Paul Schulz was born in 1934 in Erie, Pennsylvania. He attended Gannon College in Erie for two and a half years before entering the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in January 1956. Schulz was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and designated a Naval Aviator in April 1957. His first assignment was flying the F8U Crusader with VF-143 at NAS Miramar, California. Schulz was then assigned to VF-154 at NAS Alameda, California, where he made two West Pac cruises aboard the USS Hancock and USS Coral Sea. In early 1962, he was transferred to NAS Glynco, Georgia, where he taught Air Intercept Control at the Combat Information Training Center and began flying the FJ-4B Fury. He next completed his undergraduate degree with the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California. He graduated in June 1965 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. After obtaining his degree, Schulz was assigned to the training squadron VF-121 at NAS Miramar, California, where he transitioned into the F-4 Phantom II. He next flew with VF-151 at NAS Miramar, and began flying combat missions off the USS Constellation and USS Coral Sea in Southeast Asia in 1966. After flying 150 combat missions, LCDR Schulz was downed by a surface-to-air missile over North Vietnam on November 16, 1967. He was taken as a Prisoner of War and held in captivity for the next 1,945 days. Commander Schulz was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973, and resumed his flying career with the Navy as an instructor pilot with VF-121, flying the F-4J Phantom II. He earned a Master of Science Degree in Human Behavior in 1975, and soon after became Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer of VT-21 at NAS Kingsville, Texas, flying the TA-4 Skyhawk. In April 1978, Schulz was transferred to the Human Resource Management Center at Norfolk, Virginia, where he served as the Executive Officer. In 1980, he was assigned to the staff of the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet. He assumed command of the Naval Education and Training Support Center Atlantic at NAS Norfolk, Virginia in 1984, and retired from the Navy in that position on July 1, 1987. Following retirement, Schulz taught school at Virginia Beach Alternative Education School for 9 years. Paul is married to the former Mary Jurino of Erie, Pennsylvania and they have four children; Cheryl, Paul, Charles, and Mark; and five grand children.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. During the period 16 to 20 November 1967, Commander Schulz's captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his strong determination, extraordinary courage, resourcefulness, and selfless devotion to duty, Commander Schulz reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.