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NEWS | Sept. 29, 2014

Brothers in Arms

By Senior Airman Dennis Sloan Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Sacrifice of service to ones country is a common thread all service members share, but two Airmen here at Joint Base Charleston share an even stronger bond.

2nd Lt. James Davis and Senior Airman Dustin Davis are brothers.

"Our father instilled in us the belief that you're never too good to serve your country," said James.

James and Dustin grew up moving around a lot since their father, retired Master Sgt. Robert Davis, served in the Air Force.

Dustin, the eldest, was born in South Carolina and two years later James was born in Guam.

"My brother and I were pretty close growing up being only two years apart in age," said Dustin. "We have always had the same interests, hobbies and played the same sports. It doesn't surprise me we both ended up joining the Air Force."

Their family eventually settled down in Maryville, Tenn., where their father finished his career as an Air Force recruiter.

"Even though our father served in the Air Force he never pressured us into joining," said James. "He wanted us to go to college and choose our own paths; but Dustin and I always had the idea of serving in the back of our minds."

After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Dustin knew he wanted to do something more than just work at a traditional job. He wanted to do something his father could be proud of, so in 2010, Dustin enlisted in the Air Force.

"It felt good to be carrying on the tradition and when I heard my brother was going through Officer Training School, it made me feel even prouder," said Dustin.

In 2013, James graduated from college and was commissioned into the Air Force as a second lieutenant, but he still would need to receive his first salute.

"He called me a few weeks before the commissioning ceremony and asked me if I could give him his first salute," said Dustin. "I was honored and took the event very seriously. My little brother was becoming an officer."

Dustin traveled to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., where he gave his brother his first salute. After the salutes were exchanged, they each handed one another a personalized coin to commemorate the moment.

"Neither of us knew the other had a coin, so I was just as surprised as he was when he handed me one right back," said James. "Definitely a moment I will never forget. Very few people can say their first salute came from their own brother."

Dustin and James parents were in attendance and pinned on his first rank of 2nd lieutenant.

With JB Charleston being both James and Dustin's first duty station, they realize how unique and fortunate they are.

"I couldn't believe that my brother was actually coming to Charleston," said Dustin. "I remember waiting and waiting for him to arrive and when he finally showed up I was ecstatic."

"Being brand new to a place you've never been before and having someone who knows the area and can show you around makes a huge difference," said James. "And that guy who knows the area also happens to be my brother."

James is a 437th Operations Support Squadron intelligence officer and Dustin is a 628th Comptroller Squadron finance specialist.

"Even though I am on the operations side of things and he is on the support side our mission is the same," said James.

Both brothers have a great appreciation for what the other does and enjoy learning about how the officer and enlisted ranks work together.

"James knows that I'm not just throwing away travel vouchers daily," Dustin jokingly said. "I have also gained even more respect for officers and how personal they take their position and responsibilities."

Both brothers plan to make a career out of the Air Force.