MANSFIELD, Ohio, Aug. 11, 2017 — Raven Hull, a personnel specialist at the 179th Airlift Wing here, and Lakota Hull, a medical administrator also at the 179th, are identical twins serving in the Air National Guard.
Both with long black hair and tan skin, Raven and Lakota also have similar mannerisms, many of the same friends and they even sound alike when speaking. Telling them apart can seem impossible.
Like many twins, they often get questions like, “Can you read each other’s minds?” and “Do you have twin telepathy?” Although they say they can’t exactly decipher each other’s thoughts, they do admit that most of the time they’re on the same page.
“I don’t think it’s just because we’re twins,” Raven said. “Whenever something happens, we look at each other and we know what the other is thinking. But I think it’s just because we’ve been together so we’ve shared the same experiences.”
After high school, Lakota decided she wanted to enlist and Raven quickly got on board.
“We were thinking about going active-[duty],” Raven said, “but then we found out about the Guard. We don’t do anything without each other so we thought, ‘Okay, let’s do this together.’”
When basic military training came around, the twins were certain of one thing: they did not want to be separated. During initial in-processing they were given the options to train in the same unit or different ones, and they quickly chose to stay together. Naturally, they got mixed up quite a bit by their military training instructors and other members of their training unit.
Their training instructor “didn’t even try to tell us apart,” Lakota said.
They admitted that being identical had its perks during basic training, and they would pose as each other from time to time. Eventually people learned a trick to tell them apart.
“I wear my watch on my left hand like a normal person,” Raven said, “but she wears hers on her right. So no one would actually look at us, they would just look at our watches. People could tell us apart by that.”
For the Hull twins, basic training would be the easy part. The real challenge came when they were separated for the first time in their lives as they went to two different schools for technical training. Raven’s tech school would last six weeks at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, while Lakota would spend eight weeks at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
It was an emotional goodbye during the last week of basic training. The girls broke down in tears when it was time to leave.
“Lakota and I were sitting there packing and we just started bawling,” Raven said. “When I first got to tech school it was weird. I was having separation anxiety or something. You know when you lose something expensive and you feel sick to your stomach. That’s how it felt.”
After class each day Raven and Lakota would stay on the phone for hours. The constant contact made being apart a little bit easier.
Now that they’re back from basic training and tech school, the next step in the Hull girls’ future is college. They plan to start school in the spring, potentially at The Ohio State University, either main campus or the Mansfield branch campus.
They’re not exactly sure what their future holds in terms of the military, but one thing that is for certain is they’ll figure it out together.
Raven and Lakota Hull will tell you that they’re best friends. They do everything together, and they share a close knit relationship that maybe only identical twins will understand.
And now in addition to being best friends and sisters, they get to share a whole new experience as airmen.