Joe Kent is the husband of Senior Chief Petty Officer Shannon Kent, who was killed in action on 16 January 2019 while conducting combat operations against ISIS in Manbij Syria, Shannon was assigned to a Special Operations Task Force at the time of her death.
Shannon was a trailblazer for women in the Special Operations community. She began her career with an individual augmentation deployment to Iraq in support of a Special Operations Task Force in 2007. During that deployment she provided SEAL Strike Forces with actionable intelligence to kill and capture enemy terrorists. Her performance on that deployment earned her an invitation to try out for Naval Support Activity 2 (SA2). SA 2 is an elite unit lead by SEALs and manned by intelligence professionals tasked with providing SEAL teams with actionable intelligence.
Shannon deployed two more times to Iraq with SA2 and once to Afghanistan. During these deployments her ability to collect intelligence earned her the DOD linguist of the year award in 2011 and the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Human Intelligence collector of the year award in 2012.
Shannon then attended the physically and mentually arduous selection for a Joint Special Operations unit and was selected. For the next several years Shannon participated in highly classified training and operations.
Shannon and Joe met in 2013 during a Special Operations training course. They married in 2014, and by 2017 the couple, despite leading demanding lives, were the parents of two beautiful sons, Colton Blake and Joshua Brett, the middle names of both in honor of close friends who had been lost in the line of duty.
Joe is a retired Special Forces Warrant Officer with over twenty years of service and eleven combat deployments. Joe began his career in 1998 at 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and went to Special Forces Assessment and Selection in 2001. Upon successful completion of the Special Forces Qualification Course Joe spent 10 years at 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) before attending selection for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Capabilities Integration Group. Joe retired from the Army in 2018 and focuses his time on his sons and honoring Shannon’s legacy.