Active Duty Staff
CAPT Stephen M. Gillespie, USN
Commanding Officer, North Carolina Piedmont Region Consortium
Captain Gillespie was born in Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science. He attended Catholic University receiving a Master of Engineering degree in Engineering Management in June 1999 and attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces earning a Master of National Resource Strategy in June 2011.
His first assignment following nuclear propulsion training and submarine school was on USS LOUISVILLE (SSN-724) home ported in San Diego, California. During this tour, he deployed two times to the Western Pacific, including support of Operation Desert Storm. The ship was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for its historic role in the first successful submerged launch of Tomahawk missiles during conflict.
Subsequent sea tours include Weapons Officer, USS SALT LAKE CITY (SSN-716), completing two Western Pacific Deployments, and Executive Officer, USS GEORGIA (SSBN- 729) (GOLD), completing five strategic deterrent patrols. Captain Gillespie took command of USS RHODE ISLAND (SSBN 740)(GOLD) in July 2005. During his command tour the ship successfully completed four strategic deterrent patrols, obtained the Fleet Forces Command Retention Excellence Award for three consecutive years, and was awarded the 2005 and 2007 Battle Efficiency “E” for operational excellence. Following USS RHODE ISLAND, Captain Gillespie served as Deputy Commander Submarine Squadron 16/20; Commanding Officer USS WEST VIRGINIA (SSBN 736)(GOLD); and Commander, Submarine Squadron 16.
His staff tours include duty as Material Officer for Commander Submarine Development Group One; Action Officer in the Fleet Readiness and Logistics Division, Chief of Naval Operations Staff; and Strategy Officer in the Policy, Resources and Requirements Directorate of United States Strategic Command.
Captain Gillespie’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and various campaign and unit awards.
LtCol Mark W. Shellabarger, USMC
Executive Officer, North Carolina Piedmont Consortium
Lieutenant Colonel Mark W. Shellabarger currently serves as the Executive Officer of the North Carolina Piedmont Consortium, Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC). The Piedmont Consortium consists of NROTC units at Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina State University.
A graduate of the University of Iowa, Lieutenant Colonel Shellabarger was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1992 and was assigned as a Logistics Officer. He has held a variety of assignments in every element of the Marine Air Ground Task Force. Lieutenant Colonel Shellabarger served as a Maintenance Officer, 11th Marine Regiment; Company Commander, 1st Recruit Training Battalion; Company Commander, Combat Service Support Group 3; G-4 Plans Officer, Marine Forces Pacific and Marine Forces Central Command; Group Logistics Officer, Marine Air Control Group 28; Operations Officer, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force; and Joint Operations Chief, Defense Logistics Agency Europe and Africa.
He has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (Bahrain), Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq), Operation Sea Angel II (Bangladesh), and Operation Caring Response (Myanmar/Burma). Lieutenant Colonel Shellabarger’s overseas assignments include tours in Hawaii, Japan, and Germany.
Lieutenant Colonel Shellabarger is a graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College, U.S. Marine Corps Command and General Staff College, Amphibious Warfare School, and Logistics Officers School. In 2005 he was selected for the Commandant of the Marine Corps Logistics Fellowship at Penn State University.
His civilian education includes a Masters of Arts degree in Management from Webster University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from the University of Iowa.
Lieutenant Colonel Shellabarger’s awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.
He is married to the former Christina N. Lemkau of Muscatine Iowa, they have five children.
Surface Warfare Advisor
James B. Showanes is a New Jersey native and graduated from American University in 2008 with a B.A. in Political Science. In 2010 he earned his commission through Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.
Lieutenant Showanes’ first Division Officer Tour was aboard USS NITZE (DDG-94) in Norfolk, VA where he served as Force Protection Officer and Auxiliaries Officer. He completed a 2012 Fifth Fleet deployment in support of ENTERPRISE Carrier Strike Group, as well as a South American UNITASLANT in 2011. Additionally, he served as NITZE’s lead Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) Officer while assigned to CTF 151 and CTF 150.
For his second Division Officer tour, he fleeted up to become the Damage Control Assistant. During this time he earned his Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW) qualification. In 2014, he completed a deployment in support of AFRICOM operations.
In June 2014, LT Showanes reported onboard the Naval ROTC Unit at North Carolina State University where he currently serves as a Naval Science Instructor and Junior Class Advisor. He is pursuing a Master's in Public Administration from the N.C. State School of Public and International Affairs.
His personal awards include two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and multiple unit and service awards.
Submarine Warfare / Nuclear Advisor
The Submarine Warfare Officer is a native of Dallas, Texas and attended the United States Naval Academy where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Economics.
Following a short coaching tour for the United States Naval Academy Sprint Football Team, he reported to Charleston, South Carolina for Naval Nuclear Power School and then to Groton, Connecticut for the Submarine Officer’s Basic Course. Once his initial training was complete, he reported to the USS SAN FRANCISCO (SSN 711) in San Diego, California and served as the Chemical and Radiological Controls Assistant, Quality Assurance Officer and Assistant Weapons Officer.
After completing two Western Pacific deployments, the Submarine Warfare Officer reported to North Carolina State NROTC where he currently serves as a Naval Science Instructor and the Sophomore Class advisor.
Aviation Warfare Advisor
The Aviation Warfare Officer commissioned through the NROTC program at the University of Virginia, and graduated with a B.A. in Economics in 2005. He began flight training in the T-34 with the VT-6 Shooters at NAS Whiting Field. He then attended helicopter advanced training in the TH-57 with the HT-8 Eightballers. After achieving his "Wings of Gold" in June 2007, he selected the brand new platform, MH-60R and reported to HSM-41 as the 20th FRS pilot through the new pipeline.
After completion of flight training, he reported to the HSM-71 Raptors at NAS North Island in San Diego, CA. While at HSM-71 he conducted two deployments as part of CVW 9 and CSG 3 aboard the USS John C. Stennis, USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Kidd. He has flown over 1100 flight hours and achieved numerous qualifications including NATOPS Instructor, Helicopter Aircraft Commander, Functional Check Pilot, and Helicopter Mountain Flying Pilot.
In March 2012, the Aviation Warfare Officer reported onboard the Naval ROTC Unit at North Carolina State University where he currently serves as a Naval Science Instructor and the Senior Class Advisor. He is pursuing a Master's in Public Administration from the N.C. State School of Public and International Affairs.
Naval Flight Officer Advisor
Lieutenant Watson was raised in Pagosa Springs, Colorado and after multiple moves graduated from Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona. Following graduation he enlisted in the Navy in January, 1998 and completed Cryptologic Technician Technical "A" school in Pensacola, Florida.
His first command was Naval Security Group Activity Denver where he served as a collections watch stander, shift lead, and electronic intelligence instructor under the Directorate of Training. Upon completion of his first tour in 2000 he returned to NAS Pensacola for Naval Air Crew Candidate School with follow-on orders to VQ-1, the WORLD WATCHERS, at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.
While at VQ-1 he served as a Fleet NATOPS Evaluator, Tactics Leading Petty Officer, and completed multiple deployments to Southwest Asia and the Western Pacific. Nearing the end of his tour with the WORLD WATCHERS, he was selected to receive a commission through the Seaman to Admiral-21 program.
In 2005 he reported to the Naval ROTC unit at the University of Idaho where he graduated with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Sociology with a minor in Justice Studies in 2008. Following graduation he was commissioned an Ensign and reported once again to NAS Pensacola for flight training. After completing primary flight training at VT-10 he transferred to VP-30 at NAS Jacksonville, Florida for training in the P-3/EP-3 where he was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 2010.
Lieutenant Watson returned to the WORLD WATCHERS of VQ-1 in June, 2010 where he served as Public Affairs Officer, Future Operations Division Officer, Aviation Maintenance Division Officer and three separate assignments as the VQ Liaison Officer to the US CENTCOM Combined Air Operations Center. While at VQ-1 he completed three detachments and qualified as a Senior Evaluator. Following qualification he was designated an Electronic Warfare Mission Commander leading a Combat Reconnaissance Crew on deployment to Southwest Asia.
In July 2013, Lieutenant Watson reported to North Carolina State University Naval ROTC as an Aviation Warfare Officer and Freshman Advisor.
Lieutenant Watson's personal awards include the Air Medal (two strike/flight awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal (three awards) and various unit and campaign awards. He has accumulated over 2900 total flight hours, with more than 2800 hours in maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
Marine Officer Instructor
Major David A. Merles enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1996 and attended Marine Recruit Training at MCRD Parris Island, SC. Upon graduation from recruit training and subsequent assignment as an Aviation Operations Specialist, he reported to Marine Aviation Training Support Group in NAS Meridian, MS and was meritoriously promoted to Lance Corporal for graduating as the class honor graduate. Major Merles received orders to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW) and reported for duty with the Future Operations section, 1st MAW G-3 and was meritoriously promoted to Corporal. Major Merles received a Secretary of the Navy nomination to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, RI and attended the school until receiving orders to the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP) Preparatory School in San Diego, CA. Major Merles graduated from the Citadel in Charleston, SC with a Business Administration degree and received his commission on 20 December 2002.
Following commissioning, Major Merles attended The Basic School in Quantico, VA. Major Merles was assigned as a Logistics Officer and graduated from the Logistics Officer Course (LOC) at Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools at Camp Johnson, NC as a distinguished graduate. Upon completion of LOC 4-04, Major Merles was assigned to MEU Service Support Group 22 (MSSG-22) as the Transportation Support Detachment AOIC/OIC and deployed to Camp Wilson, Twenty nine palms, CA for six months in support of Revised Combined Arms Exercise in October 2004. Major Merles deployed with MSSG-22 as the Transportation Support Detachment Commander in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM as part of the 22d MEU (SOC) in November 2005. Major Merles served as the Assistant Operations Officer for Combat Logistics Battalion 22 and deployed with the 22d MEU in July 2007 which conducted various operations and exercises throughout the CENTCOM, PACOM, and AFRICOM areas of responsibilities. Major Merles executed orders to The Basic School in March 2008 and served as a Warfighting Instructor; Staff Platoon Commander for WOBC 1-09, BOC 6-09, and WOBC 1-10; and as the Company M Executive Officer. In May 2011, Major Merles graduated from the U.S. Army’s Combined Logistics Captain’s Career Course at Fort Lee, VA as a distinguished graduate. Major Merles returned to Camp Lejeune for duty with 2d Battalion, 6th Marines. Major Merles deployed to Nawa in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM as the Battalion Logistics Officer. Upon the battalion’s return, Major Merles served as the Headquarters and Service Company Commander and the Battalion Executive Officer until reporting to North Carolina Piedmont Region for duty as the Marine Officer Instructor at North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Duke University.
Assistant Marine Officer Instructor
Staff Sergeant Roshod M. Browning is from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in December of 2003 and completed recruit training at MCRD Parris Island. Following recruit training; Lance Corporal Browning attended Marine Combat Training atCamp Geiger,NC, and then radio operator and multi channel equipment operator school at 29 Palms, CA. Upon completion, he was then assigned the MOS of 0622.
Lance Corporal Browning reported to Communications Company Headquarters and Service Battalion, Camp Kinser, in Okinawa, Japan, in June of 2003 as a multi channel equipment operator. While assigned, Corporal Browning participated in Operation Unified Assistance in Sri Lanka, and Patia Thailand in 2004 Tsunami Relief. Cpl Browning also deployed to Yogyakarta and Central JavaIndonesiain an effort to provide relief for mud slides from an earthquake in 2006.
Sergeant Browning was then transferred to MCRD Parris Island in January of 2007 to attend Drill Instructor school. Sergeant Browning was assigned as a Drill Instructor for Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. While assigned to Lima Company, Sergeant Browning served as a Drill Instructor, and Experienced Drill Instructor. Sergeant Browning was then sent on quota to Receiving at Support Battalion. While at Receiving, Sergeant Browning was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant were he served as a Processing Drill Instructor and a Senior Drill Instructor at Receiving. After completing his quota he was sent back to Lima Company and served as a Senior Drill Instructor.
On March of 2010, Staff Sergeant Browning received orders to 3d Marine Regiment, Marine Corps Base Hawaii where he served as the Regimental Radio Chief.
On March of 2011, Staff Sergeant Browning was given orders to 1st Battalion, 3d Marines, Marine Corps Base Hawaii where he served as the Communications Radio Supervisor. Staff Sergeant Browning has participated in OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF) with V13 and UPD 2013.
On May of 2013, Staff Sergeant Browning was assigned to 4th platoon, Echo Company at Officer Candidate School.