Lieutenant Colonel Burks graduated from Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, TN in 1992. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves and reported for training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC. After completing training at the School of Infantry in Jacksonville, NC, he reported to Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment (L Co. 3/23), 4th Marine Division in Montgomery, AL where he served as a 60mm mortarman. While serving in the reserves, Lieutenant Colonel Burks attended Auburn University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Building Science in 1998.
Lieutenant Colonel Burks was commissioned through the Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) program and reported to The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, VA in 1999. Upon completion, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL to begin his primary flight training in the T-34 Turbo Mentor. In November 2000, Lieutenant Colonel reported to Training Squadron 35 (VT-35) at NAS Corpus Christi, TX to fly the TC-12 Huron. He received his wings of gold in July 2001.
In August 2001, Lieutenant Colonel Burks reported to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Training Squadron 253 (VMGRT-253), the “Titians” at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, NC to begin training in the KC-130. While with the “Titians”, he served as the Legal Officer and Adjutant. Lieutenant Colonel 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”, he served as a Logistics Officer, Flight Duty Officer and 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. His next assignment came in November 2005, as a staff member for the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW) KC-130J Fleet Introduction Team (JFIT).
In August 2006, Lieutenant Colonel Burks reported to the Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) in Quantico, VA, for Professional Military Education (PME). Upon completion, he served as an Augment Academic Instructor at the Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, VA. In August 2007, Lieutenant Colonel Burks was selected for the Navy Flight Demonstration Team (NFDS), the “Blue Angels”, and served as the Aviation Safety Officer, NATOPS Officer, Tanking Officer, Public Affairs Officer, and C-130 Detachment Officer in Charge. Upon completion of his tour in November 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Burks report to Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 (MWSS-274), the “Ironmen” aboard MCAS Cherry Point, NC 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, Lieutenant Colonel Burks reported to the KC-130J Aircrew Training Unit (ATU) at MCAS Cherry Point, NC for conversion training. Upon completion, he reported to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252), “Otis”, where he served as the Assistant Operations Officer, 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 “Otis”, he also completed the Command and Staff Non-Resident Course.
In September 2014, Lieutenant Colonel Burks reported to Headquarters Marine Corps Aviation (HQMC AVN) at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, to serve in the Manpower and Support Branch (ASM) as the Aircrew Programs Officer.
His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars, and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one gold star.