Commander Carlton Burk is the Executive Officer of USS Nathan James.

He is portrayed by Jocko Sims.


Early LifeEdit

Not much is known. He has an older brother named Cameron Burk.

United States Navy ServiceEdit

At an unknown point in time, Burk was commissioned in the Navy and was assigned to the USS Nathan James as the Tactical Team head.

In the 3 years between the end of Season 4 and the beginning of Season 5, Burk is promoted first from Lieutenant (O-3) to Lieutenant-Commander (O-4), and then to Commander (O-5.)

The night before the invasion of Colombia is set to begin, Burk, Danny, Wolf, Kandie, and Gunnery Sergeant Barco insert on the beach where the invasion force will be landing to reconnoiter the area.

While Green and Burk are scouting the water near the beach and placing infrared signal pucks to mark coral growths and other underwater dangers, a Gran Colombian ship hits one of the markers and the cable becomes entangled in the ship's prop. The captain of the ship sends one of his men into the water to discover what is interfering with the prop, and when the sailor comes back with the infrared marker, the captain realizes what it is and attempts to warn the Gran Colombians on shore. Green neutralizes the captain and the sailor who retrieved the puck, while Burk neutralizes the other sailor on the deck of the ship. The two begin searching the ship. As Burk enters the room that appears to be the ship's CIC, he is shot in the chest with a harpoon by a young Gran Colombian who had been hiding in the room. The harpoon impales Burk through his lung/heart area, and can be seen sticking out of his back, having gone all the way through him. Danny shoots the sailor who killed Burk, achieving justice for his fallen friend and comrade, then holds Burk as he quickly succumbs to his wound.

In the series finale, CDR Burk is one of the characters with whom Tom had served (most of them deceased,) who appears in his hallucination as he is drowning, after Nathan James sinks ramming Gustavo's Battleship in order to end the war with Gran Colombia. Tom views, and then is part of, an award ceremony for him, which also serves as a change of command ceremony for Nathan James. When President Michener asks Tom if he is ready to be relieved (as commanding officer,) Tom hesitates and wonders aloud who he is passing responsibility onto. Carlton is one of the sailors in the audience for the ceremony (who are also Tom's close friends and allies,) stand and declare that they have the watch, allowing Tom to finally achieve peace and be able to mentally and emotionally let go of both Nathan James, and of the burdens he has carried around since the plague began, secure in the knowledge that others will always be there.

Ultimately, Tom decides to keep fighting, swim to the surface, and live.

Events of The Last ShipEdit

Season 1Edit

Awards and DecorationsEdit

The following are the medals and service awards seen worn on Burk's uniform in the show. Carlton received the Bronze Star and the Humanitarian Service Medal for his actions during the Red Flu crisis.(“The Scott Effect”)

Personal decorations

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Bronze Star Medal
Gold star
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Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal, w/1 gold award stars (2nd award)

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Combat Action Ribbon
Unit awards

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Meritorious Unit Commendation
Campaign and service medals

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National Defense Service Medal

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Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

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Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

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Humanitarian Service Medal
Service and training awards
Bronze star
Bronze star
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Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, w/2 bronze service stars
International Awards

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U.S.-spec Article 5 ribbon bar
Marksmanship awards
U.S. Navy Expert Rifleman Ribbon Navy Expert Rifleman Medal
U.S. Navy Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
Other accoutrements
Surface Warfare Officer Insignia Surface Warfare insignia
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