Brendan Burks is a native of Alabama. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves in May 1992 and reported to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina for training. Upon completion, he reported to Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment (L Co. 3/23), 4th Marine Division in Montgomery, Alabama to serve as a 60mm Mortarman. While serving in the Reserves, Private Burks attended Auburn University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Building Science in 1998. Corporal Burks was commissioned through the Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) program and reported to The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Virginia in 1999. Upon completion, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida to begin flight training and received his wings of gold in July 2001.
In August 2001, Second Lieutenant Burks reported to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Training Squadron 253 (VMGRT-253), the “Titians” at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina for training in the KC-130F/R. First Lieutenant Burks then reported to his first fleet squadron, Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152), the “Sumos” at MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, in June 2003. While with the “Sumos”, Captain Burks deployed as an Individual Augment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command (MARCENT) Coordination Element, Kuwait Air Officer.
In August 2006, Captain Burks reported to the Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) in Quantico, Virginia for Professional Military Education (PME). In August 2007, he was selected for duties with the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (NFDS) and served as the C-130 Detachment Officer in Charge. Upon completion of his tour in November 2010, Major Burks report to Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 (MWSS-274), the “Ironmen” aboard MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina where he served as the Executive Officer and deployed in support of Southern Partnership Station-12 aboard the USS Oak Hill for Counter Drug/Counter Narco-Terrorism operations.
In August 2012, Major Burks reported to the KC-130J Aircrew Training Unit (ATU) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina for conversion training. Upon completion, he reported to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252), “Team Otis”, where he served as the Operations Officer and deployed as the Officer in Charge of Detachment Charlie in support of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response. During his tour with “Team Otis,” he also completed the Command and Staff Non-Resident Course.
In September 2014, Major Burks reported to Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation (HQMC AVN) at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, to serve in the Manpower and Support Branch as the Aircrew Programs Officer (ASM-52). In July 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Burks reported to Marine Aircraft Group 14 (MAG-14), “America’s MAG”, until taking over as the Commanding Officer of VMGR-252, “Team Otis” in March 2017. Upon completion of his command tour in October 2018, Lieutenant Colonel Burks reported back to MAG-14 “America’s MAG” to serve as the Executive Officer. In July 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Burks reported to the Air War College (AWC) in Montgomery, Alabama for Top Level School (TLS) where he earned a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies. In August 2020, he reported to United States European Command for duties in the Operations Directorate, Plans Division, as the Global Force Management Branch Chief.
Colonel Burks’ personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two gold stars), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two gold stars), Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (one gold star).