Terron Sims, II, is a 2000 West Point graduate who served in Iraq from May 2003 through July 2004. While deployed in Iraq, he facilitated and mentored the local government and municipality in Baghdad’s Tisa Nissan District, where he served as his squadron’s liaison officer to the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.N. Sims was also the primary military liaison officer to Iraq’s Wasit province.
As a civilian, Sims worked for the Army’s current operations division, tasking units to fill key global positions to fight the Global War on Terror. He also developed the system that the Department of the Army uses to build its installation budget and DoD’s Sexual Assault Incident Database.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Sims served on both the (Obama) defense and veterans services policy teams, where he wrote the policy for service members' life Insurance. This past winter, Sims served as the co-director for veterans services for Governor Terry McAuliffe’s transition team. This past June, Governor McAuliffe appointed him to serve on Virginia’s military advisory council.
Sims is the author of two novels: With Honor In Hand and Hands of Honor. Additionally, he regularly tutors and mentors young people throughout northern Virginia.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Throughout our youth, this question was posed to you over and over and over. My answer to this question was, “Marine!” Though I am not a Marine, I am a former Army officer and a combat veteran, so in a manner of speaking, I have been there and done that, when it comes to living my childhood professional dream.
“I am always on,” is a phrase I at times say to my civilian friends when I need them to understand that I am always aware of my surroundings. “Stay alert! Stay alive!” is a phrase on which I was raised, but not until my time in Iraq did I embrace and understand its true meaning.
There is an unwritten code in our armed forces that those serving, especially officers, should not vote in U.S. elections. The most famous service member to follow this precedent was Gen. George C. Marshall, who served as Army chief of staff, secretary of state, and secretary of defense during World War II and the Cold War. The logic behind his decision not to vote stemmed from a desire to avoid partisan politics, because it would distract him from keeping the oath that commissioned officers take when joining their branch of service and upon every promotion, to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”
There is a long-standing joke at West Point that when wearing civilian clothes, cadets can spot each other a mile away. I tested this theory multiple times as a cadet, and it proved true every time. In the civilian world, this same “joke” remains accurate. Here in the nation’s capital, I can spot a Marine and a soldier a mile away. Here’s how one generally dresses: First, he has what we refer to at West Point as a “pizza pocket haircut,” known in the vernacular as a high and tight. If it is the summertime, he is wearing socks with leather sandals, a belt in his cargo shorts, and a short-sleeved collared shirt. Oakleys are the sunglasses of choice.
April 4, 2004 --- the first day of the fighting in the Battle of Sadr City --- a day that lives in the hearts, minds, and souls of every War Eagle from 1st Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. That fateful evening began like the end of a classic war movie. That day, The War Eagle Squadron was in the process of relinquishing command of Baghdad’s Tisa Nissan and Sadr City districts to 1st Cavalry Division. We were in the process of returning home after having been in Iraq for a year. Sadly, unforeseen circumstances that afternoon in Sadr City required we War Eagles to re-take command of the battle space.