Along with Hartmann, he is a young and relatively new addition to the crew, having not been present in My Country Calling. The two are anything but alike however, with Schröder being fanatical in commitment and steadfast in terms of nerve. Almost all of his dialogue is laced with patriotic rhetoric and forced optimism, much to the annoyance of Kertz. He has no sympathy for fellow countrymen branded as traitors or deserters, and even calls out other members of the crew for defeatist comments. As such he despises Hartmann, seeing his reluctance to fight as a liability and expresses his contempt for him even after he is found dead. To him, surrender to the enemy is unthinkable and seems fully intent on fighting to the death, although he considers himself a valuable member of the crew worthy of preservation over the "expendable" Hartmann.
Schröder greatly admires Müller, and aside from following him around constantly when outside the tank, he imitates his philosophy and phrases, while frequently looking to Müller for praise. Müller takes his advice on several occasions, but eventually has a change of heart and rejects Schröder, much to the devastation of the latter.