2016 Tillman Scholar

John “Jae” Terry

Catholic University

“Skills honed as a Naval officer combined with my JD degree will be instrumental in continuing to serve.”

Witnessing his parents’ sacrifices as a military family fueled Jae’s desire to pursue a naval career and with a desire to face bigger challenges, lead him into the special warfare community. Never hearing the initial blast that hurled him 30 feet across a dusty road in Afghanistan, changing his life forever, the Naval Officer learned through his experience that it was crucial to build relationships on a keel of trust by listening and taking action in his sailors’ lives on and off the battlefield. From multiple deployments to the amputation of his leg. Jae plans to instill that same trust to his community and civilian career. Multiple deployments exposed Jae to the corruption and violence used to implement local justice and individuals’ lack of voice, strength or will to defend themselves, motivating him to be that voice for the oppressed.

Inspired to pursue law school by his grandfather, a retired family court judge, Jae will never know what it was like to grow up in Georgia as an African American before the Civil Rights Movements, keeping his college education a secret. With a desire to emulate his grandfather’s devotion to help others, Jae plans to become an advocate or litigator in guiding and shaping our national security policy in the constantly evolving tech field based on his experience serving multiple combat deployments. The skills honed as a Naval Officer – leadership, relationship building, trust, adapting to chaos – combined with his Juris Doctor degree from Catholic University Law School, will be instrumental in allowing Jae to continue to serve his community and country in a new capacity.