A Soldier’s life as an NCO, family man

by Angelika Lantz
21st TSC Public Affairs

He is following the family tradition – sort of.

Sgt. Terry Orazi’s father, stepfather, uncle and father-in-law were career military in the Navy. Sergeant 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 5,000 guys or jumping out of airplanes – not much of a decision there,” said Sergeant 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, just straightforward talk about his life as a Soldier and a family man.

Sergeant Orazi deployed to Balad, Iraq, with the 1st Corps Support Command from October 2004 to August 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. Sergeant Orazi got to fly in UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters with doors open, go on gun truck support missions and do personal security details.

For Sergeant Orazi, being a non-commissioned 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 Sergeant Orazi, who has the additional responsibility of being the non-commissioned officer in charge of issuing and receiving for the 5th QM Co.

And 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,” he said. “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.”

Staff Sgt. David Doris, Sergeant Orazi’s platoon leader, said he agrees.

“He simply is one of the best and most dedicated NCOs, a great squad leader and an example setter,” Sergeant Doris said. “Any mission, any task – I know I can rely on him, and his Soldiers will follow him anywhere.”

Then there is Sergeant 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. Myles definitely is daddy’s boy, and we love reading books together at night,” he 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 Sergeant Orazi, who served as his company’s campaign manager.

And it all fits his caretaker personality.

“He is a compassionate and dedicated family man, and he always puts others first. He treats his Soldiers as family too,” Cassandra said. “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.

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