By Army Spc. Brittany Gardner
U.S. Army Reserve
BASRA, Iraq, July 29, 2011 – Sibling rivalry isn’t always about animosity or jealousy. Sometimes it can spark healthy competitions between brothers or sisters and helps them accomplish their goals. One soldier here attributes his success in the military to the rivalry between him and his brother.
Army Spc. Andrew Deason of the Texas National Guard’s 36th Infantry Division Special Troops Battalion said he strives hard for military excellence to out-do his older brother, an active-duty Army specialist.
Deason serves as an Iraqi security forces knowledge management representative at Contingency Operating Base Basra here. His brother, Army Spc. Brian Brown, is a combat medic with the 10th Mountain Division.
Although he enlisted two years after his brother, Deason said, he so far is winning the competition between the two to be the first to achieve certain military goals. Graduating from basic combat training and advanced individual training, as well as being promoted, are a few of those goals.
“After he enlisted, I still considered myself better than him,” Deason said. “I told him, ‘All right. I can do everything you do, and better.’”
His brother attained his current rank in two and a half years, he said. Deason was a specialist in two. They both graduated from basic military training, but Deason was an honor graduate. His brother was an honor graduate from his advanced individual training course, but Deason one-upped him and was distinguished honor graduate at his.
The brothers also compete to see who can meet the highest-ranking military officials.
“When it comes to meeting people, I’ve got him beat so far, Deason said. They’ve both met the commander of U.S. Forces Iraq and the Army chief of staff, but Deason also has met the sergeant major of the Army. “So I’m a little ahead of him so far,” he said.
When Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III visited Contingency Operating Base Basra, he gave Deason a coin for excelling in his mission here. While handing him the coin, Chandler complimented Deason on his demeanor.
That excellence has not gone unnoticed by his leadership here.
“Specialist Deason is an invaluable part of our section,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class James R. Gifford, Iraqi security forces section noncommissioned officer in charge. “He has a great personality, and his positivity promotes a higher level of morale in our section daily. He has an extremely strong work ethic and continues to search for ways to improve through both civilian and military education, as well as daily experiences and others jobs.”
Deason said the rivalry between him and his brother keeps him motivated to accomplish his goals, but he also attributed his drive to succeed as just being part of his personality.