In Memoriam, Terry “Moose” Millard

Posted on February 4, 2009 by Blake Leath

A very dear mentor passed away yesterday, February 3, 2009. 

He had battled cancer valiantly for 18 ½ years, living a remarkable life along the way.   

My library is highly enriched by the many books he sent me, each of which includes a beautiful and personal inscription.  He was always thinking of others.

"Moose" was first-class, all the way.   

I vividly remember an occasion when he and I were to speak together, perhaps back in 2004 or so, and he could not leave his house from his illness.  It had been a bad day.  But he called me nonetheless, and encouraged me... HE ENCOURAGED ME... from his bed. 

That’s vintage Moose, and there was much more where that came from.  His final note to me read, "Keep swinging, Blake.  You'll keep hitting.  Cheers, Moose."

God speed, dear friend. 


p.s. Yesterday's entry reverberates again today.  "Better to overdo than underdo."


Thank you, Moose, for always overdoing it for everyone fortunate enough to have crossed your path.     


High Flight
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.  Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941  



BIOGRAPHY: Terry "Moose" Millard 

Exploring the edge of the performance envelope had been part of Terry “Moose” Millard’s life since he earned his pilot license at age 15.  That is when he discovered that if you love what you do, hard work can be fun – and fun fuels productivity.  Moose believed that just as professional pilots must understand the performance envelope of their aircraft and crew, great leaders must understand the performance envelope of their organization and people.  That understanding is crucial to achieving maximum performance without running out of fuel.  After 40 years of study and experience as a leadership and service practitioner, Moose knew how it felt to be there and what works to get you there.

His formal education included a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and a Masters degree in Human Resource Management.  However, his best education had been working his way through pre-college and college years in real world jobs like heavy construction laborer, janitor, night watchman, sales person, appliance repairman, and supervisor.

Moose added to his hands-on leadership experience with a 20-year Air Force career in fighter jets, including two combat tours in Vietnam, duty as an evaluator of management and leadership, and commander of a combat ready F-16 Fighting Falcon squadron.

Moose joined the Southwest Airlines team in 1988 and stayed at the company until the age 60 rule forced him to retire.  In addition to performing duties as an airline captain, check airman, and assistant chief pilot supervising over 600 pilots, he was deeply immersed in company culture initiatives like pilot hiring, human factors team training, and intra-departmental employee relationship building.  After Moose retired from Southwest Airlines the company contracted with him to help lead a new business initiative called Plane Smart Business, which more deeply engaged pilots in understanding and participating in business performance enhancements for the company.

Since 1990 he shared his experience and research as a seminar leader, consultant, and professional speaker.  He spoke with passion and humor about building and maintaining maximum performance cultures, developing the heart of service, nurturing gutsy leadership, and dealing with adversity through Possibility Mentality which he had used in his continuing 17-year adventure with cancer.

The origin of his nickname remains mysteriously obscured in the hazy history of a bygone era.  He resided with his wife, Allene, in Colorado Springs, CO and Henderson, NV.