Tenth Air Force Says "Good Bye" to a Cyberspace Pioneer
By Rodney Ellison, 10th Air Force
/ Published December 21, 2018
NAVAL AIR STATION FORT WORTH JOINT RESERVE BASE, Texas -- Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, presided over the retirement ceremony of Colonel Lloyd “Ricky Bobby” Terry, Friday, December 14 at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas.
The ceremony culminated a distinguished 35 year career, in which Terry progressed through the ranks earning multiple accolades and becoming the first commander of Air Force Reserve Command’s only Cyber Operations Group, which grew into AFRC’s only Cyberspace Wing earlier this year.
“I always loved airplanes and aviation,” Terry said. “I saw the moon landing. That was the Air Force to me, airplanes, aviation, space…that was it.”
Terry began his career by joining the Reserve Officers’ Training Corp at Embry-Riddle University.
“My initial dream was to be a navigator because I didn’t have the eyesight to be a pilot, but I couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag,” Terry said. “So from there, I became a computer programing officer and eventually a communications officer.”
Becoming an officer was the beginning of a career that would take him to a variety of assignments, which include time at Strategic Air Command Airborne Command Post, U.S. Central Command and the Special Operations Command Central.
In his speech to the crowd gathered to celebrate Col. Terry’s retirement, Lt. Gen. Scobee said, “Ricky Bobby was involved in cyber, before there was ‘cyber.’ His early assignments as a communications officer paved the way for him to be the first commander of Air Force Reserve’s 960th Cyber Operations Group.”
When asked about the daunting task of standing up a new command, Terry said, “A lot of times as military staff, you start things, but you never see them come to fruition. I can say I’ve taken a project, put it ‘boots on the ground’ and got it to the point it could walk. I did that from inception. It was a concept and I made it come true. Not a lot of people get to do that and that’s pretty cool.”
His sentiments are shared by one of his successors at the 960th.
“Col. Terry was instrumental in standing up the 960th Cyberspace Operations Group back in 2012; it’s our mission is help organize, train and equip our Citizen Airmen, who stand ready to defend and operate in the cyberspace domain,” said Col. Lori Jones, 960th Cyberspace Wing commander.
“With only a handful of Airmen, he laid the foundation for the Air Force Reserve’s first and only cyberspace group at a critical time in our Nation’s history. As a result of his leadership, hard work, dedication to the vision, in addition to his ability to make organization out of chaos, the group prospered to well over 1,000 Airmen today and was officially activated as a wing in November. I had the pleasure of working for Col. Terry as a unit commander during this time and learned so much from him over the years; I am grateful for his mentorship and guidance,” Jones added.
Although the activation was one of the high points of his career, Col. Terry took time during the ceremony to point out many people who helped him along the way, to include members of his ROTC detachment who traveled out for his retirement, personnel from multiple assignments and deployments, but most of all his family.
“You don’t get to this point without a lot of love and support! My family has been there through ups and downs and I can’t thank them enough for all they have done for me,” Terry said.
Col. Terry finished his speech with some fond words about his service, “There were good assignments and bad assignments, but the thing I’m going to miss the most about my time in uniform, is the people.”