ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – A U.S. Army civilian and retired noncommissioned officer has coached 17 volleyball teams and netted seven championships during his 25 years of leading military and high school teams.
Peter R.S. Leon Guerrero from the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command has coached eight girls’ high school volleyball teams and nine military volleyball teams.
Through his tenure as coach, his military teams have won four championships and his high school teams have won three.
During the 2001 – 2002 season, one of his high school teams, the Havre de Grace, Maryland, High School Warriors Varsity Girls’ Volleyball Team, made history by competing in the volleyball regional finals for the first time since the school opened in 1959.
Some of his players have also been selected for first team and second team all-county.
Originally from Leyang, Barrigada, Guam, Leon Guerrero played volleyball for the Mighty Gecko Warriors at George Washington High School in Guam.
He later followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the U.S. Army. His father served as an infantryman in the Army for three years before becoming a U.S. Navy civilian at Naval Base Guam.
In his early days in the Army, Leon Guerrero focused on a different kind of volley – first as a mortarman and next as a fire support specialist. He later served as an administrative specialist, personnel administrative specialists and intelligence analyst.
During his 22 years in uniform, he deployed for Operation Desert Storm and served in Germany, South Korea and Tinian in the Northern Marianas Islands.
He has been a U.S. Army civilian in the Intelligence Directorate at 20th CBRNE Command on Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, for 14 years.
From 19 bases in 16 states, Soldiers and U.S. Army civilians from 20th CBRNE Command take on the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and allied operations.
“Having the opportunity to work alongside Soldiers and civilians, just like my father did after he served in the U.S. Army and worked with the Navy, has been an honor and privilege,” he said.
Leon Guerrero started coaching while on active duty in the Army. A fellow Soldier asked him to volunteer at a local high school.
He said yes and has been coaching since then.
“With the support of the leadership in the command, my coworkers and my family, I have been able to continue supporting the community by volunteering my time and efforts – giving back and strengthening the community,” he said. “Being a volleyball coach has allowed me to support high school students through mentoring and teaching after-school volleyball sports programs.”
Leon Guerrero said he welcomes the opportunity to share his knowledge and commitment to the game with students.
In addition to passing, blocking, spiking and other volleyball techniques, Leon Guerrero has also worked to teach his players about the Army Values that have guided him throughout his career: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.
“What I like most about the sport is preparing young athletes physically and mentally to compete effectively, fairly and safely,” said Leon Guerrero. “I’ve found the best way to do that is by building trust, showing you care, communicating effectively, relating to the athletes and providing motivation. These attributes not only make the athletes perform better but also help them to develop as people beyond the sport of volleyball.”