July 1, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army men’s basketball team recently received a special visit from LTG (R) Robert Foley, a Medal of Honor recipient and former Army basketball captain. Lt. Gen. Foley was accompanied by his wife, Julie.
During his visit, Foley toured the basketball facilities with head coach Zach Spiker before speaking with members of the Black Knights in the team room which includes his photo on the wall celebrating former players’ success after West Point.
Foley spoke to the group about his career and staying connected with the program, recalling his experience witnessing Army’s win at American on Feb. 23. His point of emphasis was the value of respect, something that has played a key role in his career. Upon returning to West Point as the 63rd Commandant of Cadets in 1992, Foley added “Consideration for Others,” which is now called, “Respect” to the West Point list of core values. His initiative developed into an Army-wide program, and still remains a vital part of the cadet leadership development instruction at West Point.
Foley, a 1963 graduate, received the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War for his efforts on Nov. 5, 1966 while serving as commander of A Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. During a rescue mission, his company came under fire and suffered severe casualties. He assisted two wounded radio operators to safety so they could medical aid before picking up the machine gun of a fallen soldier. He directly assaulted the enemy gun locations, taking out three of them himself. Foley and his company withdrew after the group he was sent in to assist was extracted.
A 2009 West Point Association of Graduates Distinguished Graduate Award winner, Foley now serves as the director of Army Emergency Relief, a private non-profit organization which provides financial assistant to soldiers, retired military personnel and their families.
“It was a great honor to welcome Lt. Gen. Foley and have him spend time with our players,” Spiker said. “His accomplishments truly make him a hero among heroes. Our players can’t help but become better people and cadets after listening to and applying his message. We want to give our players as many unique experiences as possible during their time at West Point, and getting the chance to shake the hand of a Medal of Honor recipient, one who has worn the same basketball uniform they do now, certainly fits that criteria.”
Foley was a three-time letterwinner, serving as team captain during the 1962-63 season. As a senior, he averaged 9.9 points per game and led the team in rebounding with 7.4 boards per contest.