Col. (Ret.) Leonard Schroeder

By AMY TURNEROctober 4, 2022

2022 Hall of Fame Inductee

University of Maryland (1941)

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Col. (Ret.) Leonard T. Schroeder was born on July 16, 1918, in Linthicum Heights, Maryland.

He attended the University of Maryland where he completed both a Bachelor of Arts degree and the Army ROTC program. Schroeder was also a member of the university’s soccer team, on a full athletic scholarship.

He graduated and commissioned in 1941. Schroeder’s first assigned unit was the 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. There he trained troops for two years in anticipation of their inevitable entrance into WWII, rising to command a Company in the 2nd Battalion.

On D-Day, Schroeder was aboard the first landing craft to hit Utah Beach. He has after been credited as the first American soldier ashore at Normandy. Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, also in that landing craft, was fatally wounded in the assault. Schroeder continued to press inland with his remaining troops, eventually securing their objective two miles from the beachhead. In the process, Schroeder was grievously wounded in the arm. He received the Silver Star with V Device for his actions on that fateful day.

Unlike many junior officers in WWII, Schroeder chose to remain in service after the war. Successive commands and assignments at the Battalion level took him to combat twice more; in Korea and Vietnam. Other postings in Europe during his later career allowed him to make significant contributions to the Cold War.

Schroeder retired in 1971 after 30 years of service in Army. His military awards and accolades include the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Schroeder passed away on May 26, 2009.

About the Army ROTC Hall of Fame

The ROTC Hall of Fame was established in 2016 as part of the ROTC Centennial celebration. The first class (2016) inducted 326 former ROTC Cadets who had distinguished themselves in their military or civilian career.

The Hall of Fame honors graduates of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who have distinguished themselves in military or civilian pursuits. It provides a prestigious and tangible means of recognizing and honoring Army ROTC Alumni who have made lasting, significant contributions to the Nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the Army ROTC Program.

Read more about the 2022 Hall of Fame Inductees.