Robert D. Shadley graduated from Purdue University and was commissioned in the Ordnance Corps in 1965.
He served until June 1990 in a series of demanding command and staff positions, to include: Training Officer and Commander of the 249th Ordnance Detachment, Unit Training Command, US Army Missile and Munitions Center and School, Redstone Arsenal; Commander of the 86th Ordnance Detachment, Japan; Advisor, US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; Chief, Administration and Industrial Liaison Office, Army Materiel Command; Maintenance Officer then Chief, Maintenance Branch, Assistant Chief of Staff, G4, III Corps, Fort Hood; Commander, Division Materiel Management Center, 8th Infantry Division, Germany; Commander, 801st Maintenance Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell; and Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Headquarters, Department of the Army.
In 1990, Shadley assumed command of the 1st Infantry Division's Support Command at Fort Riley, where he deployed for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and redeployed to Fort Riley. His DISCOM ably supported 22,000 personnel as the Big Red One maneuvered and fought over 250 kilometers in four days. Next, he served from 1992 to 1994 as Executive Officer to the Commanding General, US Army Materiel Command, where he put his organizational skills and field expertise to work improving the information flow and efficiency in that large, complex organization. Then, in 1994 to 1995, he was assigned as Director of Logistics, J4, US Atlantic Command, where he provided flawless logistical support to joint forces in a turbulent time of command reorganization, domestic and foreign disasters, and crisis actions in Haiti, Cuba, and Europe.
From 1995 to 1997, Shadley served as Chief of Ordnance and Commanding General of the Ordnance Center and School. Under his direction, the Ordnance Corps designed a new Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) organization; made significant advances in EOD technology; introduced the Integrated Family of Test Equipment; established Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 35J, Computer Repairman; and published a vision which identified the potential utility of on-board equipment sensors. During his tenure, the Ordnance Corps also established a tele-maintenance support program and developed standardized strategic configured loads for rapid, flexible ammunition resupply.
Shadley culminated his career as Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). In this assignment, he was responsible for all of the logistical support for the Army's largest major command, an organization comprised of more than 800,000 active and reserve soldiers and 40,000 civilians. Indicative of his contributions in this assignment, he saved the command over $50 million by identifying and redistributing excess property and an additional $34 million through an innovative contract regionalization program that was adopted for use throughout the Army.
MG Shadley retired in 2000 after 35 years of service to the Army and the Ordnance Corps.