“Take Charge and People Will Follow You”: Authenticity in the Military and in Business

Richard J "Dick" Swift


Dick Swift graduated from West Point with the Class of 1966 and after two years in Germany, he deployed to Vietnam as an Advisor with the ARVN 2nd Division. Following a year in Vietnam, he returned to Fort Bragg and the 82nd Airborne Division. Facing another deployment as an Advisor in 1970, he decided to leave the Army and pursue a career in business. His business career took him to both Paris, France and China before he retired. Currently he serves on boards for various companies. In this interview he discusses his experiences as a Cadet, including the time a Firstie (Senior) took several of the Plebes (Freshmen) out to the Plain one night to explain to them what West Point meant. He then talks about being stationed in Germany during the Cold War and conducting training events with at the major training centers. He served with the 4th Battalion of the 4th ARVN Regiment while deployed to Vietnam and speaks very highly of his Vietnamese Soldiers. Finally, he discusses his business career after the military, and how West Point and his experience in the Military prepared him for life after the Military.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Leadership Life After Military West Point History
interviewer David Siry
date 04 February 2016


name Richard J "Dick" Swift
institution USMA
graduation year 1966
service Infantry
unit 2nd BN, 21st Infantry Regt (Germany) / 4th BN, 4th Regt ARVN 2nd Div Advisor / 4th Bde 82nd Airborne
service dates 1966 1970