KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A pair of U.S. Army first lieutenants were promoted to captain July 2 on Forward Operating Base Salerno.
Making this particular promotion special, however, was that the two lieutenants, Jon and Nathan Dyer, are not only brothers, but identical twins.
The two have always looked up to those who serve their country, said Nathan Dyer, an AH-64D Apache pilot and platoon leader with 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Tigershark.
Their father and brother also served the country, in the Air Force and Coast Guard.
“It is one thing to talk about service and the desire to give back to the country that has given us so much,” he added, “but it is entirely another thing to actually put your life and energy toward the service of our country. My brother and I shared a desire to put our commitment and desire to serve to the test and join the military as our father and older brother had done.”
They both attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point together, where they studied the same major, participated on the crew team, and graduated in the top five percent of their class, said Jon Dyer, logistics and supply officer for 40th Engineer Battalion, 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Ram.
The brothers, although serving in different career fields, are still able to learn from each other’s experiences, said Nathan Dyer.
“We quickly came to see how different (our duty positions) are,” he said, “but also how they complemented each other and how we could work better together.”
The event also marked the first time in two and a half years that the brothers were able to see each other.
“My trip to Salerno had only one purpose,” said Jon Dyer, who is based out of Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, “to pin on captain’s bars with my brother.”
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to both pin on captain rank while we are both deployed in Afghanistan,” he added.
Navratil serves with 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.