by Spc. Simone Lara
California National Guard Public Affairs
March 14, 2021
LOS ANGELES – When U.S. Army Pfc. Jose Luis Rodriguez made the decision to serve his country by joining the California National Guard, it was no suprise to him that his brother David, decided to join the Cal Guard as well.
“Usually when we do stuff, we always try to do it together,” said Jose, an intelligence analyst with the 40th Infantry Division, of his brother. “We never really try to separate from each other. We just have that bond.”
Jose is one of nearly 250 Cal Guard service members currently providing support at the California State University Los Angeles community vaccination center.
In 2019, while reviewing the many benefits of enlistment, he inspired his older brother, David, to join the Guard as well.
“I joined for personal growth and character development,” said Pfc. David Carlos Rodriguez, a human intelligence collector with the Cal Guard's 250th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion. David was activated to Washington, D.C. in January to provide security on the Capitol grounds for the 56th presidential inauguration of President Joe Biden.
“It’s a dramatic change from being in California in 80 degree weather and coming out here when it’s 20 degrees,” said David.
The Rodriguez brothers are natives of South LA and while they always had a sibling rivalry growing up, they maintained a strong relationship in their teenage years which has only strengthened into adulthood. When Jose started looking into the National Guard after high school, David became interested in the educational and employment benefits that were available as well.
The two enlisted in the Cal Guard around the same time and intended to ship out for the same basic training, but ended up going a few months apart. They reunited months later at Fort Huachuca, Arizona during advanced individual training where they trained for different intelligence-related military occupations.
While most of the family was supportive of the Rodriguez brothers enlisting at the same time, their mother took a little extra convincing at first.
“She sees us now and she’s proud of us,” said Jose.
While serving on opposite sides of the country for two very different reasons, the brothers are already looking to what their futures may hold. Jose plans to join his brother at the same college where they will both study criminology. David chose to temporarily put his studies on hold due to his activation in Washington, D.C.
Despite the time they've spent apart, David feels that they'll always maintain their bond.
“He’s like a best friend to me,” said David. “We're always going to support each other and be there for each other.”
U.S. Army National Guard Pfc. Jose Luis Rodriguez, an intelligence analyst with the 40th Infantry Division, in-processes a community member at a COVID-19 vaccination center on California State University, Los Angeles.
U.S. Army National Guard Pfc. David Carlos Rodriguez, a human intelligence collector with 250th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Battalion, watches over the Capitol grounds in Washington.
After months apart, the Rodriguez brothers reunite in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, during advanced individual training.