AL ASAD, Iraq -- When two sisters from Jefferson, Ga., walked into a Marine Corps recruiting station and decided to join, they had no idea the entire experience of a four-year enlistment would be spent together.
Cpls. Leenorta and Renota Washington are electrical equipment repair specialists with the Utilities Platoon of Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, Marine Wing Support Group 37 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and have not been separated once since leaving home for recruit training.
"We joined the Delayed Entry Program on the same day," said Renorta. "We worked to get into the same platoon during boot camp."
Being able to feed off the each other's energy and motivation helped make the training a little easier, but the two had no idea how close they would remain after graduation, according to the 22-year-old siblings.
"We knew we would get the same platoon in boot camp, but we also got put in the same platoon at (Marine Combat Training) too," said Leenorta. "We really wanted the same one and we just got it."
Once they completed MCT and their military occupational specialty school at Camp Lejeune, N.C., they were assigned to their first duty station, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.
"We had the same MOS and we were stationed at the same base, with the same unit, in the same shop," said Renorta. "Everyone was very helpful with getting us transitioned into our Marine Corps fleet life."
After nine months of working in the states, the shy sisters were informed that they would be deploying to Iraq in March and they would be there for six months.
"At first our parents didn't want us to deploy," said Leenorta. "But now, after they thought about it, they are glad that we are doing this together."
While deployed to Iraq, the two have achieved MOS proficiency and excelled in every aspect of their lives and jobs.
"The two are a great example of what a Marine (non commissioned) officer should be," said Sgt. Matthew J. Howe, Utilities Platoon noncommissioned officer-in-charge, MWSS-274. "They are constantly learning and showing the want to excel in their jobs and lives."
With less than a month left in their deployment, the sisters will be returning to Cherry Point to finish out their enlistments and head towards nursing careers in the medical profession. No matter what their futures have in store for them, one can bet it will be done as a team.