Identical Army twins retire after 100 years of serviceA People In Defence news article
12 Aug 09
Identical twins from Scotland have notched up an incredible 100 years of Army service between them in careers that have been as identical as they are.
Majors Jimmie and Ron James, aged 65, both joined the Army on the same day, and were promoted on the same day (almost) through every rank in their careers, culminating in them both serving as Regimental Sergeants Major, and then being commissioned as officers.
And, in their own tradition, they both retired on the same day at the end of July 2009.
Jimmie and Ron were both born in 1944 and grew up in New Pitsligo, in Buchan, Aberdeenshire. They both joined the Army at the same time, aged 15, after seeing an advert:
"We both wanted to learn a trade," said Jimmie, "so we wrote off immediately."
The brothers joined the Army Apprentices School in Harrogate in September 1959 aged 15, and never looked back. In 1962, they passed out of the school and went on to have their unique careers.
The brothers chose to join the Royal Armoured Corps, working with tanks and armoured vehicles for better career prospects, and the rest is history. Jimmie continued:
"We were both promoted on the same day, five months after joining the 10th Royal Hussars in Paderborn in Germany.
"After that, we were promoted to the same rank on the same day for every rank in our career, except Warrant Officer Class 1, but not too far apart."
In 1986 the brothers were commissioned as late entry officers, Jimmie into the Royal Army Medical Corps, as Staff Officer to the Colonel Commandant in London, and Ron into the Army Air Corps, as the Operations Officer for 1 Regiment Army Air Corps in Germany.
They even married within one month of each other.
The twins spent most of their careers with The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Scotland's only cavalry (tank) regiment and most senior regiment, and spent most of their time in Germany, where the regiment is still based....
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