By Army 1st Lt. Vanessa Macekura
1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
ZABUL PROVINCE, Afghanistan, March 8, 2013 – A family business might be a store in a small rural town, but for a pair of brothers from Norfolk, Va., the family business is the Army.
Lieutenant Russell, 27, is an armor officer assigned to Command Group, Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, Regional Command-South. He enlisted in the Army as a private and climbed his way up the ladder to the rank of sergeant before he earned his commission through Officer Candidate School.
During his enlisted time, he worked toward a criminal justice degree, taking classes at Columbia College using the Army Tuition Assistance Program. He then applied for OCS with the degree completion option, so he could become an officer with the understanding that he would complete his degree.
Specialist Russell, 24, is an infantryman, and he’s working on a criminal justice degree from Trident University. During a deployment to Iraq, he maintained regular email conversations with his older brother, who suggested he relocate to Fort Stewart, Ga. Soon after, the younger brother received orders to Fort Stewart, bringing the brothers closer together.
“I think it is pretty cool,” Specialist Russell said. “When you need help with something, you can go to someone you really know.”
His brother agreed. “And when he needs something, I’m a telephone call or a helicopter ride away,” he said.
The lieutenant also had a quick answer to whether he and his brother plan to make the Army a career. “He is going to be the sergeant major of the Army,” he said, “and I will be the chief of staff.”