Sergeant Major Melendez is a native of Hartford, Connecticut. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on December 5, 1994. Completed recruit training at MCRD Parris Island during February 1995 where he was promoted meritoriously to the rank of Private First Class. Following recruit training Private First Class Melendez attended the School of Infantry, Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Geiger, North Carolina. Upon completion, he was assigned the MOS 0311, basic riflemen.
Private First Class Melendez then reported to 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 29 Palms, California in April of 1995 where he held the billet of Automatic Riflemen. While at 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, Private First Class Melendez was promoted to Lance Corporal in September 1995 and then promoted to Corporal in September 1997. Upon promotion to Corporal, he was assigned as a Squad Leader and completed two Unit Deployment Programs (UDP) to Okinawa, Japan. Corporal Melendez was promoted to Sergeant in September 1998 and was selected to attend Drill Instructor School at MCRD San Diego, California.
Sergeant Melendez was transferred to MCRD San Diego in December 1999 and upon graduation, was assigned to Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion. While assigned to Kilo Company, Sgt Melendez held the billets of Drill Instructor and Senior Drill Instructor. In December 2001, Sergeant Melendez was assigned as the Training NCO for 3rd Battalion where he was meritoriously promoted to Staff Sergeant in July 2002.
Staff Sergeant Melendez was transferred to 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, in Camp Pendleton, California in January 2003. During his tenure, Staff Sergeant Melendez participated in two Combat Operations in support of OIF I & OIF II from 2003 until 2005. Staff Sergeant Melendez held the billets of Mortar Section Leader and Platoon Sergeant.
Staff Sergeant Melendez was then selected to attend the Marine Security Guard School in January 2006. Upon graduation, Staff Sergeant Melendez was assigned to Nicosia’s Cyprus for his first post. While in Cyprus, he assisted with the evacuation of Americans during the NEO from Lebanon to Cyprus. Staff Sergeant Melendez was then assigned to Brasilia, Brazil in August 2007 for his second post where he was promoted to Gunnery Sergeant in September 2007. While in Brasilia, his detachment was named the Detachment of the year for 2008.
Gunnery Sergeant Melendez was then selected to the Joint Staff Military Security Force at the Pentagon in February 2009, acting as the SNCOIC. While at the Pentagon, Gunnery Sergeant Melendez was responsible for emergency response to the Joint Staff, Joint Chief of Staff, and designated VIP’s by providing armed security within an extremely difficult, demanding, and high-visibility area.
In September 2010, Gunnery Sergeant Melendez was transferred to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where he was assigned as the Headquarters and Services Company Gunnery Sergeant. In December 2010, Gunnery Sergeant Melendez was selected as a First Sergeant and frocked on 7 January 2011. He was subsequently assigned to Lima Company and deployed to Marjah, Afghanistan in July 2011 in support of OEF11-2. In March 2012, First Sergeant Melendez volunteered to serve as the Company First Sergeant to take a Company-size element from the Battalion to Jordan in support of Joint Task Force Jordan where they trained the Jordanians for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. In September 2012, First Sergeant Melendez deployed on a UDP to Okinawa, Japan. While in Okinawa, Lima Company was tasked to operate independently on the island of Guam, being one of the first Infantry Company’s to train on Guam in over 10 years.
In December 2013, First Sergeant Melendez transferred to Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, Detachment Walter Reed, Bethesda, Maryland, where he served as the Detachment First Sergeant. While at Detachment Walter Reed First Sergeant Melendez was selected to the Rank of Sergeant Major and Frocked on 26 July 2016.
In August 2016 Sergeant Major Melendez transferred to Instructor-Inspector, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, San Antonio, Texas, where he is currently serving as the Instructor-Inspector Sergeant Major.
Sergeant Major Melendez’s personal awards include; the Joint Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (x3), Joint Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a Combat Distinguishing Device and the Combat Action Ribbon.