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Commanding Officer
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)
USS Gerald R. Ford Menu

Commanding Officer
CAPT Rick "Powder" Burgess

CAPT Rick "Powder" Burgess, a native of Bellevue, Washington, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and was designated a naval flight officer in 1998.
Operational assignments include tours with Fighter Squadron (VF) 31, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72); Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63); and two tours with VFA-103, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS George Washington (CVN 73).
Shore assignments include service as action officer in the House Liaison Office, Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA); TOPGUN Instructor with Navy Fighter Weapons School; Strike Fighter Placement Officer (PERS-433B) with Navy Personnel Command (NPC); Branch Chief, Global Missile Defense Requirements at Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization (JIAMDO), the Joint Staff (J8); and Homeland Defense Technologies project lead with The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).
He completed the Air Command and Staff College Non-Resident Program, earned a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from Naval War College, and has a graduate certificate in Nuclear Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School.
He commanded VFA-103, "The Jolly Rogers", from July 2013 to November 2014; served as executive officer of USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) from June 2019 to December 2020; and commanded the nation’s first Expeditionary Sea Base, USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), from May 2021 to August 2022.
Burgess has flown more than 3,500 hours in the F-14, F-15, F-16, and F/A-18. His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and various individual and unit campaign awards.

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