MORE ABOUT ROBERT SHOLLY

ROBERT H. SHOLLY, COLONEL, USA (RET.)

Picture of Robert ShollyRobert Sholly was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the son of a national park ranger and his schoolteacher wife. As a child, he and his family moved from one national park to another. He graduated from Clovis High School in Clovis, California in 1956 and attended Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas for two years.

Military Career

Sholly began his military career in 1958 by enlisting in the United States Army. He advanced through the enlisted ranks to Sergeant before applying for Officer Candidate School and graduating a Second Lieutenant of the U.S. Army Infantry. He earned Airborne and Ranger qualifications, worked as an instructor at the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Panama, was certified as a Jungle Expert, and became an infantry scout platoon leader in the 2d Armored Division.

After two years he left active duty to return to school. In order to maintain a military affiliation, he joined the 386th Engineer Battalion of the 49th Armored Division of the Texas Army National Guard in Bryan, Texas. He transferred from the infantry branch, attended and graduated from the Basic and Advanced Engineer Courses at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and became qualified as an engineer officer.

Sholly was offered the full-time job of Staff Administrative Assistant for the 386th Engineer Battalion, which he accepted. In 1965, as a captain, he volunteered to return to active duty in Vietnam. He attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and was then assigned to the Fourth Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington. He joined the unit a few months before it deployed to Vietnam.

Picture of Robert ShollyDuring his first tour of Vietnam he worked his way through different positions in the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry. On 10 December 1966 he was assigned as Company Commander, Company B. When time permitted he made notes in his personal journal for what would one day be the chronicle of his unit’s experiences. The journal became the basis for his award winning bestseller, Young Soldiers Amazing Warriors: Inside One of the Most Highly Decorated Battalions of Vietnam. Sholly successfully led his men through the Battle of Polei Doc (March 22, 1967), which is also referred to as the “Ambush Battle” and is the subject of the documentary film, Honor in the Valley of Tears. He and his men also initiated the beginning of the 4th Infantry Division’s “Nine Days in May” series of battles (May 18 – 28, 1967) featured in the documentary film Search and Destroy. After seven months of combat command, he ended his time with Company B when he became the Battalion Operations Officer.

Succeeding assignments included command of a basic training company, preparing soldiers for Vietnam. He was also a senior instructor of advanced tactics to Infantry Advanced Courses at Fort Benning, Georgia, the U.S. Army Infantry School. Three years later he received specialized assignments to Iran and Afghanistan, having to depart Iran when the revolution occurred and then subsequently having to leave Afghanistan when the Soviets invaded.

Picture of Robert ShollySholly acted as the Executive Officer and Commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. He was also Chief of Operations for the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization headquartered in Jerusalem, with the mission area of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Upon completion of this assignment he was the Chief of the Middle East, Africa, South Asia Division of the Defense Intelligence Agency; Deputy Chief of the United States Military Training Mission (USMTM) and Chief, Joint Section, USMTM – Saudi Arabia; (in the latter position he served as the chief U.S. adviser to the Saudi equivalent of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff). He also served as Director, Host Nation Support, Coalition Forces for Desert Shield and Storm, the first Gulf War against Iraq; and Chief of the Histories Division with the United States Army Center of Military History. After 35 years of service, Sholly retired from the U.S. Army in September 1992.

Honors, Degrees and Awards

As a result of his services in Vietnam and throughout his 35 years with the Army, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Legion of Merit, four Bronze Stars for Valor and Service and multiple other awards and decorations. He shares the award of the 1988 Nobel Peace Prize with other UN peacekeepers and was inducted into the U.S. Army’s OCS Hall of Fame.

He is a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College, the National Security portion of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Army War College and has a Master’s Degree in History and English from the University of Texas at El Paso. Sholly is proficient in Spanish, Farsi, Dari, and Arabic. He can also read and speak some French.

Awards and Decorations

Picture of Robert Sholly

234px-Combat_Infantry_Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
ranger Ranger Tab
parachutist Parachutist Wings
peace Nobel Peace Prize 1988 – United Nations Peacekeeping Forces

Medals and Ribbons

Silver Star Silver Star
DefenseSuperior Defense Superior Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
LegionOfMerit Legion of Merit
BronzeStar Bronze Star for Valor and Service with three oak leaf clusters
Meritorious Meritorious Service Medal
AirMedal Air Medal Ribbon
JointService Joint Service Commendation Medal
ArmyCommendation Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
PresidentialUnit Presidential Unit Commendation
JointMeritorious Joint Meritorious Unit Award with oak leaf cluster
Meritotious Meritorious Unit Commendation
ArmyGood Army Good Conduct Medal
NationalDefense National Defense Service Medal
ArmedForces Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
VietnamService Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars
SouthwestAsia Southwest Asia Service Medal with three service stars
USAArmy USA Army Civilian Award for Humanitarian Service Medal
NCOProfessional NCO Professional Development
ArmyService Army Service Ribbon
Overseas Overseas Service Ribbon with award numeral 4
Gallantry Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Emblem with Palm (Vietnam)
VietnamCivil Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation Emblem with Palm
UnitedNations United Nations Truce Supervision Organization Medal with award numeral 2
VietnamCampaign Vietnam Campaign Medal
KuwaitLiberation Ribbon of the Kuwait Liberation Medal issued by the King of Saudi Arabia
KuwaitLiberation2 Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Civilian Careers

Young Soldiers Amazing Warriors CoverAfter retirement from the military, Sholly went to work for a Fortune 500 corporation providing logistical and engineering project management support for military deployments overseas as well as the world’s largest commercial security project in Algeria. The military projects were in Somalia, Haiti, Croatia, Bosnia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. During that time he also was the General Manager for a wholly owned subsidiary company of the corporation providing security consultations and security planning services for oil, gas and mining companies working in world-wide remote and hostile regions.

After 15 years, he retired once again and started a security consulting service and Stonywood Publications, a small publishing company, with his wife, Peggy. Sholly’s current book, Young Soldiers Amazing Warriors, has won 20 national and international awards: one Grand Prize and one Grand Prize Short List, plus 18 Memoir, History, Military and Nonfiction awards. It has reached #1 Bestseller on Amazon Kindle 5 times to date.

Sholly is also a professional speaker available for military and civilian themed keynote addresses and specific military related topics including advanced leadership training for company and corporate executives, Middle Eastern current affairs, Veterans Issues, and How to Prepare for Military Service Academy Applications for Young Adults. He can be reached at www.robertsholly.com.

Personal life

Picture of Robert ShollySholly gives back by sitting on U.S. Congressmen’s military panels to interview and recommend successful candidates for military service academies. He also assists Texas State Legislators in selection of scholarship recipients for the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program (TASSP). He is president of the 8th Infantry Regiment Society and on the board of directors for ActiVets, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. When requested, he also speaks pro bono to local veterans groups and community service organizations.

He is active in the National Speakers Association Academy, Pearland Chamber of Commerce, Mid-Pearland Toastmasters and other national professional and military organizations.

Sholly is married to Peggy Touchtone Sholly. Together they write and publish books. Peggy’s Gulf Coast cookbook, Down Home Delicious, has won 6 national awards and is sold internationally. They currently reside in Pearland, Texas. He is an avid reader, historian, racquetball buff (former National Champion), a proud father and grandfather.