The versatile Robert Sears excelled in every sport he tried – boxing, fencing, swimming, track and marksmanship. At West Point, he was captain of the Army team that won the IFA foil team title in 1908 and 1909, and in the latter year, shared individual honors with his teammate, Reginald Cocroft. At the 1920 Olympics, Sears was 36 years old, but still won a bronze medal in foil team, participated in the épée team event, and finished eighth in modern pentathlon. Sears spent most of his military career with the ordnance department. In World War II, he commanded the 35th Infantry during its sweep through France, despite the fact that at 60, he was the oldest combat soldier in the European theatre. He retired in 1946 with the rank of colonel.