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Twin defenders pursue education, future commission together

Airman 1st Class Leland, left, and Airman 1st Class Lemuel Spratt, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron members, pose for a portrait July 19, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Airman 1st Class Leland, left, and Airman 1st Class Lemuel Spratt, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron members, pose for a portrait July 19, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. The Spratt twins have spent all but a few days of their lives together, even in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell)

Airman 1st Class Leland, left, and Airman 1st Class Lemuel Spratt, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron members, share a joke July 19, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Airman 1st Class Leland, left, and Airman 1st Class Lemuel Spratt, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron members, share a joke July 19, 2018, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Both Airmen plan on starting college as soon as their upgrade training is finished and possibly commission together in their future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Inspired by a video series depicting civilians in military training, twin brothers native to Detroit set off to join the United States Air Force.

Airman 1st Class Leland Spratt and Airman 1st Class Lemuel Spratt, 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron members, spent all but a few days of their lives together.

Now, they’re serving together at the same base and squadron.

To no one’s surprise, they’re serving together at the same base and squadron.

According to the brothers, their military interest started when they saw a sitcom about the military, where a civilian is given a trial run with a branch of their choice and opportunity to join at the end.

Leland was the one who brought up the idea of the military and Lemuel convinced his brother the Air Force was the service to join.

“I did some research and compared all of the branches,” said Lemuel. “I saw how the Air Force develops its people and it was better to me.

“I remember watching this one comparison video between lifestyle of the Air Force and the Army,” he continued. “It was much better [to me]. I don’t want to be second-guessing if the lifestyle is better or not and you get the same benefits.”

During the recruiting process, Lemuel had another career option, but realized security forces was similar to civilian law enforcement and ended up choosing security forces with his brother.

Originally, Leland planned to join the Army as a K-9 handler, believing the Army was the only military branch that offered a K-9 career.

“I’m no longer set on K-9, but I didn’t let anyone deter me from it,” said Leland. “They say it’s a competitive career field, but everybody can say something is competitive and end up not going through with it.”

As both Airmen and brothers in arms, the two arrived to Malmstrom in May 2018 and hope to finish their training as soon as possible to pursue an education.

“Our plan now is college,” said Leland. “Our original plan was to come in and stay for a long time and become officers, so we’re trying to commission together at the Air Force Academy.

“Everyone says you end up staying here [Malmstrom] for a long time, so I’m going to try and get my degree,” he continued. “I see a lot of people who have been here for four or five years and they haven’t touched any college degree.”

They also have friends pursuing similar goals, such as Community College of the Air Force degrees which help ensure they stay on top of those goals.

“Every day I go back and forth between becoming an officer and getting out,” Lemuel added. “I won’t let the setting of Malmstrom dictate that, because Malmstrom can make you change and think, ‘I don’t want to be here,’ or ‘I’m ready to get out’, and you end up having nothing to plan for.”
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