General Walter E. Boomer joined the Marine Corps in 1960 after graduating from Duke University. His service included two tours in Vietnam, where he was a combat commander in 1966 and 1967 and an advisor to a South Vietnamese Marine infantry battalion in 1971 and 1972. He was awarded the Silver Star Medal twice for his actions in combat. In 1986, he was promoted to Brigadier General and named Director of Public Affairs at Marine headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1988, he was given command of the 4th Marine Division in New Orleans. During this assignment, he was promoted to Major General in 1988 and to Lieutenant General in 1990. Shortly after his promotion to Lieutenant General, he was deployed to Saudi Arabia as the Commanding General, U.S. Marines Central Command and First Marine Expeditionary Force. He led all Marines during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the largest single operation in Marine Corps history. In 1991, at the completion of his service in the Middle East, General Boomer was the Commanding General, First Marine Expeditionary Force/Commanding General, Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton, California; later that year, he was named Commanding General, Marine Combat Development Command at Quantico, Virginia. He was promoted to General and named Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1992 and held that position until his retirement in 1994.
After retiring from the Marine Corps, General Boomer was Executive Vice President of McDermott International and President of Babcock and Wilcox Power Generation Group. In 1997 he joined Rogers Corporation as President and CEO. General Boomer was appointed Chairman of the Board in 2002 and retired from the company in 2004. He remained a Director of Rogers Corporation until 2010. General Boomer was a Director of Baxter International for 15 years, serving as Lead Director for 3 years. Boomer was also a director of Cytec, a woman’s health care company, until it was merged with another company. He is a Director of Taylor Energy Company, a former Director of Paragon Medical Company and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, which built the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
A native of Rich Square, North Carolina, General Boomer holds a B.A. from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and a M.S. in Technology of Management from American University in Washington, D.C. He graduated with distinction from the Naval War College.