TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Tiana Kemp and Lance Cpl. Briana Kemp, both supply administration specialist with Combat Logistics Regiment (CLR) 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (MLG), are twins who enlisted in the Marine Corps in Feb., 2018. Similar looks but very different personalities – Briana is the more abrasive sister while Tiana is the kinder twin. Even Briana will tell people, “I’m the mean twin and she is the nice one. I usually don’t like twin stereotypes but that is true.”
The girls’ have always had a strong bond; even growing up they wore similar clothes and liked similar things. As children they were inseparable, and, says Briana, “your twin is your best friend that you were born with.” The Kemp twins will even finish each other’s sentences, and they tease each other constantly.
“It wasn’t love at first sight,” Briana says about the twins considering enlisting in the Marine Corps after high school. They were in JROTC with the hope to enlist into the Airforce, when they received a post card from the Marine Corps. Tiana filled out the card with their information and the recruiters met them at their school. They were nervous at the thought of enlisting; however, they kept seeing signs to join the Marine Corps, like television commercials, ads on social media and their recruiter keeping his word to follow up with them. Briana says she just listened to the signs. “I’m big into signs, everything was pointing in the Marine Corps’ direction. Even if Tiana didn’t want to, I knew I had to consider the option.” So after long discussions, they both decided to accept the challenge of becoming Marines.
Even though the twins enlisted together, they did not expect to get the same military occupational specialty (MOS). “What was funny was that we picked our MOSs separately, but we choose the same first three choices,” Tiana chuckled. Fortunately they enlisted in the buddy program, so the girls went through boot camp, Marine Combat Training, and their MOS school together.
During boot camp, the Kemp twins were in November Company, Platoon 4018 together and the drill instructors called them Bravo and Tango, derived from the first letter of their names. At boot camp, they were both artist recruits and Tiana believes their drill instructor hated it. Tiana recalls that during the girls’ first intensive training session, “the drill instructor came up to us and said, ‘I don’t know which one of you Kemps pissed me off the other day so both of you strip.’” Marine Corps’ drill instructors will make recruits strip their blouses to conduct intensive training. Once the instructors could tell the difference between the Kemp twins, they would blame the other sister for anything that the other did.
The buddy program only guarantees keeping potential Marines together at boot camp and then Marine Combat Training once they become Marines, but somehow the girls have managed to get even more time together. Unsure if they would be near each other once they received their first duty station orders, they were shocked when they both got stationed with CLR 2, 2nd MLG at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Their family is just across the border in South Carolina, so the twins get to be with family often.
Besides being stationed together, the Kemp twins are also roommates. Tiana considers herself the motherly of the two and is constantly telling Briana to pick her things up. Briana will bicker with Tiana and tell her, “Like, you literally came to my side of the room to nag about my stuff on the floor, like I’m going to get it.” The twins argue over petty things and Briana blames that on a “twin feeling,” “You know, twins feel each other. I’ll get annoyed because we are arguing. She’ll get annoyed, and then we will just keep arguing and it doesn’t end.”
However, when the twins argue they know it is never serious. Briana says “There is, like, big twin and little twin, so you can always tell, like, there are certain things that the little twin does that the big twin doesn’t do,” she said, “so, like, I will act like a baby around her and you can tell that she is the big twin.” Tiana says she will naturally nag Briana because Tiana is one minute older.
The Kemp twins were content to travel to Twentynine Palms, California, for the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Warfighting Exercise (MWX) 1-20. During MWX, the twins are serving as supply clerks. Tiana believes that during the exercise people rely on them as a team. She went a step further: “We are kind running everything, she and I, and everybody really depends on us to be on top of everything. Like, if anyone has questions they ask us. When they come in they come to us because they trust what we are saying.” Even though they don’t work together back at Camp Lejeune, the way they’re collocated during the exercise makes it a lot easier to bounce ideas off each other. “I know if I don’t know it, she will,” Briana said.
As the twins move forward in their Marine Corps career, they hope to have more opportunities like MWX to work together. Tiana is looking forward to a deployment at the beginning of next year, and both twins see twenty years in the Marine Corps in their future. Tiana, just promoted to corporal, even says she could see herself commissioning, while Briana wants to stay enlisted. The Kemp twins hope to stay close throughout their career.