HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Many who serve in the military often refer to fellow service members as their family, but rarely are they actually your family.
Brothers, Senior Airman Joel Moon, 29, and Senior Airman Jared Moon, 25, decided to start their Air Force career together as firefighters with the 419th Civil Engineer Squadron here.
Both brothers were on track to become welders and had no interest in joining the military; however, a conversation with their uncle shifted their mindset.
“Our uncle started his firefighting career in Air Force Reserve with this same unit,” Joel said. “He talked to us about this career path and we became interested.”
With the idea now in their head, Jared and Joel enlisted a few months apart and by January 2018, both were reservists with the 419th Fighter Wing.
Joining the Reserve at the same time had a significant impact on their relationship, and attending basic military training together allowed them to create a special and unique bond.
“We left for BMT on the same day,” Joel said. “The squadron was the same but we ended up in different flights.”
Despite being apart while in the same location, the brothers still had the chance to see and speak with each other.
“We attended the same church together on Sunday,” Jared said. “That was our day to talk about how things were going, how we were feeling, and give each other advice.”
After graduating BMT, they continued their training together at the fire academy.
“Our relationship was good before, but after spending six months in Texas together, it got better,” Joel said. “There were hardships and difficulties, but going through it together brought us a lot closer.”
During their time in tech school, they found themselves depending on each other to get through those difficulties.
“We’ve spent some tough times together,” Jared said. “But we trust and can relate to each other a lot more now.”
Since joining the Air Force Reserve, they’ve had the opportunity to not only obtain their desired skillset, it’s also allowed them to grow.
“Initially when I joined, I was only going to do one term, but my mindset has changed,” Joel said. “I’ve learned so many skills and qualities along the way that are helpful in every aspect of my life.”
Attention to detail, working hard, structure, and organization are things they’ve both acquired during their time in service, they said.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in the Air Force,” Jared said. “I’ve attended different trainings and schools, travel, do fun things, and meet different people. It’s been such a great experience serving.”
Both brothers have been able to utilize their military training and obtain jobs as civilian firefighters. Joel works with the 75th Air Base Wing here and Jared works at the Utah Test and Training Range.
“What I’ve learned helps guide me and makes life easier,” Jared said. “There’s been no issue using what I’ve learned as an Airman to life outside of the military.”