Rob Turfe followed his brother Norman from Dearborn, Michigan to West Point in 1986. Rob’s grandfather was an immigrant who came to the United States from Lebanon in 1919 by way of France. On board the ship crossing the Atlantic, he met an American officer, General John L. Hines (USMA 1891), who provided him with a letter of introduction that helped him get through U.S. Immigration on the east coast. This instilled a family passion for helping immigrants. Rob and his siblings grew up with this sense of duty, and were the first two practicing Muslims to attend West Point. After graduating from West Point, Rob became an Engineer Officer, and was stationed in Germany. While in Europe, he was deployed to Southern Turkey, Northern Iraq, Bosnia, Croatia, and Macedonia, and was frequently able to use his knowledge of Arabic in real-world situations. In 1995, he left the Army and entered the business world, using many of the skills he learned at West Point to achieve success in the civilian sector.
In this interview, Rob Turfe talks about his family history, and the outreach to the immigrant community he experienced as a young boy. He describes his experiences at West Point, including other Cadets’ ready acceptance of his faith, and addresses his deployments in support of the Gulf War and peacekeeping operations in the Balkans. He discusses his transition into the civilian world, highlighting mentors he’s had and detailing how his years at West Point have contributed to his business success. Finally, he describes his current efforts with media projects combatting bigotry.