On the Move: Melton Steps into Deputy Commander Role
For Col. John Melton the pace is always part of the duty; new postings, new locations. Now, as this veteran military medical leader transitions into a new role at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) at what may be the busiest time on-record for the Command, he is eager to tackle a new set of priorities.
"I am impressed with the positive and helpful attitude of those that we have interacted with," says Melton, who just days ago stepped into his new role as USAMRDC Deputy Commanding Officer. "My wife and I are very excited to join Team MRDC and the Fort Detrick community."
Melton's transition to the USAMRDC comes amidst a number of other personnel changes on Post; including, most notably, the assignment of new USAMRDC Command Sergeant Major Victor Laragione and the assignment of Col. Stephen Dalal as USAMRDC Chief of Staff earlier this month. As part of his position – the first Army deputy commander the USAMRDC has had in a decade – he will work closely with Brigadier General Michael Talley, Commanding General, USAMRDC and Fort Detrick, and further consult routinely with the Command team on a variety of issues.
Says Melton, "Being part of the team that develops and provides the capabilities to maximize human potential and survivability for our Army's most powerful weapon systemâ€”the American Professional Soldier is inspiring. I am proud and honored to serve with [Dalal] and the team to build upon the successes of those that preceded us."
Prior to his assignment at USAMRDC and Fort Detrick, Melton served as commander of the Womack Army Medical Center hospital at Fort Bragg in North Carolina for nearly three years. During that time he garnered praise for his work in directing large-scale reorganization efforts within the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and for sizable community outreach efforts via partnerships with the University of North Carolina and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, among others. As part of the Army's sprawling coronavirus response effort, Melton notably established the use of so-called "fireside chats" to better explain to Soldiers and the public the specifics of Womack Army Medical Center hospital's mission during the pandemic.
A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Melton has served as Commander of the Irwin Army Community Hospital and Director of Health Services at Ft. Riley, Kansas; and as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of Martin Army Community Hospital at Ft. Benning, Georgia – among a litany of other postings – during his decorated military career. Now, he steps into a new role with both the vigor and experience required to help guide the Command both now and into the future.
"I am a player-coach," says Melton. "My goal is to be helpful in building collaborative relationships, facilitating process improvement, synchronizing our efforts, and empowering disciplined initiative for our team of teams to achieve their full potential."