Shumate, Walter Lee, SGM

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Last Rank
Sergeant Major
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11Z50-Infantry Senior Sergeant
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1977-1982, 11Z50, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D)
Service Years
1952 - 1982
Foreign Language(s)

Special Forces

Sergeant Major

Ten Service Stripes

Eight Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Shumate, Walter Lee (Walt), SGM.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Virginia Beach
Last Address
Fayetteville, NC

Date of Passing
Mar 01, 1993
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord US Army Retired (Pre-2007) Special Forces Group

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Chapter I/XVIII - The Samuel S. Theriault/Aaron Bank Chapter
  1982, Special Forces Association, 1, Chapter I/XVIII - The Samuel S. Theriault/Aaron Bank Chapter (Fayetteville, North Carolina) - Chap. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
SGM Walter L. Shumate was born in Pocahontas, Virginia on September 20, 1934. He began his military career in February 1952 as an Airborne Infantryman and was assigned to the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team (Rakassans), serving in the Korean War.
He later served in the 11th Airborne Division (ABN DIV) (Germany), in the Pathfinder Platoon and as an Airborne / Jumpmaster School instructor. Next, he was assigned to the 82nd ABN DIV where he served as a Squad Leader in the 504th PIR. In January of 1962 he volunteered for Special Forces, completed the SFQC as a Light Weapons Sergeant and was assigned to SFOD-A 323, C co, 1st SFG (A), Okinawa. Between 1962 and 1964 he and his detachment deployed to Vietnam twice.
In 1963 SGM Shumate completed a dive course taught by a U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team and embarked on a program he would continue throughout much of his military career, teaching Combat Diver & Maritime Operations. In 1964 SGM Shumate completed HALO training in Okinawa prior to being assigned to the 7th SFG (A) at Ft. Bragg, NC, where he was subsequently attached to the Special Warfare Training Group in support of advanced infiltration training. During this period he was responsible for gaining the approval from the U.S. Navy to allow the Army to utilize their facilities in Key West, FL in support of SF dive training. SGM Shumate designed and implemented a program of instruction that became the nucleus of what is known today as the Special Forces Underwater Operations Course. In 1966 SGM Shumate returned to Vietnam where he served for a year as a Recon Team Leader in Project Delta. The following year he was reassigned to Ft. Bragg and served for over two years as an instructor on the HALO Committee. In 1969 SGM Shumate was assigned to the 46th Special Forces Company (A) in Thailand where he ran an Underwater Operations Course. In 1970 he returned to the Special Warfare Training Group and helped stand up a permanent SCUBA School in Key West, FL. In 1971 he returned to Vietnam and served a year in MACV SOG-CCC. In 1972 he was assigned to Okinawa and served 2.5 years as the Operations Sergeant of a SCUBA Team in the 1st SFG (A) and often ran a Combat Diver Course for the Group. In 1974 he returned to Ft. Bragg where he once again served as a Team Sergeant and later a Company SGM in 2/7th SFG (A). From 1977 to 1982 SGMShumate served in 1st SFOD-D where he ran Selection & Training and also participated in Operation Eagle Claw, the attempt to rescue Americans taken hostage in the wake of the Iranian Revolution.
SGM Shumate Retired in 1982 and continued to serve in Delta as a civilian until his death in 1993. In 1994 the Free Accent Dive Tower at the Special ForcesUnderwater Operations School was named in honor of SGM Shumate.
SGM Shumate’s awards and decorations include: Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Bronze Star; Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm; Korean Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars; United Nations Service Medal; Vietnamese Campaign Medal; Master Parachutist Badge; Combat Infantry & Expert Infantry Badges; Combat Diver Badge; Master Freefall Badge; and the Special Forces & Ranger Tabs.
SGM Shumate is survived by his wife Helen, daughter Joanne, son Alan, and
grandsons Samuel and Alex Shumate.

Other Comments:

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 2nd Award
Master ParachutistMilitary Freefall JumpmasterSpecial Operations Supervising Diver
Special Forces
Vietnam - Jump Wings

 Unit Assignments
187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team11th Airborne Division1st Battalion, 504th Infantry Regiment (Airborne)US Army Special Warfare School (Cadre)
1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)1st Special Warfare Training Group (Cadre)Company E (Provisional) Detachment C-5 (Special Operations)/Detachment B-52 (Project Delta)
U.S. Army46th Special Forces Company (Airborne)MACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)/Command & Control Central (CCC)1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D)
  1952-1955, 1745, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
  1956-1958, 1745, 11th Airborne Division
  1958-1962, 111.07, HHC, 1st Battalion, 504th Infantry Regiment (Airborne)
  1962-1962, 111.07, US Army Special Warfare School (Cadre)
  1962-1964, 11B20, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1964-1966, 11B20, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1964-1966, 11B20, 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Cadre)
  1966-1967, 11B20, Company E (Provisional) Detachment C-5 (Special Operations)/Detachment B-52 (Project Delta)
  1967-1969, Military Free Fall Course
  1969-1970, 11B20, 46th Special Forces Company (Airborne)
  1970-1971, Special Forces Underwater Operations Course
  1971-1972, 11Z50, MACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)/Command & Control Central (CCC)
  1972-1974, 11Z50, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1974-1977, 11Z50, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group
  1977-1982, 11Z50, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1952-1952 Korean War/Korea, Summer-Fall 1952
  1952-1953 Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)
  1953-1953 Korean War/Korean Summer (1953)
  1965-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Consolidation I Campaign (1971)
  1971-1972 Vietnam War/Consolidation II Campaign (1971-72)
  1980-1980 Operation Eagle Claw (Iran)
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