INDIAN OCEAN (NNS) -- Twin siblings share a variety of things growing up – matching outfits, friends, hairstyles; the list goes on. Twin sisters Ens. Genesis Mañoza, assigned to USS Rushmore (LSD 47), and Ens. Faith Mañoza, assigned to Navy Information Operations Command Hawaii, are no exception to this norm. However, these twins have shared more than just their birthdays. These women share a unique naval career together.
“After we graduated from college, we decided to submit our applications to Officer Candidate School (OCS),” said Genesis. “My sister and I had been working on our packages before graduation was even a thought.”
Both sisters graduated from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology.
“While we both had our degrees, we wanted to follow in our dad’s footsteps and continue the legacy of naval service,” said Genesis. “Our dad served for 28 and a half years and retired as a Senior Chief Electrical Gas Turbine Systems Technician, and we wanted to make him and our mom proud.”
While the Mañoza twins were born minutes apart, their career was born weeks apart.
“Although Faith found out she was accepted first, I started OCS six weeks prior to her,” said Genesis. “My sister was a bridesmaid at her best friend’s wedding, so she pushed her start date back, so that she could be there for that.”
Much like in grade school, the twins caused their instructors some confusion at OCS.
“When my sister arrived she had to do the routine urinalysis,” said Genesis. “My Recruit Division Commander (RDC) was at urinalysis, and when she saw my sister, she thought my sister was me. My RDC asked her why ‘I’ was there because she had just conducted a uniform inspection with me earlier that day. Later that day, both of our classes happened to be at chow. My RDC called me up to her and said, ‘Why didn’t you tell us you had a twin!?’”
Having a twin can also pose several challenges. Throughout life, twins are often compared to one another because they share the same face. They are expected to share the same motivation, intelligence, and behavior. While some twins can find this frustrating, these sisters are driven by this stigma.
“Our RDCs compared us in a positive way,” said Genesis. “They used my experience at OCS to motivate my sister. On one occasion, they spoke to her and told her, ‘I know you look up to your sister. She’s doing really well, and you’re going to do well too.’”
Upon the sisters’ completion of OCS, they both had the special moment of sharing their “first salute” at their graduations with their dad.
“Your first salute is a very memorable and special thing,” said Genesis. “We both were blessed to be able to receive our first salute from our dad. He was who inspired us to start this journey.”
Although these women share a naval career together, much like their personalities, their jobs and Navy experiences have also varied greatly.
“I was accepted for supply, and Faith was accepted for supply and crypto,” said Genesis. “Faith’s choice of crypto took her to school in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Pensacola, Florida, while I went to school in New Port, Rhode Island. Now I am stationed in California, and she is stationed in Hawaii.”
Genesis said the two have been inseparable their whole lives. Although they may not be together physically, distance has not changed their bond.
“We try to talk as much as possible and continue to support each other’s goals every day,” said Genesis. “For example, we are both in the process of obtaining our warfare pins right now, and we are constantly motivating one another to get done what needs to be done.”
Genesis is currently deployed with Rushmore and hasn’t seen Faith since she commissioned in February 2018.
“I really hopeful that my sister will be waiting on the pier to greet me when I return home,” said Genesis. “This is my first deployment and getting to see her would mean the world to me. We have so much time to make up for.”
Rushmore is deployed with the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th MEU. The Essex ARG/13th MEU is a flexible and persistent Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operation in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, visit www.navy.mil/local/npasewest/.