Over the course of my career, I was blessed to have known some excellent soldiers. You can see one of the finest in his official photo above, Lieutenant Colonel Howard B. Pearce, Special Forces, United States Army, (Retired).
I couldn’t have asked for a better commanding officer in combat. He was aggressive, extremely mission-focused, approachable, and a subject matter expert in his field- a combat advisor and trainer of allied soldiers.
Let me give you a few facts from his bio. He served 27 years in the Army Reserve and Guard. The man has serious desert time- Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan to name a few stops. He also saw the sights in garden spots such as Kosovo and Eritrea. He’s trained soldiers from all over- Jordanians, Moroccans, Hungarians and Kuwaitis to name just a few flavors.
He finally retired in July of 2013 after a full career. When he hung up his boots he had accumulated no fewer than five sets of foreign jump wings to go along with his Master Parachutists Badge. He wears the “long tab,” or Special Forces tab. This sets him apart as a fully qualified SF soldier. In addition, he wears the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and two Bronze Stars. I could keep going, but you get the idea. Here’s a professional who has been tested and found worthy.
On the civilian side he graduated from Cleveland State University, and he’s been married to an incredible woman, Cara Kless, throughout his career. They have two children together.
Howard Pearce has made an enormous impact on my life. In the photo above you can see him at work, as I came to know him as a comrade. Where do I even start describing all that we went through?
Let’s talk about the photo above for starters. The truck in the background was our combat vehicle, MAT-V 3-4. I served as the gunner, LTC Pearce was the vehicle commander, and SGT Robert Fears (our medic) was the driver. The situation was during combat operations in the Andarab Valley, a weeks long torture test in Afghanistan. Every single day we rolled out on missions in an extremely unfriendly neck of the woods. Colonel Pearce drove himself, he did what leaders are supposed to do- lead from the front, set an example, and share the dangers with your men.
I could go on and on about this soldier, mentor, and friend.
Suffice it to say that I feel privileged to know him as a comrade and a brother.
And I’m damn lucky that he has consented to be interviewed in the near future.
Stay tuned, readers.