Commander Shannon Parker is a native of Centralia, Illinois. He attended Vanderbilt University on a NROTC scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Commander Parker attended flight school in December 1997 and was designated a Naval Aviator in April 1998 at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas.
Following flight school, he reported to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 “Vikings” at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington for initial EA-6B flight training. In December 1999, Commander Parker joined the “Yellowjackets” of VAQ-138 and deployed aboard the aircraft carriers USS JOHN C. STENNIS and USS CARL VINSON. While attached to the “Yellowjackets”, he completed two WESTPAC deployments to the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea flying missions in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM. Additionally, he completed a deployment to the western Pacific in support of Pacific Command requirements and Forward Deployed Naval Forces. During his tour with VAQ-138, he served as the NATOPS Officer, Aircraft Division Officer, Assistant Operations Officer and Head Landing Signal Officer.
With the completion of his tour with VAQ-138, Commander Parker reported to the Defense Language Institute Presidio of Monterey en-route to a Personnel Exchange Program with the German Air Force or “Luftwaffe” in Schleswig, Germany. He flew Panavia Tornados with the Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 “Immelmanns” in support of NATO operations. During this tour, Commander Parker also earned a Masters in Business Administration degree from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
Following Commander Parker’s exchange tour, he reported to Whidbey Island, Washington and joined the VAQ-133 “Wizards” as a Department Head in June 2007 where he served as the Safety and Operations Officer. He completed two expeditionary deployments to Bagram Air Field in support of Enduring Freedom. During his tour, VAQ-133 was awarded multiple awards to include the Battle “E”, Air Force Meritorious Unit Award and Golden Wrench Award.
After departing VAQ-133 in October 2009, Commander Parker was assigned to the Naval Personnel Command (NPC) in Millington, Tennessee as the Assistant Aviation Officer Community Manager where he worked on policy, selection, distribution and assignment functions. During his tour, he became the program manager for Naval Aviation Officer special and incentive pays.
Commander Parker reported to Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, Jacksonville in July 2012 and served as Executive Officer until assuming command in March 2014.
Commander Parker has accumulated more than 2,500 flight hours and over 320 carrier arrested landings. His decorations include the Air Medal (11 Strike Flight Awards), Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), and various other unit, service and campaign awards.