CAMP GUERNSEY – Many from the town of Guernsey will already recognize the Platte County Soldier of the Month as he and his wife, Kyla are homeowners and live, shop and work in the community. His wife is actually a second-grade teacher working within the Guernsey school district.
Sgt. Lance Pierce and his wife are not from Guernsey, but are both native Wyomingites. He, growing up and attending high school in Burns, graduating in 2010 and her, growing up and graduating from Douglas High School.
“I grew up in Burns and went to high school there before going away to Chadron State College in Nebraska for a year,” Pierce said. “I got a scholarship to run outdoor and indoor track where I ran the mile and the two-mile. I didn’t graduate, but came back and joined the Army National Guard instead.”
As a small boy growing up in Burns, it gave him that small-town flavor that helped him appreciate living in the small town of Guernsey.
“Growing up I loved doing outdoor activities,” he said. “Especially during the summer riding my bike or playing basketball at the courts. I had just a few friends around town as there weren’t a lot around my age. I graduated in a class of 33 but kids came from the surrounding communities like Albin, Carpenter, Hillsdale and they had elementary schools but went to high school at Burns.”
Pierce grew up playing football, wrestling, basketball and running track at Burnes High School. One of his favorite memories of high school was on the football team.
“We actually won the 2a state football championship in 2008,” he said. “That was a pretty great memory as we went undefeated that whole year.”
He has had a full-time job with the Army National Guard since 2013 where he started as a target repairman where he went up to the ranges and worked on their automated targetry.
“My job was to trouble shoot, repair and pmcs the targetry,” he said. “We also had a few other duties along with that. We all had to be red card and wild certified, so that we were the first response out there if there was a fire out on the ranges or outside of the ranges on our property. We were typically the first responders.”
A first responder was responsible for initial attack, assessing and putting together an immediate strategy to address the issue and find a solution such as find out fire directions and how to attack it. His first fire in that position was the Sam Draw fire in the north training area east of the tack strip. That fire was initially started by multiple lightning strikes. Pierce was actually on Cowboy One which is an engine crew that he was a part of.
One year he is running around a track and within the next few years he is assessing and fighting fires. The guard, he said was responsible for his maturing and his education. He attributes his success to his incredible mentors and mentions specifically Sgt. First Class Jones who works with range control who has been a mentor ever since he began with his first position.
“It’s been quite the experience,” he said. “just maturing up through the guard, especially because it gives you that discipline and you get mentors along the way that make you grow up a little bit. Then in November of 2019 I got the job as the operations and training specialist.”
Pierce works both as a civilian and is full-time military as a tech position.
“It’s a dual-status technician position,” he said. “I have to be in the military department to have the position, but it’s considered kind of a civilian position.”
In his new position, coming off the range, he finds himself doing more of his work from behind a desk.
“It’s more office work,” he said. “I’m the primary contact for units wanting to come train here at Camp Guernsey. I’m the one who initiates the process. They contact me saying they want to train and I get them to the proper people to get them the access on the schedule. And I oversee the approval and disapproval process of the rest of the staff here on the camp.”
In addition, Pierce attends the annual planning conference to talk to units about their needs and what Camp Guernsey can provide to help support their mission.
Currently Pierce has two military occupations.
“Right now I’m sitting as a heavy equipment operator,” he said. “I do hold two MOS’ having the second as an infantryman which is the first of the 297th and the Wyoming battalion is the Charlie Company which is actually located out of Afton/Evanston.”
He loves the small town of Guernsey and loves all the things the town has to offer including the opportunity to go kayaking with his wife and hiking at Guernsey State Park.
Pierce met his wife in 2017 and after a whirlwind courtship, they were married in 2018 and now have started their family in Guernsey. They have a nine-month old son named Luka.