Face of Defense: Twins Share National Guard Experience
By Air Force Capt. Matthew Murphy
Arizona National Guard
PHOENIX, May 5, 2014 Twin brothers Derick and Frederick Aidoo recently pinned on the rank of master sergeant here -- literal brothers in arms who serve the state and nation in the Arizona Army National Guard.
Twin brothers Army Master Sgts. Frederick and Derick Aidoo joined the Arizona National Guard together in 1993 and continue to serve side by side. U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Matthew Murphy
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Their colleagues say they serve with two times the dedication, two times the commitment and two times the honor.
Like many twins, the Aidoos have a tendency to finish each other’s sentences. About his service in the Guard, Derick said, “The Army has kept me on track. It keeps life on track with fitness and lifestyle.” Then Frederick said, “It’s a foundation. Something to tell your kids,” and Derick chimed in with, “about being a soldier and proud to tell people who you are.”
The brothers are two-time combat veterans, having served in Iraq in 2004 and in Afghanistan 2010. While Frederick is an architect in his civilian life and Derick is a construction engineer, their military careers and training are mirrored.
Army Chief Warrant Officer Hector Mendoza deployed with the brothers to Afghanistan. Frederick served as Mendoza’s noncommissioned officer in charge. Mendoza had an opportunity to observe the brothers in action.
“If one does one thing, so does the other. Their work ethic, their fitness level, their commitment -- it’s exactly the same,” he said. “Frederick worked with me and Derick worked with another chief warrant officer. During the entire deployment, the brothers worked nonstop and refused to take a day off. I really admire them.”
Looking back at their 19 years of service, the brothers chuckled over their memories of basic training and advanced individual training. “The drill sergeants didn’t like us too much, because they couldn’t tell us apart and we were in the same group,” Derick said. “So if they told one of us to drop and do pushups, the other had to do them, too.”
The Aidoos trained in supply and logistics. Frederick currently serves as the operations NCO in charge for the 198th Regional Support Group, and Derick is the logistics support NCO. They speak in unison about their love of the Guard, working with soldiers and helping families, crediting leaders who have pushed them to excel.
Army Capt. Edwin Longwell is the assistant plans officer for the 198th RGS and the twins’ current supervisor. “The Aidoos always see what needs to be done and they get it done,” he said. “They don’t hesitate to take action and they don’t hesitate to speak up to help their chain of command. They are a cohesive team and their performance is identical as they are.”
Though they have risen to the rank of master sergeant, the brothers said they have no plans to slow down.
“Having a sibling join the Guard with you is a good idea,” Derick said. “I can always talk to him about the Army. We help each other and we feed off each other and it motivates us.”
Frederick picked up on his brother’s comment.
“Now we just look at the next opportunity,” he said.