being as there are no distinguishable features between the two besides a wedding ring on Chris's finger, the sergeant didn't realize he was getting in the wrong Soldier's face, Chris said.
"The sergeant (got) in my face and started yelling at me while I'm standing at parade rest taking it all in," said Chris with a smile.
When he was done I had to say, 'with all due respect, that wasn't me - that was my brother,'" he said.
The brothers laugh about those situations later, realizing they are an easy trade off for being deployed with one another, said Nick.
The Duncan duo has at least four more years with the Army and maybe more, so they're ready for more identity mishaps.
But they said they don't mind. As long as they are together, they'll deal with whatever comes their way. Even if it is taking their brother's scolding.