Podcast: Cultivating Character with LTG (R) Robert F. Foley ’63 (Pt. 2)

Category: Grad News
Class Years:

This episode features part two of an interview with LTG (R) Robert F. Foley, recipient of the Medal of Honor, West Point class of 1963.

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LTG (R) Foley held numerous command and staff assignments during his 37 years on active duty. In this episode, LTG (R) Foley talks about his remarkable journey in the army, invaluable lessons from his career, and dynamic strategies to empower soldiers during combat.

Listen to part one.

“Let me talk with what I think is the most important leadership lesson learned, and that is the importance of listening. I found that in my 37 years in active duty that we leaders just don’t spend enough time on the issue of listening. And so I concluded that leaders at all levels, squad leaders, battalion commanders, corporate CEOs, need to carve out time daily, if they can, just to listen. And I don’t mean to a one hour PowerPoint briefing in their office. I mean, getting out of their office, going to the motor pool, the training area, the dining facility, the workspace where the officers and the NCOs and the soldiers are working. And turn off the transmitter and go into the receipt mode and just listen and ask questions and find out things.”

—LTG (R) Robert F. Foley ’63

Episode Timestamps

(01:00) Commandant of Cadets
(11:36) Advice for aspiring young leaders
(19:01) Changes over time at West Point
(23:10) Similarities in the current West Point experience


LTG (R) Robert F. Foley
David Siry’s LinkedIn

“Intuitively, we know that leadership and discipline and training are all factors to ensure that you overcome fear. But I found the most compelling motivation was this intense regard which soldiers had for their fellow soldiers. These were their buddies, their friends, their comrades. They’d been with them 24 hours a day.They would do anything to prevent their buddies from being killed or wounded. And it was kind of an unwritten creed. Soldier would say, I’m never gonna let my buddy down. And so, you know, I leveraged that. I said, you know, that that’s an important thing.”

—LTG (R) Robert F. Foley ’63

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The WPAOG Podcast is a strategic initiative focused on tailored audible communications to further inform Graduates on current AOG projects, events, and USMA updates. This customized content is mainly for USMA Alumni and the West Point Community solely produced by the West Point Association of Graduates. The Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Audible, YouTube Music, and iHeartRadio.

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