Director, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute

Gerald Burke HQ Photo

Navy Captain Gerald F. Burke is the 21st Director of the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI). As such, he is responsible for preserving and protecting the health and performance of U.S. military personnel operating in potential radiological and nuclear contaminated multi-domain battle spaces or urban environments through research, education and training, operational support, and leadership/leader training that advance understanding of the effects of ionizing radiation and development of medical countermeasure.

In 2000, CAPT Burke served as staff health physicist, course instructor for the Medical Effects of Ionizing Radiation program, a member of the Medical Radiobiology Advisory Team, Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) and Deputy Department Head. In 2017, he returned to lead as Test Facility Manager, Department Head, and Deputy Director of AFRRI, and in 2022, he was once again assigned to AFRRI as Deputy Director. CAPT Burke received his Navy commission as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in 1999. Over the ensuing 24 years, he has served in a variety of assignments, including a deployment aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). He later served as RSO, Laser Safety Officer, and Department Head at the Naval Hospital Bremerton, Washington, and Deputy Director, Radiation Health at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, the largest shipyard and radiation health program in the US Navy. CAPT Burke was assigned as the Military Program Manager, Nuclear Test Personnel Review, at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, where he completed 4,975 radiogenic cancer compensation cases for the U.S. Justice Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs, in support of 493,000 joint atomic veterans. He also deployed to Japan in response to the trifecta of catastrophic events that devastated northeastern Japan during Operation Tomodachi.

CAPT Burke served as Director of Operations and Public Affairs Officer for the Naval Medical Research Unit in San Antonio. Following his second tour at AFRRI, he led as the Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Dosimetry Center (NDC), one of the largest dosimetry processing centers in the world.

A native of Newark, New Jersey and Garland, Texas, Burke received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Bemidji State University in Minnesota and a master’s degree from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College non-resident program, the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College resident program, and the U.S. Naval War College senior-level College of Naval Warfare resident program.

Burke’s awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal, and various campaign medals. Also, CAPT Burke earned the Navy Strategist subspecialty, qualified as Surface Warrior Medical Department Officer, and earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold). He is a member of the Health Physics Society, the Federal Health Care Executives Institute Alumni Association, American College of Healthcare Executives, US Naval Institute, Naval War College Foundation, and Command and General Staff College Foundation.

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