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First Name: Peter

Last Name: Schoomaker

Birthplace: MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Jan

Date of Birth: 12 February 1946

Rank: General

Years Served: 1969-2000; 2003-2007
Peter Jan Schoomaker

•  Gulf War (1990 - 1991)


Peter Jan Schoomaker
General, U.S. Army
35th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army (2003 - 2007)

Peter Jan Schoomaker was born on 12 February 1946 in Michigan. He was raised in an Army family. After attending East Lansing High School, Schoomaker graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education Administration. A football player, he was a starter on Wyoming's Sugar Bowl team. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Management from Central Michigan University.

Military Career

In 1969, after being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant after participating in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of Wyoming, he went to the Armor School at Fort Knox, KY. Schoomaker soon became a Reconnaissance Platoon Leader and Rifle Company Commander with 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry, and a Cavalry Troop Commander with 1st Squadron, 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 of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta at Fort Bragg, NC. Following a year at the Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS, Schoomaker served as the Squadron Executive Officer, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany. In August 1983, he returned to Fort Bragg to serve as Special Operations Officer, J-3, Joint Special Operations Command. From August 1985 to August 1988, Schoomaker commanded another Squadron in the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - D, commonly known to the public as "Delta Force." Following the National War College in Washington, DC, he returned as the Commander, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - D from June 1989 to July 1992. Subsequently, Schoomaker served as the Assistant Division Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX, followed by a tour in the Headquarters, Department of the Army staff as the Deputy Director for Operations, Readiness and Mobilization.

Schoomaker participated in numerous deployment operations including Eagle Claw in Iran; Urgent Fury in Grenada; Operation Just Cause in Panama; Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in Southwest Asia; Uphold Democracy in Haiti; and supported various other operations.

General Schoomaker served as the Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) from July 1994 to August 1996, followed by Command of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg through October 1997. He was then assigned as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base, FL, from November 1997 to November 2000. General Schoomaker retired from active Army service in 2000.

In 2003, General Schoomaker was recalled to active duty for the purpose of assuming the position of the 35th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. He served from 1 August 2003 to 10 April 2007, at which time he voluntarily retired from the Army for the second time.

[According to the 9/11 Commission, Schoomaker wanted to take action against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan using his special operators but was unable to gain approval for the mission.]

Schoomaker spent over 30 years in a variety of assignments with both conventional and special operations forces - he is the first Special Forces-trained Army Chief of Staff and the second to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (General Henry H. Shelton was the first, when he served as Chairman.)

Schoomaker's brother, Lieutenant General Eric B. Schoomaker [Honoree Record ID 307202], M.D., Ph.D., is the 42nd Surgeon General of the United States Army.

Medals, Awards, Badges & Tabs

Defense Distinguished Service Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Army Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Defense Superior Service Medal with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Legion of Merit with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Bronze Star Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Joint Service Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Southwest Asia Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Humanitarian Service Award
Army Service Ribbon
Army Overseas Service Ribbon with Award Numeral 3
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Army Valorous Unit Award with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Combat Infantryman Badge
Master Parachutist Badge
Military Free Fall Parachutist Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Army Staff Identification Badge
Special Forces Tab
Ranger Tab


Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Hampden-Sydney College.

Honoree ID: 320   Created by: MHOH




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