Walter Boomer was born in 1938 in Rich Square, North Carolina. Boomer graduated from the Randolph Macon Academy in Front Royal, Virginia, and later earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. He commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and in 1961.
Boomer first served with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines and then 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. By December 1961, he promoted to first lieutenant and later to captain in 1965. Boomer saw action in Vietnam from 1966-1967 while working as the commanding officer for Company H, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines.
In August 1971, Boomer went back to Vietnam as an advisor to one of the South Vietnamese Marine Infantry Battalions. For years to come, he worked in various capacities throughout the states while working his way up the ranks.
In August 1990, Boomer deployed to Saudi Arabia, where he served as the commanding general, U.S. Marines Central Command and I Marine Expeditionary Force during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Boomer returned to Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, California, in April 1991. He became commanding general for the I Marine Expeditionary Force and the Marine Corps Base.
In September 1992, Boomer became Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1994. Throughout his service, Boomer received numerous medals and awards including a Distinguished Service Medal, a Silver Star with gold star, a Legion of Merit and two Bronze Star Medals with Combat “V.”
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Fact checker: Monique Quihuis