Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, Lieutenant Commander Shanks was raised in Illinois and entered into naval service on August 14, 1997. He completed recruit training at RTC Great Lakes, IL and Aviation Electronics Technician “A” schooling in Pensacola, FL in October 1997.
His first assignment was with Strike Fighter Squadron Eight Six (VFA 86) homeported at Naval Air Station (NAS) Cecil Field, FL. While assigned to the “Winders” he completed an Operation Southern Watch Deployment onboard USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67), participated in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM deployment onboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71), executed a homeport change to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, SC, and received the coveted “Winder Zulu” award for exceptional performance.
In December 2002, then AT2 Shanks accepted orders to Test & Evaluation Squadron Two Three (VX 23) located at NAS Patuxent River, MD where he was advanced to Petty Officer First Class. While assigned to the “Salty Dogs,” he served as Avionics Branch Leading Petty Officer, Quality Assurance Representative, and Naval Aviation Discrepancy Reporting Program Manager.
In January 2006, then AT1 Shanks reported to the “Stingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron One One Three (VFA 113) at NAS Lemoore, CA where he held a myriad of billets, completed two Arabian Gulf deployments, and one surge deployment onboard USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76). During this tour he was selected as the 2008 Sailor of the Year, inducted to the ranks of the Navy’s Chief Petty Officers, and served as the “Battle-Cry” Flight Deck Coordinator in the Persian Gulf.
In February 2009, then ATC Shanks reported to Naval Air Systems Command Program Management Activity for Common Support Equipment (PMA260) at NAS Patuxent River, MD. There he served as the Consolidated Automated Support System (CASS) Ancillary Program Manager and Deputy CASS Production Officer. His responsibilities included fiscal management, production oversight, and the sustainment of CASS ancillary equipment.
In February 2012, he was commissioned to Ensign under the Limited Duty Officer Program. Following indoctrination training he reported to Strike Fighter Squadron One Four Six (VFA 146) at NAS Lemoore, CA where he served as the Maintenance/Material Control Officer and deployed onboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68). During this tour, the “Blue Diamonds” received the Michael J. Estocin Award for outstanding achievements and contributions to naval aviation, and retired their 14 F/A-18C aircraft.
In April 2015, he reported to the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Panama City Division (PCD) located in Panama City, FL. Here he served as the Maintenance Officer (MO) and Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) for a Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) MH-60S Detachment charged with Airborne Mine Countermeasure (AMCM) operational test for the Airborne LASER Mine Detection System (ALMDS) and the Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS).
In February 2018, he reported to forward deployed naval forces. Assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron Two Seven (VFA 27) at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan he served as the “Royal Mace” Assistant Maintenance Officer and embarked onboard USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76).
In March 2020, he reported to Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Detachment Mayport where he currently serves as Assistant Officer in Charge (AOIC).
Lieutenant Commander Shanks’ personal accomplishments include a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. His decorations include four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, nine Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various other unit and service awards. He has two sons, Jared and AJ.