Lee Vorhies was born at Upton, Wyoming, on 29 October 1935 and graduated from Greybull High School, Greybull, Wyoming in 1954. He attended Regis College, Denver Colorado on a basketball scholarship.While on spring break 1955, a very persistent Navy recruiter secured his enlistment. He completed boot camp and basic Radioman’s School at NTC San Diego, California and transfer to NAVCOMMSTA, Imperial Beach, California where he graduated in December 1955. CTRSN Vorhies was ordered to March Air Force Base, California to attend Radio Printer school, he graduated and reported to NAVCOMMSTA Adak, Alaska in April 1956.
In February 1957, CTR3 Vorhies after assisting in the installation and operation of the first “T Branch equipment on Adak he received early orders to school at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, with further assignment to NSGA Bremerhaven, Germany. In May 1959, CTT2 Vorhies, recently married, was transferred to NAVCOMMSTA Cheltenham, Maryland after completing addition training at Fort Meade. CTT1 Vorhies received career-changing orders in June 1961 when he reported to ELINT School at 3801 Nebraska Ave., Washington, D.C., with follow on orders to NSGD Sakata, Japan. After assisting in the closing of Sakata in 1962, he was transferred to the PACOM ELINT Center at Fuchu, Air Station, Japan.
In the summer of 1965 CTTC Vorhies was transferred to Fort Meade for advanced ELINT training. He was subsequently assigned to NSGA Todendorf, Germany in May 1966. In June 1970, CTTCM Vorhies was transferred to TGU, NAVCOMMSTA San Diego, California. During the summer of 1972 Master Chief Vorhies was transferred to TGU NSGD Yokosuka, Japan, Where he was selected in 1975 to be the Command Master Chief of the NAVSECGRUCOM by RADM March. With specific orders from the
Admiral to have the Force Master Chief billet reinstated as soon as possible, that task was completed in minimum time after clearing the MCPON. After four years, FMC Charlie Walters relived FMC Vorhies in 1979.
CTTCM Vorhies was then tasked by RADM Ince to write the COMNAVSECGRU Retention Manual. This was the Navy’s first major Command Retention Manual. This gave the Master Chief the opportunity to address the circumstance where key performers were required to request to continue their Navy careers. This manual changed the concept of re-enlistment by directing Commanding Officers and CNSG to request in writing that key enlisted personnel and other top performers consider reenlistment and careers in the U.S. Navy.
He is the recipient of the Distinguish Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and several other awards. However, “to be honest I always felt that those medals were more a reflection of the performance and the caliber of the men and women that I had the privilege to work and serve with. My greatest honor was to be a member of the Naval Security Group Command and to be selected by RADM March to be his FMC.”
Master Chief Vorhies retired in August 1980, to a ten-year civilian career of operational testing & evaluation (OT&E) of systems produced for the NSA, CIA and the tri-services.
He is married to Kristin and they have four children: Kelly, Wayne, Patricia and Ben.
Source: Echoes of Our Past, NCVA