Support our mission
Chief Petty Officer John Shropshire and Chief Petty Officer Shannon Shropshire posed after with their sons Ethan (bottom) and Aidan (top) and John’s father, John Sr. The Shropshires were both formerly photographer’s mates, switched to intelligence specialist together and now have made chief petty officer together. John and Shannon pinned each other during each of their respective pinning ceremonies.

Chief Petty Officer John Shropshire and Chief Petty Officer Shannon Shropshire posed after with their sons Ethan (bottom) and Aidan (top) and John’s father, John Sr. The Shropshires were both formerly photographer’s mates, switched to intelligence specialist together and now have made chief petty officer together. John and Shannon pinned each other during each of their respective pinning ceremonies. (Chris Fowler / S&S)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The e-mail was short, but life-changing.

It read: ISC select, I love you, ISC select.

The missive was from Commander, Naval Forces Japan Petty Officer 1st Class John Shropshire to his wife, USS Kitty Hawk Petty Officer 1st Class Shannon Shropshire, who was at sea.

Both had been selected for promotion to chief petty officer.

The Shropshires met years ago when both were Navy photographer’s mates, newly pinned Chief Petty Officer John Shropshire said Friday.

After about four years they decided to switch professions and become intelligence specialists. Together, they trained at intelligence specialists’ “A” School.

Two children later and separated by sea, the selections for chief made their lives a little more complicated.

To help manage the rigorous six-week induction process as a temporary single parent, John asked his father to come to Japan to help with the children.

When Kitty Hawk moored in Yokosuka on Friday morning, the day of both pinning ceremonies, John, his father and the boys, Ethan, 7, and Aidan, 3, were all on the pier waiting for Shannon.

John pinned chief petty officer anchors on his wife during the carrier’s CPO ceremony held on the flight deck.

Afterward, the family raced to the Fleet Theater, so John could change into his uniform. A couple hours later, his wife pinned the anchors on her husband.

“I used the anchors that he had pinned on me,” Shannon said. “I have a lot of emotions right now. The first time I saw my children in four months was when John pinned my anchors on me. It all seems like a dream.”

Due to the timing of the ceremonies, the question is which of the two is senior?

“She is,” said John.

But none of that seemed important.

“For now, we just want to enjoy the day. This is a moment that we will never have again.”


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up