OTF Soldier Story for January 19, 2009 - Capt. Emiko Terry
Current Unit: Headquarters & Headquarters Division, 188th Infantry Brigade, Fort Stewart
Component: Active Army
Current Location: St. Louis, Mo.
Hometown: Woodland, Ga.
Years of Service: 6
In Iraq in 2006, no day was the same for Capt. Emiko Terry and his unit. Weather conditions shifted, threats changed, and objectives were adjusted as intelligence evolved. In the face of many moving parts, Capt. Terry relied on the one element that was steadfast – his team. As a young field artillery officer, he says he lived and breathed by the saying, "NCOs are the backbone of the Army." He turned to these experienced Soldiers, some with 15 years under their belts, when analyzing intelligence reports from the field and planning out tactical maneuvers.
Much of Capt. Terry's personal philosophy on teamwork and leadership developed while he was at West Point, where he played Cornerback for the Army football team. Surrounded by so many successful, strong-willed people, he learned that motivating one's peers is one of the most challenging things to do — yet an essential skill for any leader.
Applying these lessons to the combat environment, Capt. Terry built connections with his Soldiers and the Iraqi Soldiers they worked with. He quickly saw that issuing orders was one thing, and that understanding your team's mental and physical health, and how this would affect their performance in the field, was another. He drew from memories of tough games or long nights of studying after grueling practices to find the strength to bolster his Soldiers through personal and professional challenges.
Now back in the states, Capt. Terry is in the process of transitioning from Active Duty to the Army National Guard and recently began a civilian career with Proctor & Gamble. His understanding of how to lead teams for the best results is applicable to his work as a Process Engineer for the company. In this role, he coordinates with assembly line operators, mechanics, department managers and quality control specialists to keep the manufacturing process running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Capt. Terry lives in St. Louis, Mo., where he recently moved with his wife, Michelle, also a Soldier and West Point grad, and their young daughter.