Shep spent 31 years in senior leadership and executive level roles worldwide in the United States Navy retiring as a Captain in 2021. A career intelligence officer, his assignments included sea and shore duty in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Central America. He completed eight overseas deployments, and served on seven different aircraft carriers in peace, crisis, counter piracy and combat operations.
While in the military, Shep served in key intelligence roles at the tactical and operational level in squadron, air wing, strike group, geographic fleets, and joint task forces. As a targeteer, he supported multiple combat operations in the Middle East and Europe. He is a graduate of New Mexico Military Institute, the University of Virginia, and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
During his career, he held unique command leadership experiences on land and sea. As a commander, he repeatedly assembled and led diverse, cross-functional, high performing teams. He served as Director of the Joint Military Intelligence Training Center, the primary provider of all-source intelligence training for Department of Defense and service components, as well as Intelligence Community customers. During this tour, 20,000 military, civilian and foreign partners were trained worldwide.
At sea, he was one of the Navy’s first Information Warfare Commanders (IWC). In this role, he directed all the Information Warfare disciplines in a carrier strike group (intelligence, cryptology, cyber, information technology, meteorology, and oceanography) for presence, deterrence, and combat operations during USS Abraham Lincoln’s (CVN 72) record 10-month global deployment. Following deployment, he became the first IWC for the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) strike group during her post-delivery test and trials period.
At the senior level, leadership assignments included service in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a Vietnam POW/MIA Analyst, helping resolve the status of missing servicemen from the Vietnam conflict. During his assignment to the U.S. European Command, he ran a Commander’s Action Group and served as a speechwriter for international, military, and host-nation events. While at the U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters, he ran the Fleet Intelligence Watch and served as Chief of Targets for Joint Task Force 519.
Following retirement, he was elected to the board of Naval Intelligence Professionals (NIP), where he serves as Membership Chair. Additionally, he is a writer for NIP’s Project 2032, the upcoming publication on the history of naval intelligence. He also serves on the Executive Committee of American Legion Post 35, which his grandfather was a founder following his naval service in World War I.
Shep is also a longtime volunteer with Honor Flight San Diego, where he has served as a guardian and keynote speaker for over 19 flights since 2012. He has also served as a guardian with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Soaring Valor program and the Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Commemoration.
One of Shep’s passions is military history. A certified military historian, he built and led multiple Pearl Harbor, Battle of Midway, and Berlin Airlift commemorations, and led a senior officer battlefield staff ride in Normandy. Additionally, he served as the U.S. European Command lead for the U.S. Navy Normandy Monument dedication, including documentary filming. Shep personally conducted interview with Dr. Manfred Rommel to discuss his father, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and his role in commanding the German forces opposing the Allied invasion of Normandy.