MoH recipient, former AER director to talk leadership

Join Army Emergency Relief for a presentation on leadership and book signing with retired Lt. Gen. Robert F. Foley, Medal of Honor recipient and former AER director, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

The event is part of the week’s Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting & Exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

A continental breakfast will be served from 7:30-8 a.m. with the program beginning promptly at 8. Following the presentation, Foley will sign copies of his book, “Standing Tall: Leadership Lessons in the Life of a Soldier.” Books will be available for purchase at the event with proceeds going to AER.

RSVPs are required. Seating is limited to the first 100 registrants.

A 1963 graduate of West Point, Foley earned the Medal of Honor on Nov. 5, 1966, while serving as commander of A Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, in Vietnam, according to his Medal of Honor citation.

“Capt. Foley’s company was ordered to extricate another company of the battalion,” reads the citation. “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 one platoon on the flank, he led the other two 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 one 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, singlehandedly, destroyed three 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.”

After Vietnam, Foley served in various assignments across the Army, including in Germany, South Korea and the Pentagon.

Foley retired in 2000 after 37 years of service.

He will receive the Gen. Creighton W. Abrams Medal for exceptional service to the U.S. Army during this year’s AUSA Meeting & Expo. AUSA announced the recipients of its 2023 National Awards, which honor individuals for their selfless service and dedication to the Army and its Soldiers, in August.