By Kristin Stewart
/ Published September 05, 2017
Senior Airmen Anthony and Christina Paro, a husband and wife with the 96th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, smile as they hold their promotion stripes at Eglin AFB, Fla. Aug 30. The couple both serve in the same career field, the same unit and were selected for staff sergeant on their first attempt. They sew on their new non-commissioned officer stripes after the birth of their first child. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kristin Stewart)
Senior Airmen Joshua and Kelsey Horan, a husband and wife in the 96th Medical Group, smile as they hold up their promotion stripes at Eglin AFB, Fla. Aug 30. They were both selected for promotion to staff sergeant and expect to sew on their new rank by the end of 2017. The Horans met at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio during medical training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kristin Stewart)
Senior Airmen Demetrius Bell and Carmelita Reddix, a husband and wife in the 96th Medical Group smile as they hold their promotion stripes at Eglin AFB, Fla. Oct 24. The couple both serve in the same career field and were selected for staff sergeant on their first attempt. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)
Senior Airmen Anthony and Christina Paro, Joshua and Kelsey Horan, Demetrius Bell and Carmelita Reddix were selected to become non-commissioned officers.
Air Force couples making rank together is not unusual, but these couples are unique because they made the same rank on the same cycle and are also in the same career field. Christina works in public health, protecting personnel from illness and disease by minimizing health risks within the community. In bioenvironmental engineering, Anthony focuses on reducing health hazards in the workplace and in the environment. Joshua takes care of Airmen and their families during a medical emergency, while Kelsey ensures the health and safety of flying Airmen.
Military leaders have a tradition of surprising NCO selects with the good news the morning the selection list posts. Christina and Anthony share the same squadron leadership. Christina drove with their commander to Airman Leadership School, where Anthony was a student, to share the good news.
“We were waiting to see if our commanders would show up or not and then my entourage came,” said Anthony,” who passed after his first attempt. “I was extremely happy and relieved when I found out there were two Paros on the list.”
Kelsey’s unit surprised her while she prepared for an honor guard evaluation.
“Had they arrived 15 seconds later during my eval, it would have been even more challenging because you can’t break your bearings or you fail. That would have been the ultimate test and the ultimate surprise,” said Kelsey, an honor guard junior trainee. “As soon as I got home, I ran around my house screaming at the top of my lungs that we both made it.”
For both couples, they met in tech school and continued to date each other long distance until they were married.
Anthony and Christina joined the Air Force in 2014 and met at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio. Anthony’s orders sent him to Mountain Home AFB, Idaho and Christina moved here. The couple dated long distance for a year until they married in 2015. The couple celebrated their two-year anniversary over Labor Day weekend and are expecting their first child in January.
“We had different AFSCs and were in different classes, but we stayed in the same dorm and school house and met at the gym and hung out on the weekends,” said Anthony, who will sew on his new stripe one month before his wife.
Similarly, the Horans joined the Air Force in 2012 and met at Wright Patterson AFB, during their medical training. The couple kept in touch as Kelsey moved to Minot AFB, S.D. and Joshua came here. After a three-year, long distance relationship, including a deployment to Kuwait, the couple married in 2015 and Kelsey joined Joshua here.
“We wanted to do things as right as possible and be together for a good amount of time,” said Kelsey, a 26-year-old Washington native. “I wanted to meet his family and have him meet mine, so it ended up taking a few years to do things the right way.”
All four Airmen plan to stay in the medical field and look forward to their roles as NCOs.
The Paros are preparing to become first-time parents, while Christina also plans to attend Airman Leadership School. They both intend to apply for a commissioning program and stay in the medical field, where their passion lies with helping military patients and retirees.
The Horans aspire to continue their education and change careers within the medical field as an Air Force special tactics pararescuemen and a radiologist.
“I am looking forward to becoming a supervisor and training new troops in emergency services,” said Joshua, a 28-year-old Virginia native. “[In the future,] I would like to start a master's degree, but I'm waiting to attend the next pararescue assessment and hopefully I get accepted into training.”
Author's update: Senior Airmen Demetrius Bell and Carmelita Reddix, a husband and wife in the 96th Medical Group who both serve in the same career field were also selected for staff sergeant on their first attempt.