Major General David A. Morris wants to give back

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Major General David A. Morris has a history most can only dream about. Born in Rangely, Colorado, Morris was raised in Jackson County, Florida. Both his parents were graduates of Cottondale High School. Upon his dad’s release from the U. S. Navy in 1948, he and a couple of Morris’ uncles traveled to Colorado for readily available work in the oil fields. Morris’ mom traveled by bus to Colorado to marry his dad and David was born a couple of years later. As soon as it was feasible, the family returned to Cottondale where David Morris entered third grade at Cottondale. That school building no longer exists but Morris stayed at Cottondale and graduated in 1971. Morris said, “I wanted a quality education and also wanted to serve our country. I sought a Congressional nomination to West Point, and was designated an alternate. That required further interviews and testing at Ft. Benning, Georgia. There were 12 of us from all over the southeast. Three of us were offered admission. All of us graduated.”
Morris had other options had West Point not worked out, “I was also accepted into the University of Florida engineering program. Had West Point not worked out, I probably would’ve gone there but working to pay tuition. I received very little counseling and advice at my school concerning college opportunities and scholarships. I was the first member of my family to attend college, although we jokingly called West Point “The Uncollege”.
Morris did in fact elect to attend the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York where he received a Bachelor of Science with a focus on Engineering in 1975.
Morris later furthered his education with a Master of Public Administration, Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California with a triple major, Administrative Organization and Management, Justice Administration, and Urban-State-Federal Governance. He also has an equivalent Master’s in Strategic Planning from the US Army War College in Carlisle, PA.
Major General Morris, retired from the Army in 2012 and is now an independent advisor and consultant in the fields of defense, intelligence and leadership. He is on the Board of Advisors of Adhesys Medical, Inc. and United Water Federal Services and serves on the Board of Directors for the Special Forces Scholarship Fund, and the Advisory Board of the National Special Forces Green Beret Memorial ™. He is a Fellow of the American College of National Security Leaders and a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. From 2014-2016 Morris also served as the Chairman of the Board for the Green Beret Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting Special Forces Soldiers and their families.
After graduating from West Point, Morris subsequently served in Infantry and Special Forces (known as the “Green Berets”) assignments, including tours in the war in El Salvador, duty as the operations officer for an in-extremis force, and as a Special Forces instructor.
As an Army reserve officer, Morris served with multiple Special Operations organizations including a Special Mission Unit and the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). In 1991, he was mobilized for Operation DESERT STORM, serving at USSOCOM. After the 9/11 attacks, Morris returned to active duty for Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, serving as the Deputy Commander of Special Operations Command Joint Forces Command, and leading a sensitive project for support to Special Operations Forces worldwide. He deployed for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, where he commanded the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula (CJSOTF-AP). Morris was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned as the Deputy Commanding General of the US Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) (USACAPOC (A)) in 2005, at Ft. Bragg, NC. In 2007, he was again returned to active duty, promoted to Major General and assumed command of USACAPOC (A). In 2009, Morris was assigned to US Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), where he served as the Deputy Director for the Joint Capability Development Directorate (J8) and later as the Director of the Joint Irregular Warfare Center, which included duties as the Department of Defense Executive Agent for Joint Urban Operations. Morris retired with over 36 years of active and reserve service, with multiple combat deployments in Latin America and the Middle East as well as support to operations in Bosnia.
As a civilian, Morris served in the intelligence community including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Intelligence Directorates of USSOCOM, US European Command and USJFCOM, as well as the Joint Analysis Center, RAF Molesworth, UK. He retired as a member of the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service in 2008. His specialties included Human Resources Intelligence, strategic planning, budgeting and programming, and SOF intelligence architectures.
Major General Morris is regarded as a Subject Matter Expert in both Special Operations and Intelligence. From 2012-2014, he served as a Vice President at DynCorp International, focusing on Special Operations and Intelligence strategies and business development. He was the Senior National Security Advisor to James Madison University as well as an adjunct professor with the American Public University System, teaching graduate courses related to Special Operations and Joint Warfare. Morris has been a guest lecturer at the Naval Post Graduate School and was a featured speaker at a NATO logistics conference, where he presented an operator’s perspective. He was the Keynote speaker of the 2013 Citadel Security and Intelligence Conference and has thrice served as the Master of Ceremonies for the Army Birthday Gala in New York City.
His most significant awards include the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge with Star, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Master Parachutist Badge, the Republic of Colombia Lancero Badge (Ranger), and the jump wings of nine foreign nations. He also received the 2009 John H. Hilldring Award of the Civil Affairs Association.
Major General Morris spoke to students at Chipley Middle School recently and welcomed the opportunity to let students in the panhandle know he is available and willing to speak to civics, history and government classes. He would like to stress the opportunities available for students here in the panhandle to attend schools such as the Military Academy at West Point. For those interested in contacting him, you may do so through the Jackson County Times at [email protected] or by calling 850-526-1501. Your information will be sent to Major General Morris.

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