By Ryan Campbell
Twin sisters who began their Army National Guard careers together, went to war in Afghanistan together and share a house together, are now planning their retirements from the New York Army National Guard together.
Master Sgt. Lisa Currier, a senior logistics officer, and her sister, retired Lt. Col. Lynn Currier, an information management branch chief, have seen many parts of their military careers share the same path. Lynn went through the retirement process first and continued to work as a civilian while Lisa waits for her retirement date.
Sisters Who Enlist Together, Stay Together
Beginning in 1986, the two sisters, who are both Troy, New York residents, have spent more than three decades sharing their service.
“We got out of college back in 1986 and were in Burlington, Vermont working and we had to pay bills and student loans,” Lisa said. “I was reading a newspaper and it said get your student loans repaid and work weekends, and stuff like that.”
That turned out to be an advertisement for the Vermont Army National Guard, highlighting some of the education benefits that were offered. Lisa explained that she was able to talk her sister into joining with her – they ultimately signed up for the the Army Reserves – rather than looking into the state police.
“So we enlisted within a month or two on February 3 of 1986 together,” Lisa said.
“On the buddy system,” Lynn said.
Under that system, Lynn explained, the two sisters were able to go to basic training and advanced individual training together. Coming home to Vermont, they went right to work at Camp Johnson in Colchester.
In 1990, a previous supervisor called and told Lynn about fulltime positions at the New York National Guard. She interviewed for a New York National Guard position in December of 1990 and got the job.
Over the course of the next three years, Lynn advanced her career in the New York National Guard while her sister stayed in behind in Vermont. Lisa, who had transitioned from working for the Vermont National Guard to working for IBM, wouldn’t stay behind for long.
“She kept saying, come over, come over,” Lisa said. “I was working, like, 12-hour shifts and it was just crazy. I woke up on Sunday morning and decided, I’m tired of this.”
Three years after Lynn made her way to New York, Lisa put in her resignation to IBM and left. Moving in with her sister, Lisa explained that within a couple of weeks she was then able to find a job at the New York National Guard headquarters.
Building an Army Career
The Currier sisters agreed that one of the most significant changes they’ve seen during their 34-year careers was an increase in women joining the National Guard. They’ve also been pleased to see more and more women being selected for leadership positions.
Those opportunities, along with the full-time employment and benefits afforded to them, were the reason they stayed at the National Guard.
“I love coming to work,” Lisa said.
“We actually like it,” Lynn said.
Although the Curriers both started as enlisted Soldiers in 1986, Lynn decided she wanted to take her military career to another level and become an officer after reaching the rank of staff sergeant. As an officer, Lynn served as a military police officer which was an aspiration of hers before joining the National Guard.
“I always wanted to be more assertive and more in control of things,” Lynn said. “I felt the only way that was going to happen was to be an officer.”
“She just wants to be the hot dog,” Lisa said.
Making Deployments Memorable
In 2008, the Currier sisters found themselves deploying with the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Afghanistan, and were one of several related pairs that were sent together on the year-long deployment.
Lynn arrived in the country several days before Lisa, and was waiting, upon her arrival to offer her a lift.
“When I flew in, I think she knew I was coming,” Lisa said.
“I flew in with people that were a lot higher ranking than me [and when I arrived] she pulls up with the Gator and I throw all my stuff in it and we take off, while everyone else has to carry their stuff.”
Lisa spent the first few months of her deployment sleeping on her sister’s floor on a couple sleeping mats before the pair were eventaully separated.
“That was the big thing, they didn’t want them [the related pairs] together on the same base,” Lisa said.
“In case there was an attack,” Lynn said.
Looking Back on a Career of Service and Sisterhood
Now as they prepare to retire, looking back at their fondest memories of their military careers, Lisa said for her it is of all the wonderful people they have been able to meet.
“It’s like a family,” Lynn said.
Lynn’s retirement was on June 21, 2019. She has plans to move on to being an education officer at the Watervliet Arsenal, but says being a Soldier has meant a lot to her.
“When I had to take my uniform off, let me tell you,” Lynn said.
After all of the years spent in uniform together, they explained that they still travel together, have recently bought a house together and remain as close as ever.
“If I had the same chance again, I’d do the 34 years again,” Lisa said.
“When I first enlisted I never thought I’d make three years. And now these years have flown by.”
-This story originally appeared on Army.mil. It has been edited for style, brevity and grammar.
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