Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Robert F. Schulte


In the military, combat arms are the units that work on the ground, such as the infantry or artillery. One tactic employed by strategists is called combined arms. The idea of this tactic is to attack using differing units in such a way that the opposing forces, in defending against one of the attacks, becomes vulnerable to the other. It is a highly effective strategy and one of the primary tactics employed by the North Dakota National Guard. However, this strategy was not always part of the Guard’s training. We can credit Robert Schulte for introducing the strategy.

Robert F. Schulte was born on December 8, 1936, in Carroll, Iowa. He graduated from the South Dakota State College of Agriculture in 1959. In that same year, he began his military career in December when he was commissioned as a second Lieutenant through the Senior Reserve Officers' Training Corps at South Dakota State University. Over the next four years he completed basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky and attended the Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course in Camp Wolters, Texas. He served as a Rotary Wing Aviator until his release from active duty as a First Lieutenant.

On this date in 1963, Schulte came to North Dakota when appointed Chief Warrant Officer Two of the North Dakota National Guard. He served in various aviation positions, and was mainly a helicopter pilot, but would go on to become Company Commander in charge of many engineer units. In August, 1980 his loyalty and dedication earned him a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, and he served as Battalion Commander for five years with the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion. It was during his time as Commander that he introduced the combined arms training that is still used today. His multiple army awards and organization affiliations demonstrate that he was not only a good soldier, but a good citizen as well.

Dakota Datebook written by Lucid Thomas