Twin Wolves, One Pack

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Arends
  • 8th Fighter Wing

It’s not unheard of for identical twins to join the military, or even the same branch; but it’s not every day that twins get assigned to the same base at the same time. After almost seven years of living apart, Staff Sgt. Jacquelyn Stavlo and Senior Airman Kat Stavlo are serving concurrent assignments with the Wolf Pack at Kunsan Air Base.


Jacquelyn and Kat are serving 12-month remote assignments supporting the 8th Fighter Wing mission. Jacquelyn works as an 8th Medical Group mental health technician and Alcohol Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment program NCO. Kat works as a line delivery driver for the 8th Maintenance Squadron munitions shop, transporting munitions to equip F-16 Fighting Falcons aircraft prior to take off.


For both sisters, joining the Air Force was a perfect fit. It gave them the opportunity to have stable careers, travel the world and serve their country all at the same time.


"I wanted to go overseas before separating from the military and I wasn’t really picky about the location," said Jacquelyn. "I didn’t know where I would end up, but I was looking forward to new opportunities at a new duty location.”


The Stavlo family has a history of service, with the sisters’ father and grandfather both serving with the Army. In 2013, Jacquelyn was the first Stavlo sister to escape the small-town life of Deerlodge, Montana, and join the Air Force immediately after graduating high school.


“There was always a part of me that knew the military would be something I would pursue,” said Jacquelyn. “When I signed those enlistment papers, I knew wanted a job where I could help people or work on planes.”


Kat stayed in Montana after the sisters’ high school graduation and worked various jobs before joining the Air Force in 2016.


“I was looking for something different because you need a trade to work and support yourself in Montana,” said Kat. “To be frank, my dad kept telling me I couldn’t work dead-end jobs for the rest of my life and at that point, my sister’s recruiter had become a family friend.”


With the recruiter’s mentorship and guidance, both sisters were able to join the Air Force with a guaranteed spot in a career field that interested them. Jacquelyn was assigned to Travis Air Force Base, California, for the first five years of her career.


“I remember moving to California being such a culture shock after living in Montana,” said Jacquelyn. “I really grew in California.”


Kat’s first station was at the one and only Wolf Pack in 2016, followed by two years at Spangdhalem Air Base, Germany, before coming back to the 8th Fighter Wing last year.

“I couldn’t wait to come back to Kunsan. The base was super tight knit, especially when the curfew was still in effect,” said Kat. "During those days, you spent a lot of time with your coworkers and made great friends.”

During Kat’s first year at Kunsan, Jacquelyn came to visit and experienced the local culture and food firsthand. The love for Korean cuisine and trying new foods is a passion both the sisters share.


The twins look nearly identical, but that's where the similarities stop. Unlike many twins who dressed alike growing up, Jacquelyin and Kat were very distinct individuals at a young age. Kat likes to point out that their push for individuality started when they could both dress themselves at 3 years old. Kat preferred to keep her hair short ever since she was a child, while Jacquelyn has always had long golden locks.


"We look a lot alike, but definitely don’t dress the same," said Jacquelyn. “We do hang out, but I think being stationed at different bases has provided us the ability to be our own independent people.”


Kat, like her sister, is quick to point out they are very much their own persons when asked to list what traits they share.


“We do have somewhat similar interests when it comes to how we spend our time, but Jacquelyn likes to ski and I like to snowboard," Kat joked. "She likes to cook, while I like to steal food from my friends.”

There are many benefits to having a sibling stationed at the same base. Both sisters have friend groups that have some cross over, and because Kat arrived two months earlier than her sister, Jacquelyn had a friend she could hang out with when she first arrived.

“I think it’s cool having my sister here,” said Jacquelyn. “It’s nice to know I have family close by and I think a lot of people would want that.”


Since they arrived at Kunsan, they have focused on doing their jobs to the best of their abilities while building tight knit relationships within their social circles. Jacquelyn is working to finish her Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse counselor certification while Kat is taking classes to complete her Community College of the Air Force degree.


When asked what they bring to the Wolf Pack, their distinct personalities are seen in their responses.


“In the big picture, I may only be one small piece within the clinic,” said Jacquelyn. “But I know, no matter how small my position, I can help people lead happier and healthier lives.”


“Munitions,” quipped Kat with her deadpan sense of humor. “I really like the people I work with in ammo. We have such a tight-knit community that comes from being by ourselves on the other side of the base and we’re always there for each other.”


Both sisters have aspirations they would like to pursue outside of the Air Force. Jacquelyn would like to attend culinary school, and Kat wants to pursue a career in wildlife conservation working with wolves.


The twins have a couple years left in their current service contracts, and they are looking forward to their overseas follow-on assignments. Kat will be heading to Osan Air Base, while Jacquelyn will continue on to Aviano Air Base, Italy.


Until that time, they get to do something most service members never have the privilege to experience: serving overseas with family.