Brigadier General Walter Rugen' s first assignment was as an aviation platoon leader, Camp Page, Republic of Korea. In 1992, he was assigned to 9-101st Aviation Battalion (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, KY where he served in a variety of positions and commanded B/9-101st. BG Rugen was then assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in 1995, where he served as an MH-60K platoon leader and company operations officer in D/1-160 SOAR (A). From 2000-2002 he commanded D/160th SOAR(A) at Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station, Puerto Rico and flew extensively in Central/South America and the Caribbean. In 2003 he transitioned to become the battalion operations officer for 3rd Battalion 160th SOAR(A) at Hunter Army Airfield, GA, where he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2005 he was assigned as a strategic plans officer in the J5 at the United States Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, FL. In 2007 BG Rugen commanded 3rd Battalion, 160th Special Operation Aviation Regiment and again deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. From 2009-2011 BG Rugen was assigned to the Army Staff in the aviation directorate at the Pentagon, where worked on multiple strategic issues affecting Army Aviation. In 2011 he was designated an Army Fellow and served at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. From 2012-2014 he commanded the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade in the Republic of Korea. He then transitioned back to the Pentagon where he became the Chief Army Aviation Force Development Division in the Army G8 from 20142016. From 2016-2017 he served as the Director of Materiel in HQDA G8. Currently, he is the 7th Infantry Division Deputy Commanding General - Support at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington and the Director - Cross Functional Team (Future Vertical Lift).