LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas, January 27, 2016 —
Despite sharing a stressful career for more than 10 years, one that included numerous moves from base to base, combat deployments and long and erratic working hours, one Air Force family has found a balance between the military and their personal lives.
Joining the Air Force, commissioning, becoming a pilot, progressing to the rank of major -- all of these things define the word "exceptional," yet Air Force Majs. Regina and Jared Wall have done all of the above.
Regina Wall, the assistant director of operations for the 86th Flying Training Squadron, and Jared Wall, the T-6A Texan II standardization and evaluation branch chief for the 47th Operations Group, have shared almost every duty station and three deployments since beginning their careers in 2005.
The Walls’ story began at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, where they first met in 2005 during the Air and Space Basic Course. Upon completion of ASBC, they found themselves on their way to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, where they completed Initial Flight Training and each received a follow-on assignment to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
After arriving at Laughlin, the Walls officially began their pilot careers in the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training program.
“Not only did we both get assigned to class 07-04, but our assigned seats were right next to each other in the flight room,” Regina said.
After the completion of the T-6 program, Jared continued at Laughlin as a T-1 Jayhawk student and Regina moved to Corpus Christi Naval Air Station, Texas, to fly the T-44A Pegasus. This was the couple’s first experience with a long-distance relationship.
“It was a good test for our relationship,” Regina said. “We both knew by being in the military we might have to spend some time apart, and it was something we needed to be prepared for.”
But this long-distance relationship was only temporary. On Dec. 14, 2006, toward the end of pilot training, Jared proposed to Regina. Two days later, they married. Then,
Jared and Regina were assigned to fly C-130 Hercules aircraft at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.
From Dyess, the Walls deployed together three times to Kuwait and were able to see various parts of the world and share unique and life-changing experiences.
“Sharing our deployments together and day-to-day Air Force life together has been a great experience,” Jared said. “It has allowed us to easily relate to each other. It also helps that during those deployments and during much of our career, we have had very similar jobs and the same mission.”
In the spring of 2012, Jared and Regina relocated to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. That fall, their first child was born and would change the way Regina and Jared would go about their lives.
“It wasn’t just about us anymore,” Regina said. “Making decisions about our positions, assignments and deployments affected more than [us]. We had to do what was best for our whole family.”
While keeping their family’s needs in mind, the Walls’ careers continued to progress, and they moved back to Laughlin in January of 2014. Regina became a T-1A Jayhawk instructor pilot and Jared became a T-6A Texan II instructor pilot.
Since arriving here, the Walls have changed more than duty titles. They also had their second child and were promoted to the rank of major together.
This is unlikely to be the case for the next rank of lieutenant colonel, as the Walls will have to compete against each other to see who pins on first.
“We have a healthy competition,” Regina explained. “Of course I like to win, but if I was to get beat-out by anyone, I’d want it to be him.”
At this point, Jared and Regina aren’t sure where their careers will go, but they are ready for whatever comes next.
“We’re just going to do our best in the positions we hold now and go from there,” Jared said. “We know we can’t always get the exact assignment we want, but we’ve learned to compromise with each other and find a balance.”
“It is very easy for us to relate to each other,” he added. “We speak the same Air Force language.”
Although moving from base to base, deploying and working long and erratic hours can be stressful for dual-military couples, Jared and Regina say they have found the right balance for them and their family.
“We’ve learned to craft many of our career decisions around our family and relationship,” Regina said. “It’s not always easy, but sometimes what’s best for our careers may not be what’s best for our family.”
Both Jared and Regina say they are thankful for what they have and are eager to see what the future holds.
“We’ve overcome every obstacle we’ve been presented with so far,” Regina said. “Only time will tell what comes next.”