Lieutenant Colonel Mellman was born in New Haven and grew up in Guilford, CT. He graduated from the American University School for International Service in Washington, D.C. with a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs. He commissioned on August 20, 2004, with immediate assignment to The Basic School. Upon completion he reported to Pensacola, FL for the commencement of flight training, which spanned Naval Air Stations from Texas to Mississippi. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 2007 with follow-on assignment to VMAT-203, for training in the AV-8B Harrier.
Lieutenant Colonel Mellman was assigned to Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 223, Cherry Point, NC, where he fulfilled the roles of Aviation Safety Officer and Pilot Training Officer. He accompanied the squadron on two deployments – embarked in support of the 24th MEU, and land-based to Kandahar, Afghanistan; in support of Operations COPPER DUNE and ENDURING FREEDOM. Upon return from Afghanistan, he graduated from the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course, assuming the role of Pilot Training Officer until the summer of 2013.
Following his first fleet tour, Lieutenant Colonel Mellman attended Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico, VA – where he excelled in generating combined overlays, gaining honorable mention from CG-10.
In 2014, Lieutenant Colonel Mellman reported to Okinawa, Japan as a Forward Air Controller assigned to 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO). He initially served as a Firepower Control Team Lead, before progressing to Company Air Officer and then Brigade Air Officer. He conducted multiple deployments within the INDOPACOM area of operations and attended the Weapons and Tactics Instructor – Air Officer Course, gaining the qualifications of Joint Terminal Attack Controller – Evaluator and Joint Fires Observer – Evaluator.
In 2016, Lieutenant Colonel Mellman was selected for conversion to the F-35 program, and was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, Yuma, Arizona. He served as the Director of Safety and Standardization, Operations Officer, and Aircraft Maintenance Officer. In 2018, as the Operations Officer he deployed with the squadron in support of the 13th MEU – flying the first combat sorties of the F-35 over Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
In 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Mellman was selected as the first exchange pilot from the F-35 community and assigned to the Ministry of Defence, serving as Officer Commanding Tactics and Training, 617 Squadron ‘The Dam Busters’, based at Royal Air Force Marham, UK. During this tour he deployed the squadron to Nellis AFB for Red Flag, as well as the inaugural deployment of F-35B on HMS Queen Elizabeth (QNLZ) for Operation FORTIS. He was Mission Commander for the first named operation flown from the QNLZ, as well as led combat sorties in support of Operation SHADER/INHERENT RESOLVE, and defense engagement exercises from the UK to the Western Pacific and back.
Lieutenant Colonel Mellman’s personal decorations include the Queen Elizabeth Sword for achievements in UK Carrier Strike, Commendation on the 2022 RAF New Year Honours List, Air Medal Strike/Flight with numeral 5, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with one gold star.