LtCol Eric Burns was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, and reported for training at The Basic School. After graduating with Bravo Co, 1997, he reported to NAS Pensacola for undergraduate pilot training. He finished primary on the Commodore’s List with distinction, wisely selected helicopters, and was designated a Naval Aviator in June 1999. He subsequently reported to HMMT-164 for training as a CH-46E pilot.
First Lieutenant Burns reported to HMM-364 in November 1999. As a Purple Fox he held billets as a schedule writer, Current Operations Officer, Pilot Training Officer, Future Operations Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, and Flightline/Flight Equipment OIC. During his tenure there, he completed numerous dets around the Southwestern United States and deployed twice: first to the Republic of Korea in 2002, and then to Kuwait and Iraq in 2003 for the initial invasion and OIF I. He was also fortunate enough to be one of the aviators chosen early for transition to the MV-22B, although circumstances surrounding the program ultimately delayed his transition.
Captain Burns PCSed in May 2003 to become the Officer in Charge of Officer Selection Station Raleigh, where he served until September of 2005. While there, he was responsible for officer recruiting for the majority of the state of North Carolina, as well as mentoring future Marine Corps Officers.
Captain Burns EASed in 2005, and chose to pursue a civilian career helping to build a start-up recruiting firm focused on assisting transitioning military officers to embark upon developmental corporate careers. He remained a partner in the firm until his return to active duty in 2010. Concurrently, he served as a Reserve Officer in IRR and IMA billets with Recruiting Station Raleigh, and completed his MBA at the University of Florida.
Selected to return to active duty as an Active Reserve Officer in 2010, Major Burns completed CH-46E refresher training and joined HMM-774 in time to deploy aboard USS Iwo Jima for Continuing Promise 2010. He served as the Operations Officer with HMM-774 until March of 2012, when he reported, finally, to VMMT-204 for transition training to the MV-22B.
Maj Burns reported to MCAS Miramar in July 2012 to become part of the transition team for VMM-764. He assumed the role of Executive Officer after the squadron re-designated, and was promoted to his present rank. In June of 2015, he returned to Naval Station Norfolk in preparation for assuming command of VMM-774.
LtCol Burns’ personal decorations include the Air Medal Strike/Flight with numeral ‘2’, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a gold star, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars.