Stephen Morris was born on April 25, 1956, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on November 15, 1973, and completed basic training at NTC Great Lakes, Illinois, in February 1974. Morris next attended Electronics School at NTC Great Lakes from February to April 1974, followed by service with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 71 at Davisville, Rhode Island, from April to July 1974, and then at Gulfport, Mississippi, from July 1974 to July 1975. During this time he deployed with his unit to Bermuda to work on the runway at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Bermuda from September 1974 to May 1975. His next assignment was to Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico, from July to November 1975, and he then attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training with Class 87 at NAB Coronado, California, from November 1975 to June 1976. Petty Officer Morris attended Parachute School at NATTC Lakehurst, New Jersey, from June to July 1976, and then served with Naval Support Activity Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July to October 1976. His next assignment was with UDT-21 at NAB Little Creek, Virginia, from October 1976 to 1981, and then with SEAL Team SIX at Dam Neck, Virginia, from 1981 until he was killed in action during Operation Urgent Fury, the Invasion of Grenada, on October 23, 1983. His remains were never recovered from the Caribbean Sea near Grenada.
His Navy Achievement Medal Citation reads:
For professional achievement in the superior performance of his duties as a member of the Naval Coastal Systems Center (NCSC) Dive Team, Lake Martin, Dadeville, Alabama from 2 August 1978 to 6 August 1978 while engaged in a body search at a suspected drowning site. Displaying a high degree of courage and dedication, Petty Officer Morris accepted the risks inherent to the systematic search of approximately 80,000 square yards of lake bottom. His task was especially difficult because of the remote site of the suspected drown area, deep water, and the constant danger of becoming entangled in the hazardous environment of the submerged trees and brush, yet he evidenced resourcefulness, perseverance, and ingenuity in this coordinated NCSC Dive Team effort. Petty Officer Morris demonstrated to the people of the Lake Martin area compassion, intrepidness, and ability to perform under the most trying of circumstances. By his exceptional skill, personal initiative, and selfless devotion to duty, Petty Officer Morris reflected credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.