Yeo Jin Rui and his identical twin, Jin Run, have marched to the same beat since birth. They went to the same school, joined the same co-curricular activity and yesterday completed another double, this time in the army.
When newly minted Third Sergeant Jin Rui graduated from the Specialist Cadet School (SCS) with a Golden Bayonet, he matched his brother's effort six months earlier. The Golden Bayonet is awarded to the top cadets from each branch of the army.
The older twin by two minutes, 3SG Jin Rui, 21, said of his brother's achievement: "I wanted to be like him. That gave me extra motivation."
Both brothers also graduated from the SCS as signals specialists.
In all, 995 specialist cadets received their new ranks at yesterday's graduation parade at Pasir Laba camp, with 18 of them receiving the Golden Bayonet from Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck.
The Yeo brothers attended East Spring Primary together. Then Pasir Ris Crest Secondary, where both signed up for the National Cadet Corps, and then Singapore Polytechnic, where they took diplomas in business and information technology and served in the student union.
After enlisting for national service in November 2011 and serving their basic training, neither was selected for command school. Said 3SG Jin Rui: "This did not deter our commitment to serving, and we decided to do our very best in our vocations."
They trained together at weekends to improve their physical fitness, and their efforts paid off.
The younger brother, Jin Run, who was posted to the Singapore Guards, was later selected to attend the SCS and is now undergoing the Officer Cadet Course.
3SG Jin Rui also expressed his interest in being a commander while serving as a signals operator in the 23rd Battalion, Singapore Artillery. His outstanding performance led his superiors to recommend him for the SCS.
OCT Jin Run was thrilled when he found out his twin had also won the Golden Bayonet. He said: "He put in a lot of effort, and I'm jubilant that it has been recognised."
Both brothers extended their national service after attending command school, and have not ruled out signing on with the Army. They said their father, general manager Clement Yeo, 51, had always told them to do their best during NS, which he believes is an important rite of passage.