Terrence M. - Phillips 66: Army Veteran and Labor Relations Manager

Terrence M.
U.S. Army - O-3

Terrence’s first plane ride was a wonder. Other than traveling to baseball conferences in Texas, he had never been out of his home state of Louisiana before, so he was excited about this new adventure. But reality set in quickly when a drill sergeant met him after he landed, directed him to get his bags and to start running to the bus that would take him to Fort Knox. It was time to start playing the game and follow directions exactly as described to become the Soldier he wanted to be.

Driving from the airport with his fellow “green” Soldiers, Terrence immediately noticed the diverse community he was now a part of. At Northwestern State University of Louisiana, he had played Division I baseball with teammates from around the nation, but he had never been surrounded by so many different types of people until he stepped onto that bus. There and later at Fort Knox, these diverse people united to accomplish one mission. The camaraderie in the the military and its training are second to none.

Beginning in the LA National Guard as a 19K - Armor Crewman, Private First Class (E3), Terrence rose in the ranks and upon being commissioned became an Officer in the US Army Corps of Engineers and later Combat Engineer Platoon Leader, a Lieutenant (02) and achieved the ultimate rank of Captain (O3).

Looking back now, it is easy for Terrence to see just how much the military prepared him for a civilian career and specifically to be in the Human Resources/Labor Relations field. To him, the military provided the best education he’s had to date. It prepared him to face challenges with confidence because he knew what he was capable of achieving. In addition, it taught him how to approach people in the workplace to create the best environment possible.

For example, junior officers in the military are readily accepted for being inexperienced, and the platoon sergeants are quick to take a young lieutenant under his or her wings with a sense of pride. Terrence adopted that same mentality in his civilian career to win over his peers, whether they are tough critics or new trainees. He believes it is his job to build relationships, establish trust, listen without judgment, and empower people.

Just like the military’s combat arm needs a support sector, companies need support organizations to accomplish their ultimate goals. As an HR professional, Terrence is in a support organization with the goal to support the “combat” arms of the company and ensure they are successful. If they are successful, everyone is successful. The better you understand how you fit in the team, the more successful you can be.

With that goal in mind, Terrence offers this advice to the military community as they enter the Oil & Gas industry: “Stay true to yourself. Be patient, and approach your goals as you would any mission from your military experience.”