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NEWS | Oct. 18, 2021

Army civilian, Army Reserve chief warrant officer a contestant on TV's 'Tough as Nails'

By Walter Ham 20th CBRNE Command

A U.S. Army civilian from the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command is a contestant on Season 3 of the competition television series “Tough as Nails” on CBS.

Lia P. Mort from 20th CBRNE Command’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Team 1 is one of the 12 contestants competing for a grand prize of $200,000 and a Ford Super Duty truck.

Contestants also take on a series of team tasks in pursuit of awards equaling $60,000.

“I decided to apply for ‘Tough as Nails’ Season 3 because when my husband and I were watching Season 1 I was familiar with many of the skills needed for the challenges and thought I could do pretty well on the show,” said Mort. “It also looked like a lot of fun. I thought it would be an adventure to have the opportunity to try the different challenges and test myself against the other competitors.”

Mort is a self-described “Jill-of-All-Trades” from Lititz, Pennsylvania, who now calls Richfield, Pennsylvania, home. Among other professions, Mort has been in firefighter, health care work, warehouse worker, large caliber gunner, commercial tractor trailer driver, chicken hatchery worker, horse farm laborer, retail hardware clerk and she has worked in various construction trades – skills that come in handy with the challenges on the show.

Mort reported to 20th CBRNE Command, the U.S. Department of Defense’s premier deployable all hazards formation, as a civilian in Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Team 1 in September 2021. She previously served as a civilian at the 20th CBRNE Command from 2010 to 2017.

WMD Coordination Teams deploy around the world to support combatant commanders, supported commanders and lead federal agencies.

From 1986 to 1990, Mort was an active-duty Marine and served as an electronics cryptographic repair technician at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. She later joined the U.S. Army Reserve after 9/11 and became a technical intelligence technician and small arms repairer with the 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion.

Currently a U.S. Army Reserve Chief Warrant Officer 3, she has deployed to Iraq. She also deployed as a civilian with WMD Coordination Team 4 to support the 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group and Task Force Paladin in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012.

“My most memorable deployment was in 2003 in Iraq because it was my first deployment. My unit was initially stationed in Talil in southern Iraq and we later moved up to Baghdad. It was an austere operating environment with little logistical support: no air conditioning, no dining facility, food and water were rationed, and supplies and resources were limited,” said Mort. “This first deployment taught me to operate under challenging conditions and to push through to accomplish the mission.”