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FORT KNOX — Arthur and Eric Traslavina have done most things together throughout their lifetimes.
They are identical twins, born moments apart, and grew up in Phoenix, each the other’s best friend. They attended school together, played organized baseball on the same teams, and both worked in the construction industry following graduation from high school.
It came as no surprise then that, at the age of 22, both decided to enlist in the U.S. Army.
“When we determined that we would join the Army, I found a lot of comfort in the fact that we could join together and share the same (military occupational specialty),” Pvt. Arthur Traslavina said.
The brothers are used to being one another’s twin; however, they had to get used to added notoriety when they arrived together at the Fort Knox Reception Battalion of the 46th Adjutant General.
However, notoriety in basic training is not necessarily a good thing.
When it came time to ship out of reception and into training, both soldiers found themselves assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment. When they arrived for reception and integration, both were assigned to the Fourth Platoon based on alphabetical segregation. Applying the same methodology, both ended up becoming each other’s battle buddy for basic combat training.
“This is the farthest Arthur and I have ever been away from home, and going through this experience with my brother made it far less stressful,” Eric Traslavina said. “I always had him to talk with after training was completed each day.”
During classroom instruction, training, platoon inspections and in the dining facility, cadre members routinely executed double takes when encountering the Traslavina brothers. During an inspection, the battalion command sergeant major was overheard wryly asking Eric why he desired to “fail” the same inspection a second time.
The Traslavina brothers found BCT to be everything they expected. They praised their cadre members for getting them in the best shape of their lives, for mentoring them through training, and for exhibiting a genuine concern for their welfare.
“The drill sergeants had answers for everything,” the brothers said.
While they rated Army chow somewhat short of home-cooking, the brothers enjoyed the food in the dining facility and found military Meals Ready to Eat unexpectedly enjoyable. They celebrated their 23rd birthdays during BCT as part of their final week of training.
“It was a nice way to turn 23, about to finish training and being with my brother,” added Arthur.
The Traslavinas will leave Fort Knox this month to attend advanced individual training at Fort Lee, Va. While at Fort Lee, each will learn the skills and duties to become 92F MOS, petroleum supply specialists.
Both enlisted in the regular Army and do not harbor any illusions that they will be assigned to the same unit following AIT. However, both feel fortunate to have shared the beginning of their military careers and said they look forward to the inevitable sibling rivalry of career progression while in the profession at arms.