The Chief of Naval Operations Commander Dan F. Shanower Intelligence Specialist of the Year Award was established in 1995 and endowed by the family of CDR Shanower in 2002. The award recognizes leadership, performance of duty, special accomplishments, and overall contribution to command efficiency, morale, and welfare of the command to which the individual is assigned. Four awards are given annually: both a junior (E1-E4) award and a senior (E5-E6) award to Intelligence Specialists assigned to an afloat/operational command and a junior and senior award to Intelligence Specialists assigned to a shore-based command. The award consists of a Certificate of Recognition, a $250 cash award, and a 1-year membership in the Naval Intelligence Professionals.
CDR Dan F. Shanower was born on February 7, 1961 in Naperville, Illinois. He attended Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, graduating in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He attended Aviation Officer School in Pensacola, Florida and received his commission as an Ensign in June 1985. After intelligence officer training, he reported to VAQ-136 onboard U.S.S. Midway as Squadron Intelligence Officer. In September 1988, he was assigned as Officer-in-Charge of the Pacific Fleet Area Support Team Detachment, Subic Bay, Philippines. Following this tour, he transitioned to the Naval Reserve, serving from August 1990 to October 1994 as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department in the Philippines.
CDR Shanower was recalled to active duty in November 1994 and reported to the Navy & Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center as a student. He was assigned to the Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Detachment Japan in December 1994 as Operations Support Department Head. In 1997, he received orders to the staff of the Commander, U.S. Third Fleet in San Diego, California as the Assistant Intelligence Officer.
In 1999, CDR Shanower reported to the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington, DC. In August 2000, he was selected as the Officer-in-Charge of the CNO Intelligence Plot. There he was responsible for the provision of current intelligence support to the Navy Secretariat, Chief of Naval Operations staff, and the Director of Naval Intelligence. In December 2000, he was promoted to the rank of Commander. CDR Shanower was killed in the attack on the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.