By Lt. Joshua Franke
HSM-72 Public Affairs Officer
On Nov. 17, at NAS Jacksonville Hangar 117, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) -72 Executive Officer Cmdr. Brian Binder relieved Cmdr. Jason Sherman as commanding officer of the "Proud Warriors."
This change of command follows a more than busy and productive year for the Proud Warriors of HSM-72. In May 2014, Sherman reported to the squadron as the executive officer and then assumed command in August 2015.
During his time as commanding officer, HSM-72 conducted its inaugural Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 deployment embarked on board USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) with combat elements embarked on board USS Anzio (CG 68), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and USS Gravely (DDG 107).
Sherman led the Proud Warriors to an unparalleled level of excellence during an extended eight-month combat deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Sherman remarked that, "Embarking an entire squadron on four separate warships with the challenging command and communication construct - and being able to effectively and efficiently carry out our mission on a day to day basis, was the greatest challenge of leading HSM-72 in their inaugural deployment as a CVW squadron."
"Further, it was also the greatest reward because, we successfully accomplished our mission and brought all 298 Proud Warriors home safe. Being able to see our Sailors do the great things that they did for eight months at the pace that we did them at was truly humbling."
Thinking back on what he enjoyed most about leading the Proud Warriors, Sherman said, "when the advancement results come out and being able to announce the names of all those who advanced to the next paygrade and seeing the joy and accomplishment on their faces. That is what makes this so good!"
Sherman added, "I wish Cmdr. Binder all the best as he takes over what I am sure will prove to be the most professionally rewarding job he has ever had and I wish the Proud Warriors all the best as they continue to operate as the top squadron in all of naval aviation."
Following his tour with HSM-72, Sherman will be the operations officer on board USS George Washington (CVN 73).
Following in Sherman's footsteps is Cmdr. Brian Binder. A native of Bordentown, New Jersey. Binder graduated with honors from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Some of his many assignments include the "Airwolves" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 40 and subsequently the original Proud Warriors of HSL-42. He was then assigned to the HSL-40 Weapons and Tactics Unit, at Naval Station Mayport, and then the stand-up of Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School Atlantic (HSMWSL).
While there he was awarded the 2005 HSMWSL Pilot of the Year. In October 2007, Binder reported to the "Easyriders" of HSL-37 at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay Hawaii.
In 2009, he reported back to HSL-42, followed by a 2011 assignment to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in Washington, DC. He earned the Presidential Service Certificate and his joint credit while serving as the European, African and United Nations Policy Analyst.
The post of HSM-72 executive officer will be manned by Cmdr. James Pokorsky of Port Washington, Wisconsin.