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Commander Michael “Sketch” Melendez

Born in Groton, CT into a Navy family, CDR Michael “Sketch” Melendez graduated in 2007 from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.  Additionally, he holds a Master of Military Operational Art and Science degree with a concentration in Joint Warfare from Air University, along with a Joint Professional Military Education Phase One certification.

CDR Melendez completed three operational sea duty tours in the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance community. In 2009, Sketch reported to the “The Fighting Tigers” of Patrol Squadron EIGHT. There, he served as Tactics Officer, ALSS Branch Officer and as the Assistant Administration Department Head with Patrol Squadron EIGHT (VP-8) and completed two deployments in the Middle East and Africa supporting FIFTH and SIXTH fleet tasking.  In 2015, for his disassociated sea tour, CDR Melendez reported to "The Wizards" of Special Projects Patrol Squadron TWO (VPU-2), where he held the roles NFO Training Officer and Readiness Officer.  Subsequently, CDR Melendez returned to VPU-2 for his Operational Department Head tour where he served as the Configurations Department Head and Maintenance Department Head. There, he successfully navigated VPU-2’s Permanent Duty Station Change from Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, HI, to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, along with a Type/Model/Series transition from P-3C to P-8A aircraft where he led the Maintenance Department to obtain their “Safe for Flight” certification.

His shore tours include service in the high desert of Fallon, NV at the Naval Air Warfare Development Center on the Strike Department Staff as the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Subject Matter Expert and Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course Coordinator.  Additionally, he served as Special Projects Aircraft and EP-3E Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft Integrated Product Team Leads at Naval Air Systems Command at the behest of PMA-290E. In May of 2021 CDR Melendez reported to CTF-72 where he served as the Maintenance and Logistics Department Head.

Throughout his career, CDR Melendez has accumulated more than 3,000 flight hours in the P-3C Orion and over 300 hours in the P-8A aircraft. His exemplary service has garnered him numerous accolades, including six Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, five Air Medals, and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, among various other unit, service, and campaign awards.

Beyond his professional endeavors, CDR Melendez finds joy in family life and various outdoor activities.  He and his wife, Cory Lei, are the proud parents of two sons.

Last Updated: 22 September 2023

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