Brothers endure Corps' challenge together
By Cpl. Pedro Cardenas
| Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | October 18, 2013
Marine Corp Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. --
Brotherhood in the Marine Corps is a driving factor in the way Marines train and fight. For Pfc. Andrew L. Haymaker and Pfc. Kale D. Milette, this has a deeper meaning since their parents married.
Haymaker and Milette, Platoon 1053, Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, bonded as brothers and brothers in arms, as they took the challenge to earn the title Marine.
Milette’s experience with the Marine Corps started early since his father is a Marine gunnery sergeant. After his parents divorced, he spent a lot of time traveling from place to place.
“For the most part, it’s been my dad and I. We haven’t stayed in one place,” said Milette. “We have lived in Arizona, Missouri and all kinds of places.”
In 2007, Milette had moved to Roanoke, Virginia with his father, Gunnery Sgt. Kyle D. Milette. Milette began playing football at Lakes Community High School, creating a friendship with Haymaker.
Their parents, Kyle and Amanda, met in 2007 through other parents of the football team players. After a yearlong relationship, they married in August, 2008.
Little did Haymaker and Milette know that they would be more than step brothers but also, brothers in arms.
“It was weird at first and I shied away from getting close to him,” said Haymaker a New Orleans native.”But as our parents began to date, we kind of grew on each other.”
According to Milette, they would sit at the same lunch table during school and wouldn’t speak much. They hadn’t become comfortable with their new relationship and would mostly only spend time together because their parents did.
Their one common interest started to shift when Milette began to practice wrestling instead of football. They realized they needed a hobby in common to get closer.
They began to practice mixed martial arts together at a local gym. Both realized they had found the perfect sparring partner in each other. Their friendship finally flourished.
As their friendship grew, they found another common interest. Milette and Haymaker both decided to enlist in the Marine Corps.
Milette felt there wasn’t a better place for him to be than the Marine Corps. For Haymaker, he decided to enlist because he enjoyed the way Marines always take care of each other. Both had different reasons but the same goal of becoming a Marine.
During recruit training, Haymaker and Milette kept their family relationship to themselves in hope of not receiving extra attention from drill instructors.
“You still wouldn’t know they are related. They kept it very professional,” said Sgt. Eddie L. Gantt, drill instructor. “They worked really hard to accomplish their mission and become Marines.”
For both, seeing a familiar face every day made recruit training more manageable.
“We were in the opposite sides of the squad bay. But, being in the same platoon made it easier because at the end of the day we had someone from home to talk to,” said Milette.
Although there was a little brotherly competition throughout recruit training, they both brought out the best in each other.
“I’ve always tried to beat him in any event we’ve gone to, PFT or CFT; just like at home,” said Milette. “It pushes me to do better knowing he is here trying to beat me.”
After recruit training, Milette is set to attend Infantry Training Battalion located at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. to become an infantryman. Haymaker will attend Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School located at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. to become a radio field operator.
They may have been step brothers before recruit training, but now, they are also brothers in arms and part of the Marine Corps family.
“The hardest part is going to be parting ways,” said Haymaker. “It’ll be difficult after seven years of being together.”