Bachelor of Science, United States Military Academy, 1946; postgraduate, United States Army Command and General Staff College, 1959; postgraduate, Army War College, 1967.
He is also an inductee into the Aviation Hall of Fame. 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 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.
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, United States. 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 Agricultural and Mechanical 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.
In 1960 he earned his aviator"s wings, and remained a member of the faculty at the Aviation School. He was also inducted as a member of the Army Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983.
Married Mary A. (Tuke) Rickard, July 17, 1948.