Raised from Navy roots, twins branch to different services
By Sgt. Ryan Smith
| | July 09, 2004
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
"Recruit training is like the top of the Reaper; when you are looking up, you are not sure you can make it, but when you're looking down, you know you have made it," said PFC Joshua R. Mace, Company H honor man.
Having climbed to the pinnacle of recruit training, Mace graduates today and joins the armed services with his identical twin, Army PFC Jason Mace.
Growing up, the twins became used to a wayfaring military life with their father in the Navy.
"(My sons have) seen me work in an exciting career that I truly love, and they know how rewarding a career in the military can be," said Navy Capt. Garry Mace. "They had been exposed to a military lifestyle since birth and have lived overseas three times."
"Every two years we packed up everything we owned and headed for someplace new," said Joshua. "After we turned 18, our father received orders to Japan. We decided to stay behind."
Calling Hanford, Calif., home, the twins were looking for direction in life.
"After high school graduation, they were faced with the fact that they had to commit to college or some other career because the rest of the family was moving back overseas," said Capt. Mace. "The military has always been like a second family to them and that probably pushed them toward enlistment."
Jason was first to act and set out to become a soldier. He joined the Army in August 2003 and reported to boot camp in November.
"He came home on leave and I sprung the news of my enlistment on him," said Joshua. "I left for boot camp one week later. He always thought I would join the military but he seemed surprised that I left so soon."
"I was kind of jealous," said Jason, mortarman, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.
But pride replaced envy; Jason and family often send encouraging letters to support Joshua.
"I am very proud of him and what he is doing with his life," said Jason. "He has accomplished so much in such a short amount of time."
"I was ecstatic at the decision for both of my sons," said Capt. Mace. "Like most kids their age, they lacked focus and discipline. I knew the military could harness (their) energy and intellect and instill the discipline required to reach their full potential."
Following graduation, Joshua will take 10 days of leave before reporting to the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Following his training, he has been selected for presidential support duty. His brother Jason is currently preparing for jump school beginning next month, followed by sniper and Ranger training.