From Friends to Wingmen

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

– “It’s funny…” they both said as they looked at each other and broke out into laughter. “I didn’t like him at first,” she finished while he nodded his head in agreement.

 

For Airman 1st Class Randall Glover, a vehicle operator assigned to the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron, and his best friend, Airman 1st Class Dejahnay Fort, a boom operator assigned to the 91st Air Refueling Squadron, a mutual dislike for one another quickly turned into a lasting friendship that has been further reinforced today by being each other’s wingman.

 

“I didn’t like him because he was loud and obnoxious,” said Fort. “Then, in sophomore year English class, we got assigned seats next to each other and he eventually grew on me.”

 

“We started goofing around and it just clicked,” added Glover. “The more we hung out, the more we noticed we were opposites, but still enjoyed each other’s company.”

 

This unlikely friendship continued to flourish well after that English class. To the point where high school was soon ending, and it was time to decide their next steps and future goals.

 

“My dad was always encouraging me to join the military, but I was never committed.” said Glover.

 

“When he told me his dad retired from the military, I did some research and decided that enlisting was the best option for me,” added Fort.

 

The encouragement and advice from her best friend’s father, along with the desire to help provide for her family, pushed Fort into enlisting.

 

“I had a scholarship for a college in-state, but I didn’t want to stay in Ohio,” said Fort. “So I asked myself if I wanted to pay out-of-state tuition while my mom was struggling, or join the military and get a free education while being able to support my mom. As soon as I made that decision, I emailed the recruiter and within two days I was signing the contract.”

 

Seeing his best friend enlisting, sparked a fire in Glover to follow in her footsteps.

 

“She was my encouragement,” said Glover. “I had my dad telling me to join the Air Force, then my best friend, who I look up to and who positively influences me, was joining the Air Force. It felt like a sign to me so I decided to pursue it.”

 

At this point, Glover and Fort were in the Delayed Entry Program together. It didn’t take long for the pair to be split up, as their shipping dates were three weeks apart.

 

“We went to Basic Military Training (BMT) at separate times, but we actually saw each other a couple of times,” said Fort. “I remember when I heard his voice at the dining facility and I instantly recognized him. I was trying my hardest to get his attention without getting anybody else’s attention.”

 

“I was on kitchen personnel duty that day,” said Glover about the reunion. “I wanted to give her a hug, but I was afraid of the military training instructors. She was definitely my motivation through basic”

 

Just as they had started to come together, even if for brief moments at a time, the pair was separated once again following BMT to journey off to their respective technical training schools. However, that didn’t stop them from trying to re-unite once technical training was over.

“She got her orders before me,” said Glover. “When she found out she was getting stationed at MacDill, I put it number one on my dream sheet and boom; I got it too! It was a blessing!”

 

After the excitement of finding out they were going to be stationed together wore off, the dynamic duo started planning how to reunite as soon as possible.

 

“Even though she joined first, I graduated tech school first,” said Glover. “So I used up all my leave to wait for her to finish her tech school and get back to Cleveland, Ohio.”

 “We participated in the Recruiter’s Assistance Program together and didn’t leave each other’s sight the whole time,” said Fort. “My mom only saw me when I arrived and put my bags down and when I picked them up to leave.”

 

Glover and Fort have been inseparable ever since, even driving 20 hours to MacDill together.

 

“I’m blessed to have my best friend here with me,” said Glover.

 

“I am so happy that we can be stationed together so we can take care of each other,” added Fort with a slight smile.

 

Glover and Fort said they plan to continue this inseparable streak by listing the same bases on their dream sheets and even volunteering for deployments together.

 

“It’s crazy how opposites attract,” said Glover. “Everything about us is opposite, even our jobs. She’s flying in the air and I’m driving on the ground.”

 

Throughout life, there are people who leave an ever-lasting imprint on others. Whether it is a parent, a mentor, or just simply a friend, they push them to strive for better and reach higher goals. In the case of A1C Randall Glover and A1C Dejahnay Fort, they are each other’s imprints by being each other’s wingman.