A native of Mystic, CT, Brigadier General (BG) (Retired) (Connecticut) William (Bill) P. Shea enlisted in the Connecticut Army National Guard (CTARNG) in 1979 as a Private. While attending the University of Connecticut, he enrolled in the ROTC program and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Transportation Corps, in 1982 assigned to the 1109th Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot (AVCRAD).
During his career, his assignments were primarily in aviation operations and aviation logistics to include Platoon Leader, Assistant Operations Officer, and Operations Officer of various aviation units. He commanded Company B, 2nd Battalion (Assault Helicopter), 126th Aviation Regiment in 1991-1992. From 1998 until 2004, Bill served as the 1109th AVCRAD’s Executive Officer. A member of the CTARNG Full-Time Unit Support (FTUS) program starting in 1986, he became the FTUS 1109th AVCRAD Supervisor in January 2000, and assumed command of the 1109th AVCRAD in April 2004. Bill deployed to Kuwait with the 1109th AVCRAD and participated in Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM in 2003 – 2004. From August 2006 through June 2008, he served as the Chief of Staff of the Joint Force Headquarters – Connecticut. He then served as the State Army Aviation Officer, Joint Force Headquarters – Connecticut as well as commander of numerous Aviation Task Forces until his retirement in 2012 holding the rank of Colonel. He was subsequently promoted to Brigadier General (Connecticut) upon retirement.
Bill graduated from Saint Bernard High School in Uncasville, CT and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Connecticut. Among his military schools, he has attended the Transportation Officer Basic Course (Commandant’s List), Initial Entry Rotary Wing Aviator Course (Honor Graduate), Aviation Officer Advance Course (Honor Graduate), United States Army Command and General Staff College (Commandant’s List), Aviation Battalion/Brigade Pre-Command Course, National Defense Strategy Course, Advance Joint Professional Military Education from the Joint Forces Staff College, and he graduated from the United States Army War College where he was awarded a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies and Theory. A Master Army Aviator with over 2,200 hours of flight time, he is qualified in the UH-1H/V Huey, CH-47D Chinook, and as a Maintenance Test Pilot in the UH-60A/L Black Hawk.
Bill’s numerous awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Army Commendation Medal (5 awards), Army Achievement Medal (3 awards), U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Connecticut Medal of Merit, Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal, Master Army Aviator Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.
Bill was appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in May 2012 as the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) responsible for the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS). In this role, he led DEMHS in the coordination of emergency response for the state of Connecticut. He was involved in a number of natural disasters and emergency activations to include coordinating the preparation, response, and recovery for Super Storm Sandy. Bill also served as the Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor. He served as Deputy Commissioner until 2017. Bill is currently the Director of the Office of Emergency Management and the Associate Director of Public Safety at the University of Connecticut.
An Eagle Scout, he is still active in Scouting and currently serves as the Scoutmaster of Troop 16, Middletown, CT as well as at the District, Council, and National levels. Bill resides with his wife Carolyn (also a UConn Graduate) in Middletown, CT and they have three children.