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Retired Major General Honored for Distinguished Service

Retired Major General Honored for Distinguished Service

Richard S. "Dick" Colt
Photo by Chris Taggart
Richard S. “Dick” Colt, retired major general of the U.S. Army, was inducted into the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities’ (cIcu) Alumni Hall of Distinction on March 3, 2008, in recognition of his distinguished military career and continued contributions to society.

Colt, who was honored along with 18 other veterans and active members of the United States Armed Forces, graduated from Fordham College at Rose Hill in 1967, the same year he received his commission as a second lieutenant through Fordham’s Army ROTC program.

“I grew up hearing stories of service and sacrifice from my father and my uncles,” Colt said. “I found in military service a satisfaction that I never experienced in the civilian workplace.”

After graduating from Fordham, Colt served as an infantry and intelligence adviser in South Vietnam from May 1968 to May 1969, earning the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman Badge for his leadership in combat. After receiving an honorable discharge from active duty in 1969, he began a successful business career with New York Telephone and AT&T while earning his M.B.A. from Iona College. He also resumed his military service. In 1978, he joined the New York Army National Guard and in 1985 transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve.

In January 2001, he became the director of business operations for the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, also known as Maryknoll, where he worked to align the society’s operational processes to support its apostolic initiatives.

Later that year, he was promoted to major general and assumed command of the 77th Regional Readiness Command, headquartered at Fort Totten in Queens, N.Y. After the September 11 attacks, he established an Emergency Operations Center to support rescue and recovery operations at Ground Zero, receiving a citation from the New York Fire Department and the Port Authority Police Department for his support to them and others. Upon retiring from the U.S. Army in June 2005, he was honored with the Distinguished Service Medal for outstanding service to his country.

“I’ve seen the best of America wearing the uniform of all of our armed forces,” Colt said. “I could not have had a more fulfilling life of service if Fordham had not provided the opportunity for me to learn, to grow and to serve.”

Although Colt was unable to attend the cIcu induction ceremony, which was held in Albany, N.Y., Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, accepted the award on his behalf. Founded in 1956, the cIcu is a statewide association representing the public policy interests of the chief executives of more than 100 independent colleges and universities in New York.

—Miles Doyle, FCRH '01

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