Beachmaster Unit 1 held a change of command ceremony at the Vietnam Unit Memorial Monument onboard Naval Amphibious Base Coronado on June 8.
Cmdr. Michelle D. Morgan relieved Cmdr. William H. Albert as commanding officer, and Capt. Joel G. Stewart, commander, Naval Beach Group 1, presided over the ceremony.
Albert assumed command of BMU 1 on Dec. 2, 2021.
BMU 1 is comprised of seven beach party teams – five active and two reserve – that are uniquely trained to deploy in support of ARGs and Maritime Pre-positioned Forces around the world.
Their function is to control landing craft, lighterage, and amphibious vehicles in the vicinity of the beach from surf line to high water mark, and coordinate movement over the beach of equipment, troops, and supplies to supply combat power ashore.
“Any Beach, Any Time!”
Leading by the mantra “Any Beach, Any Time!” BMU 1 completed 12 joint and international exercises, including RIMPAC 2022, Iron Fist 2022, Steel Knight 2022, Freedom Banner, Resolute Dragon, San Francisco Fleet Week 2022, Los Angeles Fleet Week, Marara 22, Balikatan 23, and deployments with the Makin Island and Essex amphibious ready groups.
Through regular participation with allies and other military branches, Beachmasters increased their readiness for amphibious landings.
Being commanding officer of BMU 1 has been the highlight of my career.”-Cmdr. William H. Albert.
“Being commanding officer of BMU 1 has been the highlight of my career,” said Albert. “It has been an absolute honor and privilege serving BMU 1. Each and every Beachmaster’s hard work, dedication, and camaraderie made me strive to be the best for them. What truly made it special was working for such an amazing group of Sailors, watching them grow both personally and professionally. I’ll never look at a surf zone the same way as I did previous to BMU 1.”
Albert’s next assignment is as Ship Repair Officer at Navy Region Southwest Maintenance Center in San Diego.
38th commanding officer of BMU 1
Morgan became the 38th commanding officer of BMU 1 after fleeting up from her tour as executive officer from November 2021 to June 2023.
“Cmdr. Albert’s calm leadership has impacted me and will make a difference at BMU 1 for years to come. His focus on readiness and training made us better, and his Sailor-centered leadership made a difference for each Beachmaster,” said Morgan. “When our Beachmasters reflect on their time onboard, Cmdr. Albert’s wisdom and example will last and serve as an example for us all.”
Morgan commissioned May 12, 2001, after four years of Naval Reserve Officer Training at University of Houston.
She holds a Master of Operational Planning degree from the Air Command and Staff College.
She has served in various commands across the Pacific region afloat to include First Lieutenant and Damage Control Assistant aboard USS Cushing in Yokosuka, Japan; Training Officer aboard USS Duluth; and Chief Engineer aboard USS Gary and USS Chancellorsville, homeported in San Diego.
Her staff tours include Force Navigator and Senior Engineering Assessor at commander, Naval Surface Forces, and Current Surface Operations at Commander, Pacific Fleet.