Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) First Class Petty Officer (AW/SW) Shawn-Patrick W. Bland hails from Tampa, Fla. He was in foster care until the age of seven, and then moved to Akron, OH with his mother and brother at the age of nine. He attended North High School, where he excelled in baseball and boxing. He joined the United States Navy, Oct. 25, 2000. Petty Officer Bland attended Recruit Training Command with follow-on orders to Aviation Boatswain Mate (Handler) "A" School in Pensacola, Fla.
Petty Officer Bland was first assigned to USS Wasp (LHD 1) in Norfolk, Va. After five years, he took orders to Recruiting Duty at Navy Recruiting District Ohio. Taking on a more challenging duty, he adjusted and excelled in every facet. His next duty station was the pre-commissioning unit for USS Makin Island (LHD 8) in Pascagoula, Miss . After her maiden voyage to homeport San Diego, he was handpicked to be the Crash and Salvage Leading Petty Officer (LPO), V-3 division LPO, V-1 LPO, and Air Department LPO. Due to his expertise in a myriad of duties, he was assigned as Command Drug and Alcohol Program Advisor Assistant and Departmental 3M Assistant . He is finishing up a successful tour and is applying for orders to be an Recruit Division Commander at Recruit Training Command.
Petty Officer Bland's personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4), the Navy Good Conduct Medal (3) and various service and campaign awards.