GULF OF ADEN --
Two brothers in arms, and brothers by blood reunite aboard dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41).
To have a brother in the Marine Corps is not uncommon. It is not unheard of to have a brother in the same unit. To deploy to the same area of operations is not unthinkable. For two brothers assigned to different units and military occupational specialties (MOS) to find themselves not only on the same deployment, but aboard the same ship, is truly unique.
Cpl. Christopher R. Taylor, a landing support specialist with Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 22, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and Lance Cpl. John D. Taylor, a field radio operator with Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team (BLT), 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd MEU, are brothers from Kingwood, W.Va., who are currently deployed aboard Whidbey Island.
Christopher volunteered to join the 22nd MEU before he knew John was attached to the unit.
“I knew he was deploying around the same time, but I didn’t know it was the same deployment,” said Christopher, 21.
The 22nd MEU is currently deployed as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG), which consists of three ships; amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5); amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19); and Whidbey Island. The odds of the brothers being assigned aboard the same ship are extremely remote.
“We never expected to be on the same deployment, let alone the same ship,” said Christopher, who is currently serving has the noncommissioned officer in charge of combat cargo aboard Whidbey Island.
Christopher joined the Marine Corps first in July 2008, followed shortly by John in January 2009.
“I went to his boot camp graduation and thought it was pretty cool,” said John, 24. “I had always thought about joining, that kind of gave me the push.”
While John says he joined to work on high-tech communications, Christopher joined simply because he wasn’t ready for college.
Christopher ended up as part of Combat Logistics Regiment (CLR) 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (MLG), and John landed in Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.
The brothers deployed together in March and though their family worries about them, the brothers say the family would rather have them together.
“They’re supportive,” said John. “They just worry about us with all that’s going on.”
The 22nd MEU is scheduled to return in February, and the brothers will continue the deployment together.
“It’s good having family aboard,” said John. “It’s great being deployed together.”
The 22nd MEU is currently deployed as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG) as the U.S. Central Command theater reserve force, also providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.