Born on October 10, 1959, and raised in Matawan, New Jersey, Terry Deitz grew up in a family with 3 brothers and 1 sister. When he was growing up, Terry attended grammar school in Keyport, New Jersey at St. Joseph's Grammar School and then attended St. John Vianney High School. At both schools, Terry was very athletic, playing baseball, basketball, football, and was on the wrestling, and swimming teams.
While in high school, he received numerous Conference awards and was captain of 3 sports teams that he was on. After graduating from high school, Terry attended the United States Naval Academy from 1978 to 1982, where he played Division I baseball all four years he was there.
Upon graduating, Terry was ordered aboard the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier, where he was a Ship's Officer and was in charge of the ship's defense systems. Two years later, he was ordered to the U.S. Navy flight school, where he learned to fly Navy T-34 turbo props and then went to various naval bases for advanced training and eventually earned his Navy wings. Afterwards, Terry worked as a F-14 instructor pilot from 1990-1992.
During his duty as instructor, Terry met and married his wife in 1991, and was then honorably discharged from active duty in 1992 and enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. After that, Terry and his family moved to Connecticut, where he worked as a commercial pilot, and he was also hired by the Naval Reserves Logistics to fly DC-9s until he retired in 2001 as a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Before becoming a contestant on Survivor, Terry flew for American Airlines, a post he went back to after filming was complete. Currently, Terry lives in Simsbury, Connecticut with his wife and two children.