Story by Army Sgt. Sinthia Rosario,101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs
Twin brothers as children normally do everything together; they share each other’s dreams as well as plan what they want to be when they grow up, then as adults some slowly grow apart while others maintain their strong brotherly bond.
Army Capt. Matthew N. Mayor, brigade logistics and operations officer assigned to 101st Sustainment Brigade, Task Force Lifeliner and Capt. Mark E. Mayor, brigade intelligence and current operations officer assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division “Black Jack Brigade,” have always been very close and enjoyed the inseparable bond that many identical twin brothers do. They were always in the same sports, they went to the same college and now they both serve as captains in the U.S. Army.
“It’s like we decided to go ahead and do it through our ROTC first. We wanted to get a college education and then go ahead and serve. That was probably one of the motivating factors, to do something together,” said Matthew. “I couldn’t be happier, couldn’t be more content, and more inspired to work with this great team that I’m part of, and he’s part of, so it’s kind of like working for the same organization which is the Army as a whole.”
As they sat talking about the choices they have made, Mark reminisced about the month they both went on active duty.
“I remember that very month when both of us went on active duty, July 4th, 2009,” said Mark. “That weekend prior we said our goodbyes to the families and we had a pre-Fourth of July celebration.”
Their military orders took them to Fort Sill, Okla., for Basic Officer Leaders Course. They were both stationed there together during that time, though the brothers knew they would eventually go to their separate branch schools.
In the beginning, the twin brothers were a bit hesitant in joining the service. Thoughts of being separated caused a bit of anxiety. But, they knew deep down inside they would be alright in the long run.
“It was difficult, it was challenging, but I’m sure every soldier goes through the same thing. Separation anxiety, family, but eventually you cope, you learn to use the shared media, Facebook, Skype, etc.,” said Matthew.
Mark promptly added to his brother’s statement, “You quickly adapt and just overcome any feelings of separation and anxiety, so that passed after a few months.”
Although the twins are identical with many things in common, there are some differences that have set them apart. They said in jest that Mark has always been the talkative one, while Matthew is the quiet one, the listener.
Mark explained, “a lot of our idiosyncrasy, just the way we are now, comes from our parents and what jobs they had. Like for instance, our father is a psychologist, he’s a therapist, so the listening aspect he [Matthew] picked up from him.” He also noted that Matthew cares about what people say; a trait he’s had since youth.
“We’re mirror twins; I’m left handed and he’s right handed. That’s our major difference between each other physically,” said Mark. “I’ve always been a little better of a pitcher. His [Matthew’s] strong suit is soccer; he’s always been better at soccer than I was.”
Whether talking about the military or days on the little league team, there’s no doubt they share a unique understanding of each other that’s void of the competitive nature you’d typically see between siblings.
The brothers are not from a military family background, their family is very supportive.
“Our family is very patriotic, very proud, and very supportive and his wife [Mark's] is very involved as well as my mother, father and our family in supporting the troops and sending care packages,” said Matthew.
The brothers walked into the military lifestyle not knowing what was ahead of them and agree they have no regrets in the choice they made. “After a couple of years you go back to your hometown you don’t feel the same, you’re forever changed by the training, by the new experiences, by the new people you meet, the people that you work with,” Mark said, adding “to be with my twin brother here in Afghanistan, serving in the Army, serving the country that I love, it can’t get any better than that.”
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