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Ship's Sponsors

The ship’s sponsor plays an important role in the life of each ship and therefore is an official participant in the ship’s ceremonial milestones, including the commissioning. The Sponsor, named by the Secretary of the Navy, is said to impart her spirit into the ship and crew.

Ms. Shana McCool, Sponsor of San Antonio (LPD 17)

Shana McCool is the granddaughter of Richard McCool and Elaine McCool.  Shana was born in Edmond, Oklahoma and was raised in Gig Harbor, Washington.  She attended the University of Portland and graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.

She worked in Portland, Oregon before accepting a position with Army National Guard and moving to Northern Virginia in 2009.  She currently works for the Department of the Army as a DoD Civilian for Expeditionary Energy and Sustainment Systems (E2S2) under the Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS).

Shana and her husband, Garth, currently live in Bristow, Virginia and have two children, son Declan (8) and daughter Parker (4).

Shana, as well as her cousin Kate, have both been named as sponsors and are deeply honored to be part of this momentous occasion in commemorating their grandfather’s legacy.

Ms. Kate Oja, Sponsor of San Antonio (LPD 17)

Kate Oja is the granddaughter of Richard Miles McCool, Jr. and the daughter of Carolyn McCool and Juri Oja.

She was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, with her brother Nicholas Oja.

She attended law school at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada and was called to the bar in 2010.

Kate currently lives in Canada’s far north, practicing as a criminal defense lawyer throughout the Northwest Territories.

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