Robert M. Shoemaker
|Robert Morin Shoemaker|
Official portrait of Robert Shoemaker, CG FORSCOM
February 18, 1924 |
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1946–1982|
|Commands held||U.S. Army Forces Command
1st Cavalry Division
|Awards||Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star Medal
|Other work||Commissioner, Bell County, Texas|
Robert Morin Shoemaker (born February 18, 1924) is a U.S. Army general, and former commander of the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). He is also an inductee into the Aviation Hall of Fame.
Life and military career
He was born in 1924 in Almont, Michigan. Shoemaker graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1946, and was commissioned in the infantry. He served in various assignment 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, 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 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 FORSCOM.
Shoemaker retired from the Army in 1982 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 Texas A&M University-Central Texas 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.
Shoemaker was inducted in the U.S. Army Operational Testers' Hall of Fame in 2002, and in 2004, he was awarded the Distinguished Graduate Award by the Association of Graduates, the U.S. Military Academy alumni association. He was also inducted as a member of the Army Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983.
He established the high school, named after him, in Killeen, Texas.