Pentagon Spokesman Burch Quitting to Join Defense Contractor
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Defense Department spokesman Michael I. Burch, a close aide to Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, will resign next week to become a Washington spokesman for McDonnell Douglas Corp., the largest U.S. defense contractor.
A former Air Force lieutenant colonel who retired in 1983, Burch was named assistant defense secretary for public affairs in September 1983. He had spent most of his Air Force career as a public affairs officer, the last 11 years at the Pentagon.
Burch said Friday he will leave the Pentagon on June 20 - the day he turns 44 - and begin his new job at McDonnell Douglas on June 24.
″After 22 years of government service, I’m not sure I’ll know how to act,″ he told reporters.
Burch refused to discuss his reasons for leaving the Pentagon, saying it was a personal matter. Colleagues said, however, he had told them he was leaving for financial reasons.
Burch said he will be a McDonnell Douglas vice president in the firm’s Washington office, handling communications for the company’s aerospace activities. The St. Louis-based company produces such planes as the F-18 Hornet and F-15 Eagle as well as the AH-64 helicopter and Tomahawk and Harpoon missile systems.
″I’m happy that as a native of St. Louis, I’ll be working for a St. Louis company,″ Burch said.
Burch said he expected a decision on his successor at the Pentagon to be made within the next two weeks.