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First Name: Robert

Last Name: Shoemaker

Birthplace: Almont, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Morin

Date of Birth: 18 February 1924

Date of Death: 21 June 2017

Rank: General

Years Served: 1946-1982
Robert Morin Shoemaker

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1946

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Robert Morin Shoemaker
General, U.S. Army

Robert Morin Shoemaker was born on 18 February 1924 in Almont, MI, and was raised on an 80 acre farm in rural Michigan. He attended the same small school building from kindergarten through the 12th grade and graduated in a class of 23 from Almont High School in 1941. In 1942, while a pharmacy student at the University of Grand Rapids, he enlisted in the Navy V-12 officer training program. A few weeks before entering active duty in the Navy he switched to the Army by accepting an appointment to West Point earned though a competitive examination. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1946, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry. He served in various assignments in the 1st Infantry Division, the 82nd Airborne Division, and the 2nd Infantry Division. He subsequently became the Infantry Branch Assignments Officer, and later was an Advisor to the Iranian military.

In 1960 he earned his aviator's wings, and remained a member of the faculty at the Aviation School. In 1962, he served on the Tactical Mobility Requirements Board, also known as the Howze Board (in honor of General Hamilton H. Howze), which developed many of the principles used in air assault operations. He was then sent to Vietnam to assess the potential of Army aviation. He was assigned to the experimental 11th Air Assault Division at Fort Benning, GA, as Division G-3. The Division was later redesignated the 1st Cavalry Division in July 1965 and he was given command of 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry. In December 1965, he assumed command of 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry, which was the only air cavalry squadron in the Army at the time.

He returned to the U.S. and, after a tour at the Pentagon, returned for his third tour of duty in Vietnam as Chief of Staff for the 1st Cavalry Division. In 1969 he became Assistant Division Commander of the 1st Cavalry Division.

After the war, Shoemaker served as Commander, 1st Cavalry Division and Commander, III Corps. In 1977, Shoemaker was assigned as Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Forces Command, and a year later was promoted to General and became Commander of U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM).

General Shoemaker retired from the Army in 1982.

Post-Military Life

After retirement, Shoemaker moved to the Fort Hood area, and remained active in community service. He served eight years as the elected Bell County Commissioner. He also backed a campaign that resulted in the establishment of a Tarleton State University campus near Fort Hood.

Some of his other civic activities include President and advisor to the President of the 1st Cavalry Division Association; President of the Heart of Texas Council of the Boy Scouts; and as President of the Fort Hood Chapter of the United Way.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Army Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal
Air Medal with Award Numeral 45
Army Commendation Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal with Bronze Star
Vietnam Service Medal with Silver and Bronze Star
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm
United Nations Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
Army Valorous Unit Award
Army Meritorious Unit Commendation
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Combat Infantryman Badge with Star (Second Award)
Master Aviator Badge
Senior Parachutist Badge


• He was inducted as a member of the Army Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983.

• Shoemaker was inducted in the U.S. Army Operational Testers' Hall of Fame in 2002.

• In 2004, he was awarded the Distinguished Graduate Award by the Association of Graduates, the U.S. Military Academy's Alumni Association.

• He established the Robert M. Shoemaker High School, named in his honor in Killeen, TX.

Death and Burial

General (Ret.) Robert M. “Bob” Shoemaker died on 21 June 2017. Burial, with full military honors, will follow at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. Visitation will be held 6:00-8:00 PM Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen, TX.

Honoree ID: 329   Created by: MHOH




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