Terry Smith served as an infantryman for 30 years in the Army Reserve. This included three and a half years on full time duty in the Regular Army, from 1970 to 1973, after volunteering for service in South Vietnam. Following training as a tropical warfare adviser, he arrived in South Vietnam on 1 July 1972 where he joined the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. In Vietnam, he served with the Phuoc Tuy Training Battalion of the United States Army Vietnam Forces Armee Nationale Khmer (FANK) Training Command, until the completion of that programme in November 1972 and thereafter, with the Jungle Warfare Training Centre at Van Kiep. Following the withdrawal of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam from South Vietnam on 18 December 1972, he completed his full time military service with the 5th Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment, before returning to civilian life in December 1973. He was appointed a Member of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire in 1977 and a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2010.