Growing up in Mississippi, little did he know that an Army career spanning 10 years and counting, would await him.
Capt. Terry Russ Jr., operations officer in charge for the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC)/597th Transportation Brigade's 842nd Transportation Battalion, and the son of Army parents, decided to follow in their footsteps.
Russ, who's been with the 842nd since September, joined the Army Oct. 24, 2006, as a multifunctional logistician (90 Alpha), and spent the first five years of his career as an enlisted Soldier, before deciding to make the conversion from sergeant to officer.
"I went back to school and got my degree. I think it just happened along the way when I was enlisted," Russ said of deciding to become an officer.
He also said that his uncle, also an Army officer, was influential in his decision to switch.
"I like what they do and the opportunity was there so I took it," Russ said.
Russ, an activated Army reservist from the 1190th Transportation Brigade in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a stevedore supervisor in his civilian job and credits his time in the Army for landing the position.
"It absolutely helped," Russ said. "I love the job. I bring a lot to the table because of my military skills. It totally set up me for success."
Another skill Russ and so many others learn while in the military is time management -- something that came into play as he was working all day, taking online classes at night, preparing for the birth of his daughter, Tori, and taking care of her when she was born.
"You have no idea," Russ said. "It was time-consuming. It was all about dedication. I had to put in long hours and be there for the family too."
Learn a little more about Russ from the Q & A below.
Q: Where were you born? Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?
A: I was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I spent the majority of my time growing up in Centerville, Mississippi. Now, I live in New Orleans.
Q: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a police officer.
Q: What inspired you to join the Army?
A: Growing up, I didn't like the military because my family was in. I didn't see myself joining until I did when I was 19. I saw my mother and father doing great things. I liked the values and tradition of the military. I wanted to take a stand and do something great. I love what I do. I love helping the country.
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A: I would like to think of myself as someone with integrity and a lot of ambition, very responsible. Growing up, it was enforced to me and my siblings to carry yourself well and value your character. I like to help people a lot. I'm always trying to give back.
Q: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement professionally?
A: Professionally, I think earning my Master's Degree in Supply and Chain Management. I just got that in August.
A: I went to college in Lorman, Mississippi, Alcorn State University. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from 2006-2010. I was commissioned as an officer in 2010.
Q: What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not at work?
A: I like to run. I ran track for 15 years. I had a track scholarship at Alcorn State University. I like to work out, watch television, play video games and cook. My favorite TV show is The First 48. I like to cook seafood pasta. I cook once a week.
A: I have one daughter. Tori Alexis Russ. She's nine months old. My wife's name is Treniea. She's a registered nurse. We've been married two years. My brothers are Adrian Russ, 28, and Terrell Russ, 6. I'm the oldest. Sometimes, he thinks he's older than me, but he's a great kid.
Q: What's something people might not know about you?
A: I'm going to be the same way every day -- what you see is what you're going to get pretty much.
Q: Anything else you'd like to add that people should know about you?
A: I like spending time with my family and making them proud.