SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- --
Kaitlin and Kristin Curtis always live life as a pair; as identical twins, they not only look alike, but as kids they were dressed alike and they continue to share the same habits, mannerisms and quirks.
Both serve in the Air Force as defenders, both made Senior Airman Below-the-Zone and after the release of this year’s staff sergeant selects, both are slotted to become junior noncommissioned officers and lead Airmen in the NCO corps.
They now serve within three hours of each other, Kaitlin as a flight security controller with the 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron at Francis Emroy Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, and Kristin as a unit scheduler with the 50th Security Forces Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
“You can say there’s a friendly rivalry between us,” Kaitlin said. “But it helps because it keeps us motivated, we are always striving to outdo each other.”
Despite the parallel path their Air Force careers have taken, their journey did not begin on the same foot. Kaitlin enlisted in the Air Force ten months earlier than her sister, seeking to find purpose after graduating high school.
“If you were to tell me I would serve in the military when I was in high school, I would’ve said you were crazy,” she said. “I didn’t think it was something for me. But in my freshman year of college, I was getting older and I wanted to be independent and support my parents as well as my country.”
Kristin attended her sister’s Basic Military Training graduation, and it sparked her desire to join and not be upstaged.
“I always thought about joining because I was in the same kind of lull after high school,” Kristin said. “But after seeing her graduating, wearing the uniform and marching, that really solidified the decision for me.”
She said having a sister who already underwent the rigors of BMT and Air Force Security Forces technical school gave her a distinct advantage.
“I had a better idea of what to expect, which helped a lot,” Kristin said.
Joel Galloway, a Curtis family friend who has known the twins since they were in high school, said he has seen the sisters grow through their service.
“I’ve seen them gain skills and confidence in their abilities,” he said. “All through their desire to be part of something bigger than themselves.”
While they enjoy being stationed so close together, the Curtis twins know there will be a day when their duty requires them to be apart.
However, both said through their service, they have strengthened their bonds as well as gained a new Air Force family.
“Before joining, I’ve never really been away from home for more than a week or two, so being away from my sister and the rest of my family was difficult at first,” Kaitlin said. “It was hard adjusting, but spending time with my fellow Airmen and ensuring the security of the mission, you become a family.”
“It was the same for me, going through all those life changes, but I’ve made really good friends who I’m still friends with to this day,” Kristin added. “After I got in, I realized how small our Air Force is and we all help out each other. I’ve seen support in the Air Force I’ve never seen before.”
While their military careers have mirrored each other so far, the Curtis twins look forward to their next competitive bout – making technical sergeant.
“It will be interesting to see what happens,” Kaitlin said. “Maybe by some miracle we’ll make technical sergeant together as well. It would be funny if we go to seven level training together and confuse the instructors.”
Galloway said whatever happens, they will continue to grow together and bring benefits to their Air Force family.
“They have always been committed to what they do, as well as helping others,” he said. “I consider it a privilege to be part of their lives.”
Kristin anticipates a bright future serving alongside her sister.
“Despite not being physically together all the time, we are closer than ever,” she said. “Even when we are away from each other for a long time, the moment we reunite it’s like we just saw each other yesterday.”