University of North Georgia, Mike Cottrell College of Business
Lieutenant General James L. Terry is the current commander of the U.S. Army Central and Combined Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve—the U.S. military intervention against ISIL. Terry graduated from North Georgia College (now the University of North Georgia) in 1978 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in management and marketing and, through the University's Corps of Cadets, commissioned into the infantry. Terry has commanded at multiple levels across the U.S. Army, including commanding general of the United States Army Central, commander of the V Corps prior to its inactivation in 2013, commander of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC), and deputy commander of United States Forces Afghanistan.
Over the course of his career, Terry's awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and NATO Meritorious Service Medal. In 2013, Terry was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General of Canada for his leadership of Regional Command South and his support of the Canadian forces on their mission in Afghanistan.
Lieutenant General Terry has been on the front lines many, many times as the United States 3rd Army's Commander—leading U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria against ISIL. He works diligently to bring a sense of stability to that region of the world. His leadership practices that have helped him climb the ranks as one of the military's highest-ranking leaders. He knows how to lead under fire, handling what others would see as unbearable daily stresses. He is a real-world "life or death" leader, in the battlefields in Iraq, who faces unimaginable turmoil, and in crisis as he protects the freedoms of global citizens.
Terry has shown incredible leadership in the face of adversity and has been a driver of change internationally. As commander of the U.S. Army Central, Terry holds the same role held by George Patton during World War II. His efforts to support NATO forces in Afghanistan as well as his leadership in the fight against terrorism make him a distinguished alumnus of the University of North Georgia. We are proud to call him one of our own.