RECREATION & FITNESS

Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame

Gregory Burgess
Charles Albert Conerly, Jr.
Class of 2010

Olympic Silver Medalist

Gregory "Greg" Burgess was born on January 11, 1972, in Baltimore, MD... gold medal in the 200-meter Individual Medley(IM), silver (400-meter IM) at 1991 World Student Games in Sheffield, UK... Silver Medal, 1992 U.S. National Olympics in Barcelona, Spain... Two time American and NCAA record holder... NCAA Men's Division I Swimmer of the Year in 1993... 1993 & 1994 South Eastern Conference Swimmer of the Year…University of Florida, Ben Hill Griffin Award for outstanding performance in athletics, academics, and leadership.

Gregory "Greg" Burgess was born on January 11, 1972, in Baltimore, MD. After relocating to Jacksonville, Florida, Burgess attended The Bolles School and quickly became one of the top high school swimmers in the nation. Burgess earned All-American Honors as well as set national prep school records during his high school career. Upon graduation, Burgess enrolled at the University of Tennessee. Following a disappointing freshman year in which he still won two All-American titles, he transferred to the University of Florida and set his eyes on the Olympics.

While competing in the 1991 World Student Games in Sheffield, United Kingdom, Burgess captured the gold medal in the 200-meter IM and silver in the 400-meter IM. During the 1992 U.S. National Swimming Championship and Olympic Trials, Burgess placed second in the 200-meter Individual Medley (IM) and fourth in the 400- meter IM. His second place finish in the 200- meter IM earned him a spot on the U.S. National team, set to compete on the world stage at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. The twenty-year old Burgess delivered, working through the preliminary heats of the 200-meter IM. Looking down the competition during the finals, the six-foot six-inch American entered the pool and captured the silver medal only .21 seconds behind Hungary's Tamas Darnyi.

After the Olympics, Burgess became one of the most dominant swimmers in College. The Florida Gator twice set the American and NCAA records in the 200-yard and 400-yard IM each capturing the NCAA National Championship in both disciplines in 1993 and 1994. Burgess was named the NCAA Men's Division I Swimmer of the Year in 1993, the South Eastern Conference Swimmer of the Year in 1993 and 1994, and received the University of Florida Ben Hill Griffin Award for outstanding performance in athletics, academics, and leadership. Burgess also won the South Eastern Conference Championship in the 200-yard Freestyle (1993), 200-yard Backstroke (1994), 200-yard IM (1993, 1994), and the 400-yard IM (1991, 1993, 1994). In 1993, Burgess was a member of the U.S. National 200-meter Freestyle Relay Team that captured gold in the Pan Pacific Swimming Championship in Kobe, Japan.

After leaving the University of Florida, Burgess continued to compete internationally with the 1996 Olympic Games in sight. During the 1994 World Swimming Championship in Rome, Italy, Burgess won the silver medal in the 200-meter IM. In 1995, he anchored the U.S. 200-meter Freestyle Relay team to gold and won the 200-meter Freestyle individual silver medal at the Pan American Games held in Mar del Plata, Argentina. After placing second at the U.S. National Championship in the 200-meter IM, Burgess was once again named to the U.S. Olympic Team competing in Atlanta, GA in 1996. Fighting through the preliminaries, Burgess once again found himself in the finals and finished sixth overall in the 200-meter IM.

A few months after the Games in Atlanta, Burgess enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and enrolled in the Officer Candidates School in January 1997. Inspired by his father, who left college to join the Army, Burgess continues to serve until this day as an Air Command and Control Officer. He briefly came out of retirement to swim in the 1999 Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) Military World Games in Croatia. Despite two weeks to train, Burgess set the U.S. CISM record for the 100-meter Backstroke.

During his Marine Corps Career, Burgess has twice deployed to Iraq. In 2005, then Captain Burgess was the Company Commander, Company B, Provisional Security Battalion, Marine Wing Support Group 27. Company B provided perimeter tower security for Al Asad Airbase and convoy escort security for 2D MAW. Company B conducted over 47 tactical convoy missions without losing a single Marine. Company B had zero Non-Judicial Punishments, had five meritorious promotions, and numerous achievement and commendation awards. In 2007, Capt Burgess took Alpha Battery, 2d LAAD Bn to Al Asad Iraq to act as the Military Police/Internal Security Company. His battery again achieved numerous meritorious promotions and awards.

In 2007, Burgess was promoted to Major and is currently stationed in Stuttgart, Germany serving as the Executive Officer for the U.S. Africa Command Fire Cell at Kelley Barracks. In 2009, Maj Burgess was selected as the U.S. Armed Forces Swimming Chief of Mission for the World Military Swimming and Lifesaving Championship in Montreal, Canada. The United States earned more medals in over 20 years and captured their first CISM Fair Play Award for sportsmanship.