From marathons to disaster relief, Wyoming offers fulfilling opportunities for WYARNG officer

Oct 29, 2018

For Major Paul Kanish, an Intelligence officer with the Wyoming Army National Guard Joint Operations Center, his military career has taken him all over the world, most recently bringing him to Cheyenne.

“I like Wyoming,” he said. “Believe it or not, it is actually bigger than where I grew up.”

Kanish first joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 2000 as a combat engineer, saying that he wanted the opportunity to serve his country while remaining in his home state and completing his college studies.

Serving as a noncommissioned officer during his college years, Kanish commissioned as an officer after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, and shortly after went on his first deployment to Iraq.

In 2014, Kanish moved to Wyoming, where he works full-time on the civilian side in law enforcement, and serves with WYARNG in the Joint Operations Center during drill weekends. The JOC serves as a liaison between communities and the Guard during disaster and emergency situations, coordinating Guard responses and ensuring that there is adequate communication and support with communities that the Guard is sent to assist.

For Kanish, the high amount of involvement that the WYARNG has with local communities during disaster is one of his favorite aspects of the job, and he appreciates the opportunity to provide help to his community during disaster situations.

Kanish, who lives in Cheyenne with his wife and two daughters, said that his spare time is filled with family activities, as well as traveling throughout the state and country.

Additionally, Kanish recently completed a longtime goal of running a marathon, when he completed the first Cheyenne Marathon on Sept. 23. The achievement was a special one for Kanish, who had to overcome several health setbacks while training for the run, which he enjoyed all the more because it was in his hometown.

Kanish said that his work with the Guard is a major aspect of his life and career, and one of the main reasons that he and his family remain in Wyoming.

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