Like the other members of the Ginyu Force, Burter's special powers originated during his childhood: Burter's mother was very strict, making him do all the household chores and slapping him if he was late preparing dinner; because of this, he became the fastest in the universe. He soon became a member of Frieza's elite mercenary platoon, the Ginyu Force: Burter is the self-proclaimed "Azure Typhoon" (or "Blue Hurricane", in the Dragon Ball manga and video games), and fancies himself as the fastest being in the universe. He demonstrates this on Namek when effortlessly taking flight at incredible speed to retrieve a Dragon Ball thrown across the horizon by Vegeta, an attempt to keep the artifact from Frieza's possession.
While facing the Z Fighters on Namek, in the FUNimation dub, Burter mentions that he has defeated hundreds of Saiyans. In the Ocean dub, Captain Ginyu mentions that Burter was once a baseball champion (a "great center fielder").
After Frieza calls the Ginyu Force for support, Burter and the rest of his team find Vegeta, Krillin and Gohan trying to grant Vegeta's wish of immortality. Burter gets to show his amazing speed when Vegeta throws one of the Dragons Balls as hard as he could, but Burter manages to fly, catch it and return in a matter of seconds, shocking Vegeta greatly. Just before Ginyu takes all the Dragon Balls to Frieza's spaceship, Burter and the rest of his crew decide who gets to kill whom. Along with Jeice, after losing a Rock-Paper-Scissors match, Burter is a spectator to the fight between Recoome, Vegeta, Krillin and Gohan, and it is not until Goku arrives and single-handedly incapacitates Recoome that he joins combat. Burter and Jeice spray Goku with countless physical attacks and energy waves, but Goku proves to be fast enough to avoid the efforts of both elites (much to Burter's surprise, who prides himself on his unmatched speed). Eventually, after realizing that attacking Goku head on is not working, Burter and Jeice communicate from far distances using their scouters to come up with a plan: Jeice will fire his ultimate attack, the Crusher Ball, and when Goku dodges the attack, Burter will attack the distracted Goku. Unfortunately for them, the plan fails as Goku easily deflects the Crusher Ball with no effort.
Goku then defeats Burter with two crippling blows to the back. Shortly after, in spite of Goku's wishes to give the Ginyu Force member a chance to redeem his selfish ways, Vegeta ruthlessly finishes the unconscious Burter by dropping his knee on Burter's neck, breaking it and killing Burter instantly.