Navy Biography

Rear Admiral William E. Shannon, III

Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons

Rear Admiral William E. Shannon, III


Rear Adm. Shannon, a native of Massapequa, N.Y., graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and was designated a Naval Aviator the following year. He holds a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, the United States Marine Corps Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, and the Defense Acquisition University’s Advanced Program Manager Course.

At sea, Shannon flew the RH-53D Sea Stallion with HM-12 and HM-14 and the MH-53E as a department head with HM-15. In addition, as a Navy/Marine Corps Exchange pilot, he  flew the CH-53D while serving as the S-3 and Weapons and Tactics instructor with the “Ugly Angels” of HMH-362. From 1993 to 1995, Shannon served as executive officer, and subsequently, commanding officer of the “Blackhawks” of HM-15. During this tour, HM-15 deployed twice to Korea in response to tasking from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. While he was in command, HM-15 was awarded the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award and a Meritorious Unit Commendation.

Ashore, Shannon served as a flight instructor in HM-12, as head of the Mine Warfare Branch on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, and as the assistant chief of staff for Readiness, Requirements, and Tactics at the Mine Warfare Command. His acquisition tours include deputy program executive officer for Operations and Airborne Mine Countermeasures in the Program Executive Office for Air ASW, Assault, and Special Mission Programs (PEO (A)). He also served as the program manager of the Multi-Mission Helicopter Program (PMA 299) where his team successfully introduced the MH-60S Seahawk to the Fleet. Following PMA 299, Shannon became the deputy program executive officer for PEO (A), then went on to serve as the director of Total Force Readiness for the Naval Aviation Enterprise and NAVAIR’s Assistant Commander for Logistics and Industrial Operations, before serving as program executive officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons.


Updated: 4 September 2013