Shannon H. Shelton

UNIT: Army Contracting Command – Redstone
TITLE: Director, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Contracting
AAC MEMBER SINCE: 2003
TOTAL YEARS OF ARMY SERVICE: 33
AWARDS: Secretary of the Army Award for Excellence in Contracting
EDUCATION: Master’s in the Science of Management (MSM), University of Alabama, Huntsville; B.S., business administration, Athens State University


 

What do you do and why is it important to the warfighter?
I manage the procurement of all unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for the Army. We also procure systems for U.S. Marine Corps and foreign military sales. My mission is important to the warfighter because use of UAS have significantly reduced the need for Soldiers to be placed in harm’s way. UAS are considered to be the “eyes in the sky.” UAS have also been used to help with identification of improvised explosive devices during route clearance for convoys.

What are some of the milestones you’ve achieved?

I began my career with the Army as a GS-03 in 1981. I have been able to progress through the ranks to a NH-04, supervisor. I earned my undergraduate degree by attending school in the evenings, part-time, while working full-time as a contract specialist. I was selected for the prestigious Long Term Training program in 1992. I obtained my master’s degree in management during this assignment. My team and I were nominated and selected for the Secretary of the Army, Excellence in Contracting Award in 2006. I began the management of the UAS contracting mission in 2005 as a division chief. Because of the significant increase in workload, the position was upgraded to director. I have managed obligations of over $1 billion a year for the past seven years.

What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army Acquisition Corps?
My job has been very demanding and challenging. I am faced with different contracting challenges on a daily basis. I thoroughly enjoy researching various topics and developing innovative strategies to assist the UAS Project Office in accomplishing their mission. Even though I have been in the same position for nine years, I have never been bored or grown tired of the challenges or demands because I receive feedback frequently from the Soldiers about how effective the UAS are in reducing their exposure to danger. I know, without a doubt, that performing my job is helping reduce injuries and saves the lives of our warfighters and that is extremely rewarding.

In celebration of the silver anniversary of the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC), Access is publishing “25 for 25” — twenty-five profiles of members of the AAC across the Army Acquisition Workforce. These profiles provide unique insight into the variety and importance of the work done by the AAC every day.