Colonel David Morris completed four years of enlisted, active service in the United States Marine Corps in December 1989 and then returned to his home state of West Virginia to attend college. He graduated from Fairmont State University in December 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and was commissioned through the PLC program. He returned to active duty and completed The Basic School in September 1993 as the company honor graduate.
Designated as a Naval Aviator in March1996, First Lieutenant Morris reported to VMGRT-253, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, for initial KC-130 training and then reported for his first operational flying tour to VMGR-252, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, in December 1996. During this tour, he served as Legal Officer, Adjutant, MEU Planner, and Flight Duty Officer; participating in Operations Uphold Democracy/Laser Strike, Operation Northern Watch, Operation Decisive Edge, Operation Dynamic Response and Operation Allied Force. In August 1999, Captain Morris was reassigned to 2d MAW as the Air Transportation Coordination Officer (ATCO).
In August 2000, Captain Morris reported to the Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron (The Blue Angels) to fly their C-130, known as Fat Albert. He was responsible for team movement to/from airshows and served as a C-130 Jet Assisted TakeOff (JATO) demonstration pilot for the 2001 - 2003 Blue Angel airshow seasons. He also served as the Aviation Safety Officer, NATOPS Officer and C-130 Operations Officer.
Major Morris reported to Second Force Reconnaissance Company, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to assume duties as the Air Officer in January, 2005. During this tour, he deployed to Iraq to support combat operations. In July 2005, Major Morris reported to VMGR-234, NAS Ft. Worth JRB, Texas, where he served as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer and instructor pilot. Major Morris then reported to the Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in August 2007 to assume duties as a Regional Engagement Officer and then as the G-3, Future Operations Officer.
In January 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Morris reported to MAG-14, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, to undergo KC-130J conversion training and assumed command of VMGR-252, MCAS Cherry Point in September 2009. Upon completion of his command tour in March 2011, Lieutenant Colonel Morris reported to 2d MAW to assume the duties as A C/S G-1.
Lieutenant Colonel Morris then reported to the Marine Corps War College in Quantico for Top Level School and graduated in June, 2012. Subsequently, he received orders to the Pentagon and worked on the Joint Staff as a Branch Chief for the Deputy Director for Special Operations/Counterterrorism until May, 2014. Colonel Morris then served on the Immediate Staff of the Secretary of Defense, working as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff until November 2015. In December 2015 he reported to Training Air Wing FIVE at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Florida and assumed the position of Deputy Commodore. In September 2017 he assumed the position as Commodore, Training Air Wing FIVE.
Colonel Morris has attended the Army Airborne (Jump) School, the Legal Officer Course, the Aviation Safety Officer (ASO) Course, the Naval Aviation Maintenance Program Management Course (AMO Short Course), Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) School, the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS) Air Officer Course, the Air Force Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (AATTC), the MAWTS 1 Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course.
Colonel Morris’ personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2nd award), the Bronze Star Medal with V, the Meritorious Service Medal (3rd award), the Navy Marine Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.