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Commander Richard Shiels is a native of Sunnyside, Washington and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He was designated a Naval Aviator in July 2007.
In 2008, CDR Shiels reported to the “Blackjacks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO ONE (HSC 21), deploying to twice to the 2515th Naval Air Ambulance Detachment in Udari, Kuwait and Basra, Iraq flying missions in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and NEW DAWN. During his tour, he served as Line Division Officer, Assistant Operations Officer and Assistant Detachment Officer In Charge.
In 2011, CDR Shiels reported to HSC-2 in Norfolk, Virginia for duty as a Fleet Replacement Instructor Pilot. In addition to Instructor duty, he served as Ground Safety Officer, Readiness Officer, and Standardization Officer. During this tour, CDR Shiels received a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School.
In 2014, CDR Shiels checked on board USS BATAAN (LHD-5) where he qualified as Officer of the Deck (Underway) and Command Duty Officer (In Port). He served as Hangar Bay Officer, Flight Deck Officer, and Assistant Air Officer during a deployment to FIFTH and SIXTH Fleet AORs supporting Operation INHERENT RESOLVE and Embassy support in Yemen, Libya, and Iraq.
In 2017, CDR Shiels reported to the “Dragonwhales” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO EIGHT (HSC 28). He served as Training Officer, Maintenance Officer and Detachment Officer in Charge supporting Commander, SIXTH Fleet aboard USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC 20) participating in Exercises JUNIPER COBRA, OBANGAME EXPRESS, BALTOPS and SEABREEZE.
In 2019, CDR Shiels was assigned to the Joint Staff J35 directorate, supporting Global Force Management. He served as the Air Power Joint Working Group lead and Rotational Operations Officer.
CDR Shiels’ personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (Strike-2), Army Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (4) and various unit and campaign awards. He was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Leadership Award in 2010 and 2018.