GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Airman Emma Prosser, the last of her class to be receiving her job and duty badges stepped up, her commanding officer pinned her job specific badge on with a word of congratulations. Tears glisten in her eyes as she takes a side step, maintaining her bearing and refusing to let them fall, as Airman 1st Class Erin Prosser, her twin sister, pins on her duty badge, designating her a firefighter in the U.S. Air Force.
Airman Emma Prosser graduated the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy on Dec. 3, 2018. Her twin sister, Airman 1st Class Erin Prosser, who also graduated in March, was present to congratulate and be one of the first to welcome her sister to the career field.
"It was just really awesome to have her here and able to see me graduate," said Emma happily. "I was afraid I was going to cry during the ceremony."
Although twins, Erin Prosser soared ahead, and was the first to join the Air Force in 2017.
"I had a hard time when my father, who was the reason for me joining, passed away when I was in basic," said Erin. "But I was able to get through it and I used him as my inspiration and motivation to get through the fire academy."
Emma Prosser, close on her sister's tail, joined the Air Force in 2018, and also chose to become a firefighter.
"Through the difficult times I was always able to remember my father," said Emma. "I used that to help me get through, knowing that he was always there with me. I would think about him watching over me, and that gave me strength."
Staff Sergeant Kimberly Haynes-Lopez, one of Erin's instructors, reminisced about the day she realized that both sisters had attended the fire academy.
"It didn't really click until after Erin had graduated and I saw Emma sitting at a desk," said Haynes-Lopez. "Even though they aren't identical I could see the resemblance, noticed the same last name and put the two together."
According to Master Sgt. Nicholas Schnoes, 312th Training Squadron instructor, the Prossers are the first set of sisters and twins to both attend and graduate from the academy.
Haynes-Lopez was present for the graduation and took time to ask her former student, Erin, how life was now that she was no longer in training.
"It was eye opening to be able to watch the differences in personality between the two," said Haynes-Lopez. "Erin Prosser was my student but I was able to see some of the training that Emma was participating in, and even though they look like sisters and are twins, they each are very different."
Erin spoke about how sometimes it could be intimidating to be a female in a job that can be so demanding and male dominant.
"It was interesting to look around and you see a lot of guys, and a lot less girls," said Erin. "But, I had some really good instructors who reminded me that I could to it."
Emma spoke about the dynamic in her own class.
"Even though my class was mostly guys I never felt like they treated me any different," said Emma. "They knew that I would pull my own weight and that I was going to do everything needed to complete the training, just like them, and they supported me throughout all of it."
Emma is looking forward to starting her career out of tech school and applying all she has learned while at the academy.
"It is almost unreal," said Emma. "There is just so much emotion at being done with classes and being ready to move to my first duty station."
Though both Airmen had different highs and lows throughout training they are both proud of all they have accomplished and hope to come back to become instructors for the fire academy.
"I would love to come back once I have completed all the training I need to," said Erin. "I want to be an instructor here and help younger Airmen like myself."