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From Army sergeant to professional scouter

Blackhawk crew chief finds new career

Working behind a desk was not for Shumaker.

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When former Army sergeant Steven Shumaker was injured during a helicopter crash in 2003, he did not foresee leaving the military. He loved being a Blackhawk Crew Chief. It's what he knew how to do. He did it well.

Nine years later, as he "dealt" with the lingering injuries, putting on the body armor before a flight became too much. He knew that his most important responsibility was keeping his crew safe in the air -- even if it meant no longer being their chief.

In 2012, due to his medical situation, Shumaker was transferred from Germany to Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). His last MOS was with the Warrior Transition Battalion as he transitioned out with a medical separation. He was, after 12 years, no longer in the Army.

Transitioning out of the Army for Shumaker was not easy. He sympathizes with others who have gone through a similar process.

Applying to several jobs and only one interview with Boeing -- which he did not get -- he decided to go back to school.

He attended Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) where he obtained his B.A. in Politics and Government as well as a Master of Business Administration in three years. While in school full-time, Shumaker was also working a full-time job, plus spending as much time as he could with his wife and four children. He volunteered as a Boy Scout leader, too.

As he was finishing his Master's, the memories of his struggles transitioning out of the military came back. He knew he would need to find employment that would be an easier adjustment for him. He knew getting a job in some office would not work well for him.

As he was graduating, a District Executive position with the Pacific Harbors Council (PHC) -- the local Boy Scout council -- became available. He applied. Perhaps, Shumaker considered, that this would be a way to provide for his family (even with a pay cut) and be able to avoid yet another difficult transition.

So why did Shumaker apply to work for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)? As a scout himself from the young age of 8, the core values of BSA are part of who he is today.

June 2019 marks his second year of being a professional scouter. Shumaker and his wife support their children in their scouting adventures.

Their oldest son has earned his Eagle Scout in a local troop. Their daughter is part of a different troop. The cool part is these two are part of the same crew unit.

Their third son is a Wolf in the local pack. Their youngest son will be joining the pack next year when he's old enough to be a Lion.

Shumaker is an Amateur Radio Operator ("Ham"). In his free time, he works with his local church to "Be Prepared" for emergencies by using Ham radios for communication purposes. He has also been able to bring Ham radio and scouting together at various events.

Shumaker said of his position as a district executive, "My job isn't about solving problems today. It's about having fewer problems in the future."

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