Major Shawn Stelzel attended Texas A&M University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics. Upon graduation from Texas A&M University in 2007, he checked into Officer Candidate School where he graduated in March of 2008. Upon graduation of The Basic School in December of 2008, Major Stelzel reported to Pensacola Naval Air Station for Aviation Preflight Indoctrination. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February, 2011 after completion of Primary, Intermediate, and Advanced Flight Training in the T-34C, TH-57B/C, and C-12 respectively.
Major Stelzel reported to Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina in March, 2009 to begin his training in the MV-22B Osprey. After completion of initial training at VMMT-204, he reported to VMM-266 where he served for the next four years. While at VMM-266 he deployed in support of the Global War on Terror aboard the USS Kearsarge and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2013. Also while with VMM-266, he deployed to Moron, Spain where he served as a part of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa, in 2015.
Throughout his time at VMM-266, Major Stelzel served as an Assistant NATOPS Instructor, Basic Instructor Pilot, Instrument Evaluator, Air to Air Refueling Instructor, and Night Systems Instructor. His collateral duties included time in the Operations and Safety Departments. He graduated from Aviation Safety Officer Course in 2014 while serving in the squadron Safety Department.
In 2015, Major Stelzel was selected to the Presidential Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) where he served as a White House Tiltrotor Aircraft Commander, Operations and Duty Officer, and White House Liaison Officer. In these capacities, Major Stelzel served on Presidential and Vice Presidential historic visits to Afghanistan, Singapore, England, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Vietnam. While serving at HMX-1, Major Stelzel completed a Master’s in Business Administration through New England College.
In August of 2018, Major Stelzel reported to VMM-364 where he served as the Operations Officer through their Pre-deployment Training Program and subsequent deployment to Al Jaber, Kuwait. While serving as the Operations Officer, the squadron completed over 1000 combat sorties in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. In January of 2020, Major Stelzel assumed the duties of his current billet as Executive Officer of VMM-364.
Major Stelzel has accumulated over 1900 mishap free flight hours. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Operation INHERENT RESOLVE Campaign Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal.