Senior Chief Engineman (SEAL/EOD) Robert R. Schamberger was born on 25 February 1946 in Kearny, New Jersey, to Emily and Rudolf Schamberger. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduating high school in Franklin Lakes, NJ on 17 January 1966.
He graduated from Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes in July 1966. He then served at Naval Aviation Training Command, NAS Pensacola from August 1966 until August 1967. He completed Underwater Demolition training in May 1968 and was ordered to Underwater Demolition Team 22 at Little Creek, Virginia and was subsequently transferred to SEAL Team TWO in July 1969. There he completed two tours of duty to Vietnam where he was seriously wounded. In November of 1977, he attended Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Indian Head, Maryland. After graduation, Senior Chief Schamberger reported for duty at the Naval Coastal Systems Center, Panama City, Florida until being transferred in September 1979 to the Chief of Naval Education and Training, Pensacola, Florida. In October 1980 he was selected for duty with a classified component of Naval Special Warfare Group TWO.
During his naval career, Senior Chief Schamberger received many awards including being selected as the U.S. Navy’s 1979 Ashore Sailor of the Year. His decorations include: Bronze Star with Combat “V”, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Two Navy Commendation Medals with Combat “V”, Navy Achievement Medal, Two Purple Hearts, Combat Action Ribbon, Three Presidential Unit Citations, Four Navy Unit Commendations, four Good Conduct Awards, Navy Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross), Republic of Vietnam (Civil Action), Republic of Vietnam Campaign medal, Expert Rifle and Expert Pistol award.
On 23 October 1983 as part of Operation URGENT FURY, Senior Chief Schamberger and other special warfare operators assigned to a joint special operations task force were sent to infiltrate the Caribbean island of Grenada by sea in the vicinity of Salinas Airfield and obtain time sensitive intelligence on the conditions of the airfield runway, the enemy’s strength and positions. Senior Chief Schamberger was killed in action while conducting the parachute insertion into the sea. His remains were never recovered.