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General (Ret.) Terrence

General (Ret.) Terrence "Shags" O'Shaughnessy

Sr. Advisor & VP, Special Programs, SpaceX

Shags O'Shaughnessy is a Senior Advisor to Elon Musk on matters regarding SpaceX and he is the Vice President of SpaceX's Special Programs Group. The Special Programs Group focuses on leveraging SpaceX commercial technology for Government applications to solve some of the Government's toughest challenges.

Shags had a 39-year career in the U.S. Air Force culminating as the Commander, United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) where he was responsible to the President and Secretary of Defense for the defense of the United States and the President and Prime Minister for the defense of the United States and Canada. He was also responsible for the Department of Defense support to the National COVID response including 16,000 medical personnel deployed across the United States.

Shags is a 1986 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering. He commanded at the squadron, group, wing, Numbered Air Force, Major Command and Combatant Command levels, including the 57th Wing, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, the 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and the 613th Air and Space Operations Center, Hickam AFB Hawaii. Shags served as the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Director of Operations responsible for joint operations in a region encompassing more than half the glove and 36 nations. Shags was also the Deputy Commander, United Nations Command Korea; Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces Korea; Commander, Air Component Command, Republic of Korea/U.S. Combined Forces Command; and Commander, Seventh Air Force, Osan AB, South Korea and Commander Pacific Air Force (PACAF) and Air Component Commander for PACOM, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

His personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters; Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters; Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters; Air Medal with oak leaf cluster; Aerial Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster; Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters.

Shags with a Weapon's School Instructor Pilot, Aggressor Pilot and Command Pilot with more than 3,000 hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon, including 168 combat hours.

Shags has been married to his wife Donna for 30+ years and has a teenage son named Sam. He enjoys flying, surfing, and sports cars.


  • We are extremely excited USSOCOM selected GSOF to co-sponsor its newly envisioned “SOF Week” in 2023. SOF Week will be a national convention for U.S. SOF and include a more diverse slate of programs, to include professional development sessions, operator-driven discussions, and family-focused conversations. In 2020, GSOF was designated as a National Military Association by the U.S. Department of Defense, and we look forward to working with USSOCOM to make “SOF Week” an impactful event.
    Stuart Bradin
    President and CEO, GSOF


Co-sponsorship of this event does not imply endorsement of GSOF, its services, or products by the United States Government, the Department of Defense, or U.S. Special Operations Command.