Schemmer graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and served with the Army in Germany and California. When he returned to the private sector, he worked for Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara at the Pentagon.
In 1968, Schemmer purchased Armed Forces Journal International. For 24 years, he acted as the magazine’s editor and publisher, covering the international defense industry. In his spare time, he wrote articles for various publications, including The Washington Post, the New Republic and Penthouse.