Col. Rudy Baker, a Selma High graduate, served two 12-month tours in Vietnam and had served in Korea before that. He went to Vietnam for the first time in 1965 and was a company commander in a battalion that was part of the 101st Airborne Division. He returned to Vietnam in 1968 and was an advisor to the 23 Division Army Republic of South Vietnam.
He later had a two-year tour in Iran and commanded an airborne infantry battalion within the 82nd Airborne Division. Eventually he was named inspector general of the 82nd then chief of staff for the first Corps Support Command at Ft. Bragg. His last assignment was as comptroller for the XVIII Airborne Corps and Ft. Bragg.