Story and photo by Spc. Eugene Cushing
4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FENTY, Afghanistan – A recent re-enlistment ceremony had observers seeing double at Forward Operating Base Fenty in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province.
Spc. Justin L. Hastings and his identical-twin brother Pfc. Josh L. Hastings re-enlisted at the same time Jan. 18 during their 12-month deployment with Task Force Mountain Warrior.
The Hastings brothers joined the Army separately in 2008 and found themselves both assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, after completing initial entry training.
Justin, a transportation specialist, Company G, 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment, described the brothers’ decision to re-enlist as a mutual one.
Josh, a cavalry scout, assigned to Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, claimed the idea was all his.
By re-enlisting at the same time, the two were able to pick an assignment at the same unit again.
“It is great; I could not ask anything more than that,” Josh said about sticking together at their next assignment.
The brothers related stories about times that looking alike and having the same last name had gotten one or the other in trouble.
In one case, Justin was standing in formation at the end of the day while his brother waited behind the formation for him. They said the platoon sergeant did not notice Justin in formation and asked where he was, when another Soldier said he was standing behind the formation.
“Our platoon sergeant started freaking out,” Justin said. The platoon sergeant later brought his brother over and had the twins stand next to each other once the mix-up was cleared.
The Hastings said they have also gone to great lengths to establish themselves as individuals.
“We’re both excelling pretty well in the military,” Justin said. He went on to say that he has been selected for Soldier of the quarter boards.
Josh’s achievements included being an honor graduate from his initial entry training.
After the deployment, the brothers said they are transferring to a unit in Germany, although they argued – in true brotherly fashion – over whose idea it was to try for an assignment in Europe.
“I wanted to use the Army as a way to see the world,” Josh said. “I could not pass up the opportunity to go to Germany and have my brother come with me.”
“Technically, (Josh) came with me,” Justin said. “Germany sounded great, just me and my brother in Germany, spreading our wings and seeing the world.”
“It’s a great learning experience,” Josh explained.
“He’s always tailing me,” Justin said.
“Whatever,” Josh countered. “He’s the one tailing me.”