Dad, twins have ‘identical’ stories

Courtesy of Fort Jackson

COLUMBIA — Identical twins are following in their dad’s footsteps at Fort Jackson. Both graduated as drill sergeants last month at Fort Jackson, where their father became a drill sergeant and later deputy commandant.

Randy Moorman, of Wrightsville, Ga,. was deputy commandant at Fort Jackson’s Drill Sergeant Academy from 2001 through 2003. Two of his daughters, Staff Sgts. Natasha and Natisha Moorman, identical twins born in Baumholder, Germany — where Moorman was stationed at the time — are on his heels.

By apparent chance, the family has created a legacy at Fort Jackson. Moorman met his wife, Linda, on post. She works with military records at Fort Jackson. Like father, like daughters, all three went through Basic Combat Training and the Academy here.

Moorman was 29 when he went on the trail, and the twins are 28. Natasha and Natisha are soon to return to Fort Jackson. They will report back to the installation Nov. 26 to serve as drill sergeants in the 193rd Infantry Brigade.

Natisha said returning to Fort Jackson is like “coming back home.” It’s a “weird feeling,” she added, calling it “bittersweet.”

She said it’s good to be back with family, but little travel and long days are ahead.

Moorman attended Fort Jackson’s Drill Sergeant Academy when he was assigned to the trail years ago, after originally enlisting in 1976. One decade later, in 1998, he returned to the company he drilled for as a first sergeant. After that, he became deputy commandant of the Academy.

Hearing from his daughters brought back memories. He said the process of becoming a drill sergeant has remained largely the same, even after all these years. He thinks it was “a little tougher” back then.

His daughters couldn’t disagree. “I can see that,” Natisha said, but added, “to us, it was still tough.”

Natasha said the difficulty of the Academy today is probably more suitable for their generation. Moorman helped them through their training.

“I had a lot of advice,” he said. In preparation, he practiced modules with them. “He broke (the modules) all down,” Natasha added.

Natisha said he helped make sure everything went smoothly during their stressful Academy days. “I’m so proud of them … they did really well,” he said.

The sisters said their father helped them know discipline at an early age. He instilled military values as they grew up. “I was very strict,” he said.
The Army and Moorman’s current position as deputy sheriff of probate court and family court in Columbia influenced his parenting style. Randy said he didn’t want them to end up in the same position as some of the kids he sees in the judicial system.

Born in the South in 1950, Randy joined the Army at 17 to get away from racial tension. He was tired of being witness to the shootings and violence commonplace in his rural hometown.

In the Army, it was different, he said.

“We had to work together, become one,” he said. “You see people for who they are … it grew on me.”

Tasks like cleaning barracks brought everyone together, race aside, he added.
Natasha and Natisha had different reasons for signing up. Their dad played a role in the decision. Natasha said the lifestyle the Army provided their Family influenced her to give the military a shot.

She also joined to travel and experience new things — that was nearly eight years ago.

Natisha enlisted roughly one year after, inspired by her sister. “She was doing great things,” Natisha said. Natisha left college and made the leap into the Army.

Soon they will be stationed together for the first time ever here at Fort Jackson. Some identical twin pranks may be soon to come.

Author: Rachel Howell

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