RADM (ret.) Christina Alvarado Shanahan

Rear Adm. (ret.) Alvarado Shanahan is a registered nurse and holds a Masters of Health Care Administration from the University of North Carolina. She has worked in the clinical areas of orthopedics, neurosurgery, and intensive care. Her Navy Reserve career began as a direct commissioned officer. She was called to active duty from 1990 to 1991 in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm and in 2002 in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. She was the first nurse to command Naval Reserve Expeditionary Medical Facility “Dallas One,” a commissioned unit whose mission is expeditionary medicine. Since the advent of expeditionary medicine, survival rates for service members injured in Afghanistan has risen to 98%. She has directly contributed to the saving of American lives. She was the first nurse of Hispanic heritage to be selected to the rank of rear admiral (one star) in the Nurse Corps and the first Hispanic female to achieve the rank of rear admiral upper half (two star). She recently retired after 30 years of service. During her time in the Navy Reserves, Alvarado received several military awards, including the Legion of Merit and Meritorious Service Medal. Christina’s personal passion is American Paint Horses, where she competes nationally and breeds them at her North Carolina farm. She is a 3-time consecutive American Paint Horse Association World Champion.

2019 Cowgirl Honoree – North Carolina