Shawn was born and raised in Memphis, TN. During his childhood, he always had a
fascination for business and politics. Shortly after graduating high school, Shawn enlisted in the
United States Army and was assigned to Fort Benning, GA for Basic Combat Training. After
basic training Shawn went on to complete Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon, GA for
his job specialty as a 25L, Cable Systems Installer-Maintainer. Shawn’s first duty station was
Fort Riley, KS where he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, 4th Brigade, 4-1 Brigade
Special Troops Battalion, Charlie Company.
The Army Years
On February 4, 2007 – Super bowl Sunday – Shawn was deployed to Southern Baghdad,
Iraq in support of the Iraq War troop surge of 2007 instituted by then President George W. Bush.
During this deployment Shawn was stationed at Forward Operating Base Falcon in Iraq. Shawn’s
company was charged with provided Wide Area Network coverage and technical oversight for
the communications equipment that connects the brigade’s entire operational environment. In
addition to this, Shawn’s unit supported more than 1,400 classified and unclassified phone and
data systems and provided video teleconferencing capabilities to the brigade’s senior leadership
so they could report updates back to their higher command. After 14 months, Shawn and his unit
returned back to Fort Riley, KS.
In August 2009, Shawn was deployed again to Iraq with the 1st Infantry Division. Due to
a shortage of Non-commissioned officers (NCO) in Shawn’s company, he was assigned the job
of Site Supervisor as a Specialist (E-4). This job would normally be reserved for a NCO in the
rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6). In this position Shawn had five subordinate soldiers under his
tutelage. As a site supervisor, Shawn spent over 100-man hours to create a new property book for
his platoon which was used as the standard for the company to emulate. During this deployment,
Shawn also held the position of platoon sergeant for three weeks, which is normally held by a
senior NCO in the rank of Sergeant First Class (E-7). For three weeks in the absence of his own
platoon sergeant and with no direct supervision, Shawn performed superbly in the absence of
Shawn’s team processed over 100,000 phone calls per month, and a total of more than 2
million phone calls throughout the deployment. He also provided oversight over more than 1,400
classified and unclassified communications systems. During this deployment Shawn rendered
first aid to a subordinate who received a shrapnel wound. His quick thinking, attention to detail,
and levelheaded response to the incident saved the subordinate permanent damage to this limb.
He is credited with keeping other subordinates calm and focused as well as displaying
remarkable leadership skills by taking control of the situation at hand. Shawn received the
Bronze Star Medal during this deployment and returned back to Fort Riley, KS in July 2010.
Presidential Support Duty Years
In August 2011, Shawn was assigned to the White House Communications Agency
(WHCA) – Camp David Detachment in Thurmont, MD. WHCA is a one-of-a-kind military unit
dedicated to providing premier, worldwide, vital information services and communications
support to the President and his staff. During his time assigned to WHCA, Shawn worked
tirelessly through a 72-hour period to configure, install, and test all communications
requirements for world leaders during the 38th Group of Eight Summit, which resulted in each
delegation arriving at Camp David with immediate access to all requested communications
Shawn also engineered the communications on 77 Air Force One and 86 Air Force Two
missions. His technical expertise provided flawless communication support to the President and
Vice President of the United States. He also mentored six other Non-Commissioned officers to
qualify for the next level of progression ahead of schedule, which resulted in a 40-percent
increased in productivity and efficiency. He was also a primary instructor during his time in
WHCA. He instructed three senior NCO’s on the operation of Presidential and Vice-Presidential
air-to-ground voice and data systems, which guaranteed the President and Vice President and
their staff’s continuous and flawless communications. In May of 2016, Shawn was medically
retired from the United States Army at the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6).
Transition to Civilian Life
After Shawn’s military service, he transitioned into a civilian job as a Network Engineer
at the nation’s largest lease-to-own company. Shawn is a part of a team whose job is to
configure, maintain and monitor the company’s local area and wide area networks in 3,000
locations in United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. During Shawn’s tenure, he has been
instrumental in upgrading the company’s field network infrastructure to Voice Over IP (VOIP),
fielding new technologies such as a 4G-LTE backup solution to all store locations. He also
become a crucial part of leading day to day testing of new network solutions, troubleshooting,
and supporting store systems.
Immediately after moving to Arlington in 2016, Shawn enrolled in the University of
Texas at Dallas’ Global Executive Master of Business Administration program using his GI Bill
benefits earned from his service in the Army. He will complete his MBA and graduate in May
2018. Shawn also has been a small business owner and real estate investor since 2008. He has
rental properties in three states that have a value of close to $1 million.
Small Business Owner
When Shawn isn’t working, doing homework, or running his real estate business he is
spending time with his lovely wife Sharda, who is currently a student at the University of North
Texas College of Law, playing around with their bullmastiff Zeus, or doing home improvement
projects around his home. Shawn and Sharda are both avid travelers and have visited several
countries including: Hong Kong, Aruba, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Shawn also loves to hunt and is a member of the NRA. Shawn is also an avid reader of all things
business and politics and is a self-described “cable news junkie”. He also likes to study all things
technology and holds several highly respected industry certifications including: Cisco Certified
Network Associate- Routing and Switching, Cisco Certified Network Associate- Security,
CompTIA Security +, and CompTIA Network +.