Lt. Col. William Schroeder, the squadron commander who was killed in a murder-suicide at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in April, was laid to rest with full military honors June 16 at Arlington National Cemetery.

In a Monday release, the Air Force said that more than 100 family members, teammates and service members attended his burial. Schroeder was commander of the 342nd Training Squadron at Lackland. The Air Force also released three photographs from the interment ceremony.

Schroeder is survived by his wife, Abby, and two sons, and was lauded by those who knew him for his devotion to his family.

"Bill was the finest example of commander, leader, husband, father and friend," Maj. Jonathan Sawtelle, who was formerly Schroeder's director of operations at the 10th Combat Weather Squadron at Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida. "He was amazing in all those roles. Bill always did the right thing the right way — especially when it was a tough decision. Bill was patient, never vindictive, slow to anger."

Schroeder was shot and killed April 8 by Technical Sgt. Steven D. Bellino, a pararescue student at the 342nd. The Air Force said in the release that he quickly put himself between Bellino and his first sergeant as soon as he realized Bellino was armed and dangerous. Bellino is believed to have committed suicide after shooting Schroeder.

"In the process, he saved lives of other squadron members while being fatally wounded," the Air Force said in the release. The Air Force posthumously awarded Schroeder the Airman's Medal, which is given to airmen who distinguish themselves by a heroic act in a non-combat situation.

The Air Force is still investigating the shooting.

Airmen perform memorial pushups to honor Lt. Col. William Schroeder after his interment ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery June 16.

Photo Credit: A1C Philip Bryant / Air Force

After the interment ceremony, airmen performed pushups to honor Schroeder's memory. A similar tribute was performed by airmen at an April 15 ceremony at Lackland.

In the release, airmen of all stripes who knew Schroeder spoke of his character.

"As a professional, his calm demeanor, patience and genuine concern for everyone he came in contact with was unparalleled," said Maj. Jay Syc, who served with Schroeder during his previous assignment as commander of the 10th and is godfather to one of his sons. "He taught me how important it was to take care of my men, to be there for them when they needed someone, and to stick to your morals and ethics no matter what the situation."

"He was a commander who cared about his people more than anything else," said Chief Master Sgt. Shane Wagner, who was Schroeder's chief enlisted manager at the 10th. "He was someone you could count on to be there when you needed him. He would never say no when you needed help. As an enlisted person, there are very few people that I would say I would follow anywhere, and Col. Schroeder is one of them."

Special tactics members pay their final respects to Lt. Col. William Schroeder June 16 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Photo Credit: A1C Philip Bryant / Air Force

Schroeder, 39, was an Eagle Scout from Ames, Iowa, who played football and basketball in high school and later ran ultramarathons. He was a special operations weather officer in the Air Force, and received the Bronze Star, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, two Air Force Commendation Medals, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and three Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Force said.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.

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