General Schoomaker became the 35th Chief of Staff, United States Army, on August 1, 2003.
General Schoomaker graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Management from Central Michigan University, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Hampden-Sydney College. General Schoomaker’s military education includes the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the United States Army Command and General Staff College, the National War College, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security Management.
Prior to his current assignment, General Schoomaker spent 31 years in a variety of command and staff assignments with both conventional and special operations forces. He participated in numerous deployment operations, including DESERT ONE in Iran, URGENT FURY in Grenada, JUST CAUSE in Panama, DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM in Southwest Asia, UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti, and supported various worldwide joint contingency operations, including those in the Balkans.
Early in his career, General Schoomaker was a Reconnaissance Platoon Leader and Rifle Company Commander with 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry, and a Cavalry Troop Commander with 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany. He then served in Korea as the S-3 Operations Officer of 1st Battalion, 73rd Armor, 2nd Infantry Division. From 1978 to 1981, he commanded a Squadron in the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - D. Following Army Command and General Staff College, General Schoomaker served as the Squadron Executive Officer, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany. In August 1983, he returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to serve as Special Operations Officer, J-3, Joint Special Operations Command. From August 1985 to August 1988, General Schoomaker commanded another Squadron in the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - D. Following the National War College, he returned as the Commander, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - D from June 1989 to July 1992. Subsequently, General Schoomaker served as the Assistant Division Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, followed by a tour in the Headquarters, Department of the Army staff as the Deputy Director for Operations, Readiness and Mobilization.
General Schoomaker served as the Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command from July 1994 to August 1996, followed by command of the United States Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina through October 1997. His most recent assignment prior to assuming duties as the Army Chief of Staff was as Commander in Chief, United States Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, from November 1997 to November 2000.
General Schoomaker’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two Army Distinguished Service Medals, four Defense Superior Service Medals, three Legions of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge and HALO Wings, the Special Forces Tab, and the Ranger Tab.