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No, you’re not seeing double

  • Published
  • By Wesley Farnsworth
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – They have the same rank and last name on their uniforms. They both work in security forces, and they work the same shift.

But you are not seeing double when you come through the gates. You’re seeing Airmen 1st Class Hailey and Hannah Browning, a set of identical twins assigned to the 88th Security Forces Squadron.

The duo, originally from Aberdeen, South Dakota, have been stationed at Wright-Patt since 2020.

After graduating from Aberdeen Central High School in 2019, the twin sisters started traveling together, visiting more than 40 states in six months. Then, they decided to do (and see) more, so they set their sights on the military, which runs in the family with a great uncle who served in the Navy and brother who served in the Marine Corps.

“When we were considering enlisting, we were looking at the Army and Air Force originally,” Hailey said. “We want to be pilots someday like our grandfather was, so the Air Force seemed like a logical step in that direction, besides allowing us to see more.”

The sisters joined the Air Force under the buddy system.

“We were guaranteed that our basic military training and likely our technical school would be together,” Hannah said. “But the recruiter couldn’t guarantee our first duty assignment.”

Now nearing the end of their first duty assignment, the twins say they love being stationed together.

“When we first got here, we were not working the same shift, or rooming together,” Hailey said.

Hannah finished her sister’s thought: “Now, we are in the same dorm room quad, and working the same shift, which is a lot of fun. We even have matching cars.”

The sisters say it’s not unusual for people to do a double take when they see them.

“When we first started, one of us would be working the gates in the morning, and the other would work the afternoons,” Hailey said. “It wasn’t uncommon for people to say something about us working all day, not realizing that we are different people.”

But the twins really enjoy their Air Force careers and can't wait to see what the future holds.

“Being in the Air Force gives us a sense of being a part of something bigger than ourselves; it makes us feel more American,” Hannah said. “We are excited to head to our next duty station soon, which we just found out about and that we will also be together again.”

To those considering enlisting under the buddy system, the sisters offer this advice.

“Don’t give up, and don’t let other people’s opinions affect your decisions,” Hailey said. “If you want to stay together, then do everything you can to make it happen, like volunteering for career fields that are in need, and just be good Airmen.”