Sentry Savannah brings brothers together
By Master Sgt. Ralph Kapustka, 148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 27, 2015
SAVANNAH, Ga -- In the Guard, it is not unusual to have family members in the same unit. It is unusual, however, to have three brothers doing the same job for the same unit.
Staff Sgt. Michael Sirois, Senior Airman Patrick Sirois and Airman 1st Class Nicholas Sirois are F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chiefs with the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. and are participating in the 2015 Sentry Savannah 15-1 training exercise taking place Feb. 7-20 in Savannah, Ga.
Nicholas just got back from Crew Chief Technical School in July 2014 and Sentry Savannah was the first deployment the brothers had an opportunity to go on together.
Michael was the first to join the 148th FW back in 2009.
"My grandpa was a crew chief at the 148th for over 30 years," Michael said. "Growing up and listening to his stories on how the 148th FW was a family and how everyone treated each other so well made me want to join. It was a great career field for my grandpa."
Their grandpa and Michael were big influences on Patrick and Nicholas joining the unit as well. Michael was able to tell his brothers the benefits of joining from first-hand experience. That guidance, along with their grandpa's input, made the decision easy for the younger brothers.
"When I came to the 148th FW, I wanted to work with the jets," Patrick said. "The recruiter said there was a crew chief opening and I said, 'yes.' I just wanted to be a crew chief."
When it came time for Nicholas to join he gave the fire department a quick look but ultimately decided he wanted to follow in his grandpa's and brother's footsteps and became a crew chief as well.
"I could not see myself doing anything else. It's a fun job to be able to work on the jets," said Nicholas.
The brothers are close outside of the Guard as well, racing cars in the Duluth, Minn. area. Michael drives, while the two younger brothers work on his pit crew. Unlike some brothers, these three get along well and enjoy spending as much time as they can together whether it be working on jets or racing cars.
The experiences of working with their grandpa and dad on cars while growing up coupled with their love for racing has helped them in performing their job as crew chiefs.
"I love working on the jets," said Patrick. "We all grew up working on cars and four wheelers, we're all very mechanical. This job suits all three of us very well."
Their supervisor has nothing but good things to say about them. "It's unique, entertaining and creates a lot of good camaraderie," said Senior Master Sgt. David Ritsche, 148th FW flightline flight supervisor. "All three are go-getters and hard-chargers, they're wonderful people to work with and supervise."
All three brothers plan on re-enlisting and making a career out of the Guard. For now, they'll finish training together at Sentry Savannah while doing what they've grown to love - launching jets.
"When I send a pilot out and salute him ... it's just a good feeling knowing that I'm sending him up in a safe aircraft," said Nicholas.