Wes “Zephyr” Spence was born and raised in Arizona. He thrived in the deserts and mountains of the 48th state, learning to shoot, hunt and fish from the age of six; a perfect environment for a future Navy SEAL.
Graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1988 with a BS in Physical Science, he had his first operational deployment as a Surface Warfare Officer onboard the minesweeper USS ESTEEM in support of OPERATION ERNEST WILL. In 1991, he received approval for a lateral transfer to Naval Special Warfare, graduating Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in 1992. Taking off from there, he conducted operational deployments with SEAL Team THREE and SEAL Team FIVE; completed his Executive Officer tour at Naval Special Warfare Unit ONE in Guam; and was hand-picked to be the first Commanding Officer of the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command. His Joint tours included a staff officer assignment at Special Operations Command Europe; Commander of the Joint Coordination Center in Torkham, Afghanistan; and Chief of Staff of the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan in Kabul.
Retiring from active duty in 2013 at the rank of Captain, he brings 25 years of Special Operations Forces experience leading, planning and executing operations worldwide; a veteran of three combat tours in Afghanistan. An experienced team leader and consensus builder in multi-service and multi-national organizations, he possesses in-depth knowledge and managerial experience in strategic and operational level planning, organizational resiliency, and manpower management. He is a critical thinker and recognized problem solver with a proven ability in establishing new organizations as well as planning and successfully driving substantive change to existing organizations.
He earned an MS in Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2000.