Top Enlisted Navy Leader with California Helicopter Squadron Relieved

Command Master Chief Petty Officer Brian T. Morris. Navy photo
Command Master Chief Petty Officer Brian T. Morris. Navy photo

The top enlisted sailor with a California-based helicopter squadron has been removed from his job over a loss in confidence in his ability to lead.

Command Master Chief Brian Morris, with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Four based at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, was relieved of his role May 10, Navy officials said Monday. The decision was made by Cmdr. Ryan Hayes, the helicopter squadron's commanding officer.

Morris was relieved "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to perform the duties of a command master chief," said Cmdr. Ron Flanders, a spokesman with Naval Air Forces. Those duties include leading the command's sailors and advising the commanding officer.

Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, has conducted an investigation into Morris, Flanders said, but the command master chief is not believed to be the subject of an ongoing probe.

Morris has been temporarily reassigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Master Chief Aircraft Maintenanceman Dan Poblete has temporarily assumed duties as the squadron's acting command master chief until a permanent replacement is identified, Flanders said.

Morris joined the Navy in 1991 and deployed to Iraq in 2009. He has served with Afloat Training Group in San Diego and aboard the supercarrier Ronald Reagan, during which time he received a senior enlisted leadership excellence award from the Navy and Marine Corps Association.

Morris is an enlisted aviation warfare specialist, enlisted surface warfare specialist, information warfare specialist, master training specialist and afloat training specialist, according to his official bio. He has a Joint Commendation Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

Last week, the senior enlisted leader aboard the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman resigned. Command Master Chief Jonas Carter stepped down after telling his sailors to "clap like we're at a strip club" ahead of a visit from Vice President Mike Pence.

Carter's command quickly called the command master chief's comments inappropriate.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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