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Marines


Biography

 

Colonel Eric G. Burns
Chief of Staff
Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing

Colonel Burns is a native of Virginia.  He graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Sociology and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant after completing the Platoon Leader’s Course (Combined) in the summer of 1996.

After graduating from The Basic School, he reported to NAS Pensacola for undergraduate pilot training. He finished primary flight training 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. He reported to his fleet squadron, HMM-364 in November of 1999 and 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 left the active component 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 LtCol. In June of 2015, he returned to Naval Station Norfolk in preparation for assuming command of VMM-774. He relinquished command in June of 2018, after seeing VMM-774 through its Final Operating Capability designation and reported for duty as the Deputy Branch Head, ASM on the staff of the Deputy Commandant for Aviation where he was promoted to his present rank, and ultimately assumed the role of Branch Head. He assumed command of HQBN, MARFORRES in July of 2020, and after relinquishing command in June 2022, assumed the role of Chief of Staff for the Force Headquarters Group. In July 2023, he returned home to the Wing to assume the role of 4th MAW Chief of Staff.

Col Burns is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff, and the Air Force Air War College. He has a BA from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from the University of Florida. His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit x 2, Meritorious Service Medal, 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.