Coach Fabio Capello took the captaincy away from the centre-back last year after newspaper allegations about his private life but, in a process played out largely in the media over the last 10 days, he reinstated him in place of the injury-plagued Rio Ferdinand.
"I'm very delighted to get the armband back but when I didn't have it my passion and drive were still there, which was important to the squad and that will never change," Terry told a televised news conference.
"I was disappointed at the time but for me the most important thing was to concentrate on playing football.
"I'm older and very much wiser, I've concentrated on doing the right things. I know what is asked of me on the pitch and away from it.
Chelsea's Terry said he was comfortable that his team mates would accept him again as their nominal leader.
"I'm not going to be everybody's cup of tea, it's a decision the manager has taken," he said.
"When the manager confronted the team on the training pitch this morning and said I was going to be made permanent captain again he asked the players if they had any questions and nobody spoke. Nobody said a word to the manager this morning, nobody said a word to me.
"I feel for Rio. Even though I've got the armband back, I can see myself we've got leaders in the dressing room and the guys have still got a massive input."
Terry will lead England out at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday in the 100th meeting between Wales and England.
The hosts have lost the first three games of their Group G Euro 2012 qualifying campaign while second-placed England have seven points from three games.
"For me the most important thing is to top the group and make sure we are there (in the finals). I would love to lead the team into that tournament," he said.
"But we must win. Wales have had a bad start, conceding a lot of goals and not scoring too many - but they pose a real threat individually. They've got a good young squad."
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