Shawn Stangeland was born in 1965 in Milton, Florida. He spent his entire life in the Milton/Pensacola area until 2006 until he joined the army at the age of 41. During his early life his major interests were sailing. He and his father had a couple of catamarans and they enjoyed racing in the Santa Rosa Sound in the Catamaran Association.
After High School graduation he followed in his grandfather's footsteps and went to work at the Navy Depot in Pensacola from 1982 to 1990. He initially worked in the Plastics Department and later obtained a sheet metal apprentice position. The sheet metal job allowed Shawn to work in all of the metal shops on base. There were many aspects of helicopter repair which Shawn was exposed to. He worked with veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
In the apprentice program he started attending Pensacola Junior College at night. He eventually resigned his position so he could attend college full time. He quickly achieved his AA then attended the University of West Florida studying in the Pre-Med program. He then switched to Biochemistry.
One class short of graduation, he decided to pursue his hidden interest in art. In 1993, Shawn opened an art gallery called Passion Flower in downtown Pensacola. During this period he experimented with several different types of media, and eventually settled on metal sculpture as his preferred medium. He became a self employed artist in 1995 focused on steel furniture and sculpture (see a portfolio of Shawn's Art.) Shawn pursued this career for ten years until he decided to join the army in 2006.
Shawn married Mai Stangeland in August 2010 and they live in Pensacola, Florida.