CSM Richard C. Morris receives AUSA’s Bainbridge Medal

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Greetings from the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), our Army’s and our soldiers’ professional organization.

This year we recognize a great noncommissioned officer and former command sergeant major as our 2014 Sergeant Major of the Army William G. Bainbridge Medal recipient.

Command Sgt. Maj. Richard C. Morris, USA, Ret., served in every leadership position from team leader to command sergeant major.

Throughout his 23 year career, CSM Morris served in a wide variety of assignments in CONUS and overseas to include Germany and Afghanistan.

His final assignments were with the 342nd Military Police Battalion at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and with the 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky., to include the division’s deployment.

Morris is a member of the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and the United States Army Europe’s Sergeant Morales Club.

Today as a retired command sergeant major, he is invited to speak at a wide variety of recognition and professional development events.

In his second career, CSM Morris serves as the director of operations for Fort Wood Hotels by Ehrhardt Properties, a hotel franchise company with other real estate investments headquartered in St. Robert, Mo.

He leads the day-to-day operations of his award winning hospitality company with over $10 million in revenue and more than 100 employees.

CSM Morris has earned the title of Certified Hotel Administrator, and he is a 2009 graduate of the Emory Executive Education and Global Leadership Institute at Emory University.

Rick is the past president of the Fort Leonard Wood/Mid-Missouri Chapter of the Association of the United States Army.

Under his presidency, he expanded the geographical area of the chapter in Missouri to include Branson, Springfield, Columbia, and Lake of the Ozarks.

Morris led AUSA’s local efforts to raise over $150,000 for the chapter’s Wounded Warrior Fund that assists combat wounded and injured soldiers and their families.

One of his initiatives was the AUSA Saver Card Program that provided members with significant discounts at area businesses.

The chapter has been a Star Chapter for more than 60 months, and Rick has been one of the leaders behind this success.

As a former Rolla, Missouri City Council member, CSM Morris was instrumental in establishing community recognition events such as the Warriors in Town Program that helps wounded warriors and Purple Heart recipients and their families receive a deserved welcome and formal introduction into the local communities.

He also volunteered to serve as chairman of the Rolla Area Military Affairs Committee, where he worked closely with community and installation leaders to establish and sign the first Army Community Covenant in the state of Missouri.

He has worked with numerous veterans groups in the community, to include the South Central Veterans Group in Phelps County, where his efforts spearheaded the building of a Veterans Memorial Park, raising more than $50,000 for the project.

CSM Morris also led the effort to establish the first Rolla Mayor’s Reception for military and community leaders, held every year prior to the annual Rolla Area AUSA picnic.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pulaski County Growth Alliance, The Pulaski County Rotary Club and Rotary International, chairman of the Pulaski County Tourism Board, the Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Retired Enlisted Association and the Military Police Regimental Association.

CSM Morris serves as the chairman of the Committee of Fifty – a group of prominent community members who support Fort Leonard Wood and its service members and families.

As an example of the partnership and trust developed between the community and the installation, immediately following the 2010 New Year’s Eve tornado that struck Fort Leonard Wood, CSM Morris worked closely with the installation leadership to ensure that displaced families had a place to stay in the local hotels.

Working in conjunction with the AUSA Wounded Warrior Fund, he led the community effort to provide an elevator in the home of a severely wounded double amputee Army veteran.

CSM Morris and the entire group of volunteers raised $75,000 and gifts-in-kind that included materials and labor to complete this project.

CSM Morris’s selfless service volunteering with the AUSA chapter and his far reaching service in the community have been nothing short of remarkable.

Just as he served as a role model for his soldiers and leaders in uniform, he continues to serve as a role model for us all – demonstrating what can be done by building a team of volunteers who want to make a difference.

Command Sgt. Maj. Richard C. Morris has played a key role in developing the bonds of trust established among local government and civic leaders, community businesses and the military installation leaders in the Fort Leonard Wood/Mid-Missouri Chapter area.

It is with great honor we recognize this extraordinary soldier as the 2014 Sergeant Major of the Army William G. Bainbridge Medal recipient.

EANGUS convenes conference

Congratulations to the leadership of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS) for another great conference.

I had the opportunity to talk with many soldiers and airmen who I met in years past when they were deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Djibouti.

This EANGUS event marked its 43rd annual conference.

The Association of the United States Army was proud to help sponsor and contribute to supporting this event and our leaders and warriors throughout the National Guard.

Now more than ever America’s Army needs AUSA and AUSA needs your membership support.

Membership is the volume knob to ensure your voice is amplified many times over and heard throughout the halls of Congress, from sea to shining sea across this country, and throughout every small town and community in-between.

Keep America’s Army Strong! Take a stand!

Still Serving, Still Saluting!