Col. Burnett is a native of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. In 1974, he enlisted in the United States Navy and reported to Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Waukegan, Illinois in September 1992. Upon completion of Basic Recruit Training and Airman Apprenticeship School, Col. Burnett received orders to USS KEARSARGE (LHD-3) where he served as an Aviation Boatswains Mate (Fuels). He reported to the Naval Academy Preparatory School, Naval Education Training Center Newport, Rhode Island in July 1994 as a Midshipman Candidate. In July 1995, Col. Burnett reported to the United States Naval Academy, earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in English and a commission as Second Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps in May 1999.
Upon completion of The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, Col. Burnett reported to MATSG-21 in Pensacola, Florida in June 2000 for flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in March 2002. Subsequently, Col. Burnett reported to HMM(T)-164, Camp Pendleton, California for training in the CH-46E. He reported to MAG-26, MCAS New River, North Carolina in October 2002 and was assigned to HMM-266. While assigned to the “Fighting Griffins,” Col. Burnett deployed with the 22d MEU (SOC) from February through September 2004, where he participated in Operation Mountain Storm, OEF, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In September 2005, Col. Burnett attended Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course 1-06, then re-joined HMM-266 in Al Asad, Iraq during OIF 04-06.2. While assigned to HMM-266, Col. Burnett served as Command Historian, Reports Officer, Operations Schedule Writer, Logistics Officer, Weapons and Tactics Instructor and Future Operations Officer.
In May 2006, Col. Burnett reported to HMM-261, where he deployed with the 22d MEU as the Landing Force 6th Fleet and Landing Force 5th Fleet, participating once again in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. While serving with the “Raging Bulls,” Col. Burnett served as Assistant Aircraft Maintenance Officer, Weapons and Tactics Instructor and Tactics Officer.
In May 2008, Col. Burnett reported to MAWTS-1 in Yuma, Arizona for duty as a CH-46E Staff Instructor. While at MAWTS-1, Col. Burnett served as the CH-46E Division Head, CASEVAC Subject Matter Expert (SME) and Medium Lift design representative for Exercise Enhanced Mojave Viper (EMV). In June 2011, Col. Burnett received orders to the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia, graduating with distinction and earning a Masters of Military Studies degree.
In July 2012, Col. Burnett transferred to MAG-39 in Camp Pendleton, California and reported to HMMT-164 as a Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor. While in the squadron, he served as the Executive Officer, Operations Officer and MAWTS-1 CH-46E Advanced Certification Instructor.
In November 2013, Col. Burnett reported to VMMT-204 in MCAS New River, North Carolina for MV-22B transition training. After successfully completing transition training he reported to MAG-36 at MCAS Futenma, Okinawa. In April 2014, Col. Burnett was assigned to “The Flying Tigers” of VMM-262(REIN), where he served as Plans Officer, Operations Officer, and Executive Officer, and deployed with the 31st MEU. In July 2016, Col. Burnett transferred to MAG-36 for duty as MAG Operations Officer. In May 2017, Col. Burnett returned to VMM-262 as commanding officer and again deployed with the 31st MEU.
In July 2019, Col. Burnett reported to the Marine Corps War College in Quantico, Virginia, earning a Masters of Strategic Studies degree in June 2020. He then transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps, Manpower and Reserve Affairs in Quantico for duty as the Aviation Lieutenant Colonel Monitor.
Col. Burnett’s military education includes Naval Flight Training, Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, Marine Corps Command and Staff College and Marine Corps War College. His personal decorations include the Air Medal with Six Strike/Flight Awards, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two gold stars in lieu of third award and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.