Promoted Arizona twins share National Guard experience
Twin brothers Derick and Frederick Aidoo — literal brothers in arms serving the State and Nation in the Arizona Army National Guard — recently pinned on the rank of master sergeant. According to their colleagues, 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 finished, “about being a Soldier and being proud to tell people who you are.”
The brothers are also two-time combat veterans, serving in Iraq in 2004 and Afghanistan in 2010.
Chief Warrant Officer Hector Mendoza deployed with the brothers to Afghanistan, and 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,” Mendoza 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.”
While Frederick is an architect in his civilian life and Derick is a construction engineer, their military careers and training are mirrored. Having trained in supply and logistics, Frederick currently serves as the operations NCO/NCOIC for the 198th Regional Support Group and Derick is the logistics support NCO.
Looking back at their 19 years of service from when they joined in 1995, the brothers chuckled over their memories of basic training and advanced individual training (AIT). Derick said, “The drill sergeants didn’t like us too much because they couldn’t tell us apart and we were in the same group. So if they told one of us to drop and do pushups, the other had to do them too.”
They practically speak in unison about their love of the Guard: “Working with the Soldiers and helping families. We’ve had good leaders and they pushed us to this point. You have to have good leaders.”
Capt. Edwin Longwell, assistant plans officer for the 198th RGS and the twins’ current supervisor, said, “The Aidoos always see what needs to be done and they get it done. 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 as identical as they are.”
Achieving the rank of master sergeant in the Army is one rank short of the highest available. The brothers 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.”
“Now we just look at the next opportunity,” Frederick added.
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Original article and photo by Arizona National Guard Capt. Matthew Murphy was published May 5, 2014, on NationalGuard.mil.