SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --
Throughout their childhood, the identical twin Soffera brothers were raised with a competitive spirit.
Whether playing sports or focusing on academics, they set the bar high for themselves and continue to do so as Airmen, striving to be the best they can be.
“Our family was always trying to push each other to see who was the best,” said Airman 1st Class Daniel Soffera, 96th Medical Support Squadron medical laboratory technician. “It was a big thing in the family to be the best at whatever we were doing.”
In their adult lives, both changed college majors but were not sure if the paths they chose were the right ones for them.
Senior Airman Will Soffera, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron decentralized material support journeyman, said he was trying to decide what the next step in his life would be when he spoke to his brother about the possibility of enlisting.
The twins said they wanted to move in a positive direction, so after speaking with a local Air Force recruiter and liking what they heard, they enlisted.
Will departed for basic military training and Daniel set on his journey a few months later.
“I had that experience before him, so I could give him a little bit of a heads up and [tell] him what he would need to do toward honor grad and those early steps,” Will said.
“We are really similar people, so I know we’re going to have a similar viewpoint,” Daniel said. “Knowing what his reactions to basic [were and knowing they] would be similar to mine, I had a much better expectation than other people get from videos on YouTube.”
Then, with Will at his first duty station and Daniel in his second phase of training, the twins and best friends took it upon themselves to prove they were capable of handling anything thrown at them.
“For both of us, it has a lot to do with projecting that sense that we can take care of stuff when you bring it to us and [will] follow through,” Will said.
Their desire to do well is not just a means of proving themselves. They are also motivated to succeed for their coworkers.
“I always want to do the best I can for the people around me,” Daniel said. “If you’re not giving 100 percent … you’re letting down everyone else.”
They both earned the rank of senior airman below-the-zone with their proven ability to perform at a higher level. Will was eligible for BTZ first because he enlisted several months before his brother.
“When I got it, there was that competitive nature where he immediately started asking me ‘how did you stand out’ or ‘what did you do,’” Will said.
Daniel knew he would not be far behind.
“Any accomplishments he’s made, I’ve looked at that and said ‘congratulations’ and ‘I want that too,’” Daniel said.
Even with the recent accomplishment of earning BTZ, they are already diving in head first to reach their next goals.
“The cool thing is, we’ll be able to test [for staff sergeant] at the same time,” Will said. “Now it’s going to be, ‘if he makes it, I’ve got to make it; if I make it, he’s got to make it.’”
As the brothers and best friends pursue new challenges in life and their Air Force careers, they will continue to compete as they did when they were children, staying neck and neck as they improve their lives and give their best to the Air Force.