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Brothers make recruiting a family affair
Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Charvat and his brother, Marine Corps Sgt. Matt Charvat, are recruiters assigned in their hometown of Mentor, Ohio. (Courtesy photo)
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Brothers make recruiting a family affair

Posted 11/20/2013   Updated 11/20/2013 Email story   Print story


by 1st Lt. Kwang Woong Kim
Air Force Recruiting Service Public Affairs

11/20/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas  -- Joining the armed services leads many people to leave their hometowns and serve around the world, moving far away from family and friends.

Fortunately for Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Charvat and Marine Corps Sgt. Matthew Charvat, these brothers had the opportunity to come back and serve in their hometown.

"When I applied to become a recruiter and got accepted, I was able to choose my hometown," said Andrew, 311th Recruiting Squadron enlisted accessions recruiter at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Mentor, Ohio. "By this time, my older brother, Matt, had already been at Mentor for a few months."

"When Andrew told me he was coming back home, it was awesome news," Matt added, a Marine Corps enlisted accessions recruiter at the same center. "It was the first time Andrew, my youngest brother, David, and I were back home together with family."

The Charvat brothers grew up all over the world, until finally settling in Mentor.

"Our childhood was different compared to most," Matt said. "Our father served in the Marine Corps and in the Army during our childhood and we moved around a lot."

"We lived overseas in Honduras, Germany and Sweden while growing up, due to our father's job working for the U.S. Embassy," Andrew added. "We got to experience that at an early age together. We then all moved back to Mentor, where we are currently recruiting."

Following in his father's footsteps, Matt was the first to serve and enlisted in the Marine Corps. When Matt joined the Marine Corps, it had a significant influence on Andrew.

"When I was younger, I looked up to my brother like most younger siblings by trying to be like them, always doing what they wanted to do," Andrew said. "Once he enlisted in the Marine Corps, it got me thinking as to what I wanted to do once I graduated from high school. When I watched him graduate boot camp when I was 15, I was proud of him and saw the transformation he went through in just 13 weeks."

Andrew admitted that seeing his brother got him thinking about wanting to enlist as well and changed his decision on what he wanted to do with his life.

He made his choice and enlisted in the Air Force.

"I am very proud of him," Matt said. "Regardless of what branch you serve in, it speaks volumes of a person's character when they decide to serve their country during times of war. They are the real 1 percent."

After each serving in their operational duties, both had similar aspirations on how they wanted to serve their country.

"The Air Force gave me great opportunities during my time as a firefighter," Andrew said. "I wanted to get into recruiting to allow other people to have the same opportunities I have had."

"During my time in the Marine Corps, I was an aviation ordnance technician and a career planner," Matt added. "As a career planner, I was able to learn a lot of the programs and benefits offered by the Marine Corps and educated Marines on it. I wanted to do the same thing but with those interested in serving. As a recruiter, I was able to do so and give back to the community."

The brothers didn't plan on being recruiters at the same time.

"It just happened that way with the timing and it worked out," Andrew said. "The odds of this are ridiculous; however, to be from two different branches, joining at two different times, and to be back in your hometown at the same time."

Now together at Mentor, the brothers work within a few feet of one another, competing to recruit the next generation of Airmen and Marines.

"Now that we are technically competing against each other, it's not as bad as one would think," Andrew said. "I also just started this job not too long ago so it might get worse over time, but I doubt it. He does seem to get that competitive itch when people come into my office."

"It is a friendly environment and I enjoy working alongside my brother," Matt said.
"However, being in the military as a recruiter and being brothers, we are always going to be competitive."

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