21st NCO epitomizes what being an NCO is all about
Sgt. Terry Orazi, a squad leader with the 5th Quartermaster Company, 39th Transportation Battalion, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, inspects the parachute rigging and packing on an all-terrain vehicle ready for air drop. Orazi said he considers talking care of Soldiers and accomplishing the mission his two biggest duties. "

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Sgt. Terry Orazi is following the family tradition - sort of.

Orazi's father, stepfather, uncle and father-in-law were career military, but in the Navy.

Orazi, however, joined the Army, like his grandfather before him and his sister, who is currently deployed to Iraq.

"Being on a boat for six months with 5000 guys or jumping out of airplanes - not much of a decision there," said Orazi, a squad leader for the 5th Quartermaster Company, 39th Transportation Battalion, 21st Theater Sustainment Command.

Airborne is what he always wanted to be. And now he truly regrets not speaking with his grandfather about his time in Germany and Italy with the 82nd Airborne Division during World War II, he said. Nonetheless, the 24-year-old sergeant with the can-do attitude has few regrets. No phony recruiting poster sentiments, but straight forward talk about his life as a Soldier and a family man.

Orazi deployed to Balad, Iraq with the 1st Corps Support Command from October of 2004 to August of 2005. At the 1st CSC he served on the color guard and as the report manager for requests for information and serious incidents.

"I got to do a lot of real fun stuff," he said, like flying in UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters with doors open, gun truck support missions and personal security details.

For Orazi, being a noncommissioned officer is simple too. "I see my job as having to do two things - take care of my Soldiers and make sure the mission is accomplished. That's what I do, and I love it," said Orazi, who has the additional responsibility of being the noncommissioned officer in charge of issuing and receiving for the 5th QM Co.

His leadership philosophy is just as clear cut. "I lead by doing. I'm definitely not a 'do what I say, not what I do' type leader. I realize that different Soldiers present different types of challenges and need different types of leadership, but I learn to speak to each one of them," Orazi said.

Staff Sgt. David Doris, his platoon leader, agrees, saying: "He simply is one of the best and most dedicated NCOs - a great squad leader and an example setter. Any mission, any task - I know I can rely on him, and his Soldiers will follow him anywhere."

Then there is Orazi's family. He positively lights up when he talks about his wife, Cassandra, and Myles, his 2-year-old son.

The front page of his military organizer is filled solid with remarkably artistic looking and very colorful scribbles. It's Myles' work, of course. "It makes me smile every time I see it. Miles definitely is daddy's boy, and we love reading books together at night," Orazi said.

Cassandra, an executive officer for the Overseas Combined Federal Campaign Office, has his support too - even at work. "During the last CFC campaign, we received a platinum award because we had 89 percent participation," said Orazi, who served as his company's campaign manager.

It all fits his caretaker personality, Cassandra explained.

"He is a compassionate and dedicated family man, and he always puts others first. He treats his Soldiers as family too. They are like brothers and sisters to him, and he takes care of them. If that means putting aside his personal plans to run to the clothing and sales store and get someone (a needed piece of equipment) - no problem," Cassandra said.

"I would be thrilled to see our son follow in his footsteps and become as great a man as Terry," she added.

Page last updated Mon May 11th, 2009 at 08:57