Staff Sergeant Reginald Burke

SSgt Burke is the top NCO on Meleager. He served with distinction in the Cylon War and has the medals to prove it. He's known for tough but fair discipline and a down-to-Aerelon common sense. He stands out from most Marines of his rank due to the Distinguished Service Order pinned to the breast of his uniform (awarded for valor defending the Battlestar Minerva against a Cylon boarding action; he single-handedly took command when his superiors were killed while also holding the CIC passage), his age, and his rather distinctive sidearm...a Morita NEOS Gyrojet pistol, dating from before the war, and clearly hard-used. He has been serving in the Colonial Marines since he was 16, and his nearly half-century of exemplary service since then has earned him the respect of all but the newest Marines...and a pass from the commanders for his bad habits off-duty. Those bad habits, though, have kept him a Staff Sergeant for the last 40 years; Burke is the kind of man that will die in the Corps, but will get promoted only in wartime.

On the rare occasions he wears is in Dress Grays, he has a Gold Star of Kobol, Gold Colonial Achievement Medal, a Colonial Gold Star, an Arrow of Apollo, a Distinguished Service Order, and two Medal of Distinction (awarded for every 20 years of post-war service). His reputation in the Corps covers his hard drinking, brawling, berserker tendencies (in those same brawls), lack of brown-nosing, lack of a sense of humor, talent at brawling, skill with a nomen kukhri, talent at cooking, mastery of sniping, and his legendary intimidation prowess. It is said by Marines in general (when he is assuredly out of earshot) that reason the Cylons ran away at the end of the War is because he stared at them and growled. (He has intimidated officers just as often as enlisted; both fear him in the Corps.) He posseses an intense dislike of Viper pilots due to several friendly-fire incidents during the war, but otherwise gets along fine with Fleet 'types' and shows all due respect and deference to ships' COs.

He was posted to the Meleager a year ago because Marine HQ could either send him to a Training Ship or a Recuit Depot. (No Combat CO wanted him on their ship--for some reason--other than Adama...and Burke and Tigh vehmently despise each other for reasons only they know. Tight almost never wins the fistfights, though.) Burke requested 'Shipboard Duty'.

It should be noted that it is a well-known fact in the Colonial Marines that SSgt. Burke is "queerer than a three-cubit chit". (Not that anyone in the Colonies cares; they follow the examples laid by the Lords of Kobol, who were notably quite 'free' with their 'love', both amongst each other and with mortal partners.) He, however, keeps his private life to himself, never dates within the service, and the only reason that the Marnes even know this is because the occasional drunk Monotheist will insult him and his current partner when they are on a date...and then the bar fight begins.