CDR Rick "Powder" Burgess, a native of Bellevue, WA, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1996. Post commissioning, he was assigned to the Office of Legislative Affairs, House of Representatives branch. He then reported for flight training at NAS Pensacola, FL in February 1997, and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in July 1998.
After completing F-14D fleet replacement training with VF-101, CDR Burgess reported to the Tomcatters of VF-31 in August 1999. While assigned to VF-31, he deployed twice aboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM. At the end of his tour, he completed an operational exchange with the 90th Fighter Squadron, flying the F-15E Strike Eagle out of Elmendorf, AK.
In October 2002, CDR Burgess was assigned to Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) in Fallon, NV as a TOPGUN instructor. There, he served as Academic Standardization Officer and Navy/Marine Corps subject matter expert on threat pilots, tactics and simulation. As TOPGUN's Air Force Liaison Officer, he evaluated modern weapons systems with the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, NV and was a founding member of the Joint Emerging Threat Tiger Team.
From July 2005 to January 2007, CDR Burgess served with the Diamondbacks of VFA-102 at NAF Atsugi, Japan as Training Officer. He completed four FDNF deployments aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63).
CDR Burgess next reported to the Jolly Rogers of VFA-103 as department head. He deployed aboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. As Operations Officer, he deployed aboard USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) in support of Partnership of the Americas (POA) 2008 and the carrier's transfer to Pacific Fleet.
Following his department head tour, CDR Burgess served as Strike Fighter Community Placement Officer at Navy Personnel Command (NPC) in Millington, TN until August 2010. His follow-on assignment was to the Naval War College in Newport, RI where he received a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.
CDR Burgess has accumulated more then 2800 flight hours among the F-14, F-15, F-16, and FA-18. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and numerous unit, campaign and service awards.