SAN DIEGO – Destroyer Squadron 7, (CDS 7) held a change of command ceremony at Pier 1, Naval Base San Diego on Oct. 25. Capt. Jim Morgan turned over command of the squadron to Capt. Paul Schlise who had served as CDS 7’s Deputy Commodore since April 2011.
Rear Adm. Thomas Rowden, former Commander of USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and currently serving as the Director of the Navy’s Surface Warfare Directorate in the Pentagon, was the principal speaker.
The ceremony marked the end of a successful 18-month command tour for Morgan who previously served as the squadron’s Deputy Commodore for 10 months. He led CDS 7 as sea combat commander through a deployment with Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group including operations Tomadachi, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and he also served as Commander, Task Group Iraqi Maritime, where he oversaw the transition of security for the Al Basrah Oil Terminal (ABOT) to the government of Iraq and the Iraqi military after a seven-year U.S. presence.
In 2011, Morgan assumed duties as mission commander for Pacific Partnership 2012 and deployed on board USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) to four mission countries: Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia. During the deployment, the crew interacted extensively with 13 partner nations and 28 non-governmental organizations in the 7th Fleet area of operation as part of the largest humanitarian civic action mission in the Asia-Pacific region.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve both as deputy and commander of Destroyer Squadron 7,” said Morgan. “I’ve never worked with a better staff or group of commanding officers and crews and I’m extremely proud of what they all accomplished. As I depart this tour we leave the squadron in the very capable hands of Schlise who is the right person to take the squadron to the next level.”
Schlise, a native of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., graduated from Marquette University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and was commissioned through Marquette’s NROTC program.
Schlise has served in numerous positions at sea and ashore, most recently with the Joint Staff, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate in the Pentagon. He previously commanded USS Halsey (DDG 97) in 2007-08. He is a veteran of eight Western Pacific/Arabian Gulf deployments, participating in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Desert Fox and Tomodachi. He holds a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College, Washington, DC.
“I am absolutely thrilled to take command of DESRON 7,” said Schlise. “We have an incredibly talented staff and I look forward to carrying on the tradition of operational excellence established by all who have served here before us.”
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