Women Leaders in Military Service
Nov 05, 2021 7:30 AM
Shannon Callahan Souma Lt. Commander, US Navy
Women Leaders in Military Service

Shannon Lee Callahan Souma was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and grew up in Sacramento, California. She graduated from Mira Loma High School with an International Baccalaureate diploma. Shannon graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. That same year she earned a Master’s Degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University.

In 1999, Shannon reported to flight school in Pensacola, Florida. She earned her Naval Flight Officer “Wings of Gold” in March of 2000.

Shannon flew combat sorties in Operations Enduring Freedom, Southern Watch, and Iraqi Freedom. She was recognized for her role in several missions which directly contributed to the capture of top-level Al-Qaeda operatives. She also flew in the “Shock and Awe” air strike over Baghdad in March of 2003.

As a Department Head with the VAQ-131 “Lancers,” Shannon once again deployed aboard USS Abraham Lincoln. In 2010-11, she flew nearly 30 EA-6B combat missions, providing critical Electronic Attack support to Coalition troops during Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.

Shannon has flown over 2200 hours in the EA-6B and T-39N/G aircraft, and has made over 300 carrier arrested landings. Her awards include the Individual Air Medal with Combat “V,” the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V,” three Strike Flight Air Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.