How a nuclear security officer became a Mustang

Richard Pierce has been many things throughout his life: a Marine, a security officer, a father and now, at 50 years old, a Mustang.

On Oct. 5 of this year, Pierce was commissioned as a Limited Duty Officer in the Naval Reserves – a special type of military officer known as a Mustang. Mustangs are former enlisted sailors in the U.S. Navy with specialized, technical expertise, who are commissioned as officers. Unlike their peers who entered the military from one of the service academies (e.g. U.S. Naval Academy), Mustangs are typically older and more experienced.

For Pierce, serving his community is as important as serving his country. That’s why, when he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy, it was important to him that the ceremony be held at Catawba Nuclear Station, where he works as a security officer. “A lot of the values I was exposed to at Duke Energy prepared me for this. I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said of his Catawba teammates.

Pierce has served in a variety of military and civilian roles, but only recently began balancing responsibilities in the reserves with a career at Duke Energy. Before working in Security at Catawba, Pierce served in the U.S. Marine Corps.  

Then, in 2011, he re-affiliated in the Navy as a reservist. In the reserves, he served as an Anti-Terrorism Officer at the Naval Operational Support Center (NOSC) in Charlotte. Out of 123 support centers across the country, NOSC Charlotte is considered a leader because of Pierce, according to those who serve with him.

At the time of his commissioning, Pierce was a Master at Arms – the Navy’s security and force protection professionals – which is not surprising given Pierce’s experience in Security at a nuclear power plant. What is surprising, however, is he was one of only two qualified Chief Master at Arms in the Naval Reserves – a rank he achieved in only five years.

Pierce is one of many transitioning service members, guard and reservists at Duke Energy. The company has over 2,200 veterans on staff, making up 8 percent of the workforce, and continues to recruit workers with military experience. Active and former service members are good fits for many positions in the company, particularly our nuclear fleet.

Veterans can find support in our employee resource group Together We Stand. The company also has a military leave policy that supports employees in the National Guard and reserves. Those initiatives earned Duke Energy the 2018 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

“I hope this makes me a better employee for Duke Energy and a better sailor,” said Pierce of becoming a military officer. For those who know his dedication and leadership skills, there is no doubt all who have the pleasure of working with Pierce will be better for it.

Comments (1)

Posted November 12, 2018 by Doug Glover
Congrats. Thanks for your service.

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