LaChance completes Army Mountain Warfare Course
by CELIA SHORTT
University of Georgia graduate, former Coweta County student, and United States Army 2nd Lt. Kayla LaChance always wanted to serve her country and honor the sacrifices of those who came before her, but she never thought she would have that chance.
“I was obese my entire life, so the physical part of the military never seemed like a viable option for me,” said LaChance.
In her second semester at UGA, she joined the rowing team and began to lose weight. After losing 85 pounds in a year and a half, she decided to see if she could handle the physical aspects and joined the Air Force ROTC program.
“After a year with them and after another 15 pounds, a total of 100 pounds lost, I switched to Army ROTC for a variety of reasons,” said LaChance. “I went from barely being able to pass a PT test my first semester to maxing, and most times exceeding the maximum scores, this last year.”
LaChance’s hard work paid off. In January, she was one of five cadets, and the only female, to successfully complete the Army Mountain Warfare Course. This mountain warfare course is attended by elite soldiers from all branches of the military and provides tactical and technical training for cold weather operations. The training is based on techniques from units currently engaged in mountain warfare. LaChance was chosen for this school, based on her academic excellence, military domain knowledge, and high level of physical fitness. One of parts she remembers most is the survival night.
“We stayed outside, and could only use the equipment we had on us,” she said.
LaChance will be one of the first to stay that neither losing weight or completing the mountain warfare course was easy, but she is glad she did it.
“The hardest thing to do when you are in that position is to give up,” she said. “Just make yourself do it, and train yourself to push through the things you fear.”
LaChance graduated from UGA in May and received a commission as a second lieutenant.
She is currently working as an assistant recruiter at freshman orientations until September. From there she will be attending the the Basic Officer Leadership Course for the Military Police Corps at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. She will be there for about four months before heading to Germany for her first duty station.
LaChance is excited, too, for her opportunity in Germany because her dad was stationed there when he was in the Army.
“My dad, John LaChance, was enlisted in the Army Military Police Corps,” she said. “His first duty station was Germany as well. I’m following in my daddy’s footsteps.”
As for what she has accomplished so far, LaChance is very thankful for it and excited about the future.
“It was never easy losing the weight,” she said. “But it was definitely the best thing I could’ve ever done with my life because I have an exciting career ahead of me and couldn’t be happier about it.”