Robert F. Foley

Born in May 30, 1941, in Newton, MA, and entered service there. Foley was commissioned an infantry officer upon graduation upon graduation from West Point in 1963. He also earned an MBA from Farleigh Dickinson University. He received a Medal of Honor along with Sergeant John F. Baker Jr. for actions near Quan Dau Tieng, Republic of Vietnam. 

During his military career, he has served as company commander with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and battalion and brigade command with the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany. He was chief of staff for the 7th Infantry Division (Light), Fort Ord, California; executive officer to the assistant secretary of the army; assistant division commander, 2nd Infantry Division, commandant of cadets, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York; deputy commanding general, Second US Army, Fort Gillem, GA; commanding general, US Army Military District of Washington; and commanding general, Fifth US Army, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

After retiring from the Army, he served as president of Marion Military Institute in Alabama until 2004, directing the school through a period of tremendous growth and recognition. in 2005, General Foley became the director of Army Emergency Relief. 

To see a video of Robert Foley’s oral history, click here.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Foley’s company was ordered to extricate another company of the battalion. Moving through the dense jungle to aid the besieged unit, Company A encountered a strong enemy force occupying well concealed, defensive positions, and the company’s leading element quickly sustained several casualties. Capt. Foley immediately ran forward to the scene of the most intense action to direct the company’s efforts. Deploying 1 platoon on the flank, he led the other 2 platoons in an attack on the enemy in the face of intense fire. During this action both radio operators accompanying him were wounded. At grave risk to himself he defied the enemy’s murderous fire, and helped the wounded operators to a position where they could receive medical care. As he moved forward again 1 of his machine gun crews was wounded. Seizing the weapon, he charged forward firing the machine gun, shouting orders and rallying his men, thus maintaining the momentum of the attack. Under increasingly heavy enemy fire he ordered his assistant to take cover and, alone, Capt. Foley continued to advance firing the machine gun until the wounded had been evacuated and the attack in this area could be resumed. When movement on the other flank was halted by the enemy's fanatical defense, Capt. Foley moved to personally direct this critical phase of the battle. Leading the renewed effort he was blown off his feet and wounded by an enemy grenade. Despite his painful wounds he refused medical aid and persevered in the forefront of the attack on the enemy redoubt. He led the assault on several enemy gun emplacements and, single-handedly, destroyed 3 such positions. His outstanding personal leadership under intense enemy fire during the fierce battle which lasted for several hours, inspired his men to heroic efforts and was instrumental in the ultimate success of the operation. Capt. Foley’s magnificent courage, selfless concern for his men and professional skill reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.