A native of Russellville, Kentucky, Terry Wilcutt was born October 31, 1949 and graduated from Southern High School in Louisville, Kentucky in 1967. After graduation from Western Kentucky University in 1974, Wilcutt taught high school math for two years prior to entering the Marine Corps. He was commissioned in 1976 and earned his wings in 1978. Following initial F-4 Phantom training in VMFAT-101, he reported to VMFA-235, Kaneohe, Hawaii. While assigned to VMFA-235, Wilcutt attended the Naval Fighter Weapons School (Topgun) and made two overseas deployments to Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. In 1983, he was selected for F/A-18 conversion training and served as an F/A-18 Fighter Weapons and Air Combat Maneuvering Instructor in VFA-125, Lemoore, California. In 1986, Wilcutt was selected to attend the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS). Following graduation from USNTPS he was assigned as a test pilot/project officer for Strike Aircraft Test Directorate (SATD) at the Naval Aircraft Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland. While assigned to SATD, Wilcutt flew the F/A-18 Hornet, the A-7 Corsair II, the F-4 Phantom, and various other aircraft while serving as a test pilot/project officer in a wide variety of projects and classified programs. He has over 6,600 flight hours in more than 30 different aircraft.