Sisters begin Air Force journey together

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
The life-changing process of becoming an Airman begins with a person being thrown into an unfamiliar environment with people they don't know. However, two Keesler Airmen went through the challenging experience with the comfort of a familiar face.

Two sisters,  Airman Nicole Zens and Airman Basic Bridgit Zens, 335th Training Squadron, were able to attend basic training at the same time and continue on to be in the the same class during technical training here at Keesler.

"During basic we were in the same squadron, but different flights," said Bridgit.

"But we actually got to see each other quit a bit during training," said Nicole. "It was weird seeing her when we were marching."

The youngest two of four siblings struggled to maintain military bearing and tryed not to smile whenever they passed each other in formation and occasionally had the chance to talk if they saw each other in a restroom.

"Everyone in our flights knew who we were and would say 'There is little or big Zens when they saw us," Nicole said.

The Zens were able to keep their bond a secret from their military training instructors for almost half of basic training.

"They didn't find out we were sisters until the third week," said Bridgit.

"Somebody in my flight said something about it around my MTI and they teased us the whole time after that. It was pretty fun," Nicole said. "My MTI actually let me give her a hug one day when we were standing in line getting our blues dry cleaned."

Following basic training, the sisters continued their adventure together here at Keesler during avionics training.

"I like it here," Bridgit said. "It's nice and we're in the same squadron so we can go into each others rooms and hang out."

The Zens said they enjoy spending time playing basketball, going to the Fishbowl and hanging out at the beach together.

The sisters said while it was helpful to have one another in training so they could be supportive of each other's success, they also enjoyed competing against each other to see who could score the highest on tests.

"They challenged each other, it was good positive reinforcement and they had the initiative to learn," said Justin Wells, 335th TRS Avionics Fundamental instructor.

"It helps us strive to get higher scores," Bridgit said. "We are always very competitive."

"This is my first time having sisters come through this course," Wells said. "They were very helpful to each other and if others needed help they stepped up to the plate."

After completing the avionics course at Keesler, the sisters will continue their journey together during their second part of training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.