CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. (06/06/2018) Volunteers of the New York Guard State Defense Force might do a double take here this spring with identical twins serving in the force headquarters here at the Camp Smith Training Site.
More importantly, these members might have to take a better look at uniform rank to make sure the twin they know as a captain may just be the other twin who enlisted in May as a private first class.
New York Guard Captain Mark Getman, from Cedarhurst, N.Y., swore in his older identical twin brother, Private First Class Steven Getman into the New York Guard as a Public Affairs Specialist during the unit drill assembly May 19th, 2018.
Pfc. Steven Getman of Rockville Center, N.Y. was born first, two minutes ahead of his brother, Capt. Mark Getman, who previously served as a Chaplain Candidate and Unit Public Affairs Representative in the New York Army National Guard from 2006-2014 before returning to the New York Guard as the organization's Public Affairs Officer.
Getman had previously served four years in the New York Guard before he enlisted in the Army National Guard.
The New York Guard is a force of 500 uniformed volunteers, organized as a military unit, who augment the New York National Guard during state emergencies. They provide administrative and logistics support to the National Guard. Members of the New York Guard have been involved in flood control efforts along the Lake Ontario shoreline this past summer and supported the large-scale management of donations for the storm recovery in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
The two Getman brothers have worked side by side before. They previously worked together in their family restaurant equipment and supply business, where Steven Getman was Mark's boss.
"My brother, Captain Getman, worked for me, but he would say he worked with me…but I paid his check," stated Pfc. Steven Getman.
Now the two will continue to work together in the New York Guard Headquarters' Recruiting and Retention and Public Affairs staff.
After being sworn in by his "new boss," Pfc. Getman added "but now, I work under him, and roles are reversed, and I guess I will be doing a lot of pushups for being his previous boss. I fully respect my brother's position and rank, and I'm honored to be part of the New York Guard, where I will be helping my fellow citizens."
Unlike members of the New York National Guard, New York Guard members do not have a federal military role and do not deploy outside the state. New York Guard members usually train in a volunteer status and are only paid when they are placed on state duty during emergencies.
"I know it will cause a lot of confusion at first, especially with the command staff, having twins both in the same unit," said Capt. Mark Getman, who now serves as the Deputy Director of Recruiting/Retention and Public Affairs.
"But everyone will be able to tell the difference," he added. "I promised our commander, Colonel David Warager that I'd make sure everyone knew which Getman they are talking with."
The younger Getman has been trying to get his brother to enlist for the past four years, and when Steven Getman finally joined, Capt. Mark Getman stated to his twin:
"Well, it only took you four years to get up here, but I'm glad you did," Capt. Mark Getman said to his brother, noting the four years of encouragement to enlist in the New York Guard volunteer force.
Pfc. Steven Getman will be assigned to Headquarters Company, New York Guard, and will attend his Initial Entry Training during the New York Guard annual training in September.
This is the third set of identical twins serving in the New York Guard. Besides the Getmans, there are also the Molik twins, both colonels in the Guard, and the Gil twins, both 2nd Lieutenant. When one Gil twin moved to Virginia recently, they continued their service with the Virginia State Defense Force.
Colonel David Warager swore in Pfc. Getman in front of the morning formation, while Capt. Getman took photos in his role as a Public Affairs Officer. Later in the day, Capt. Getman re-administered the oath to his twin brother in front of the headquarters staff to memorialize and capture this special moment between brothers.
"Enlisting and serving in the military is always a special moment in a soldier's career, but to have your twin brother deliver the oath of enlistment for you is truly special," Warager said. "It will be a moment that both Captain Getman and Private First Class Getman will remember for the rest of their careers."