Donald Burdick is a retired United States Army major general. His 38-year military career began in 1956, when he received his commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Rutgers.
Burdick was born on November 6, 1934, in Queens, New York. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science in 1956, his Master of Science degree in Animal Nutrition in 1958, and his PhD in biochemistry from The Pennsylvania State University in 1962. For 28 years, he was a research chemist and agronomist with the United States Department of Agriculture, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Georgia. In 1989, Burdick received an honorary doctorate degree from Vincennes University.
From 1981 to 1983, Burdick commanded the 118th Field Artillery Brigade, also known as the “Chatham Artillery.” One of the oldest standing militia units in the nation, with origins dating from 1751, the Chatham Artillery fired a 26-gun salute for President George Washington when he visited Savannah, Georgia in 1792.
In 1983, Burdick was appointed Georgia’s Assistant Adjutant General–Army, by Governor Joe Frank Harris and promoted to brigadier general.
In 1986, Burdick was nominated by John O. Marsh, Secretary of the Army, for promotion to major general and assigned as director of the Army National Guard. “As director, he was a member of the Army Staff, and was responsible for plans, programs and policies pertaining to Army National Guard units in the 54 states and territories." He was the first member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to hold that office.
His service as director included "overseeing the mobilization of Army National Guard units during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, as well as the fielding of the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank and the Multiple Launch Rocket System to National Guard units. He served until 1991, when he returned to Georgia.”
His National Guard career concluded in 1994 with his service from 1991 to that time as a special assistant to the Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard and as the first director of the Georgia Youth Challenge program.
Burdick and his wife, Nancy, are the parents of two sons and two daughters.