Castlebar native Rear Admiral Mark Mellett was announced this week as the new Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces.
He will succeed the current Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Conor O’Boyle, when Lieutenant-General O’Boyle retires in September this year.
Mellett, from Rathbawn Road in Castlebar, was educated in St Gerald's College, Castlebar, before he joined the Navy in 1976. He is married to Liz and has four children, Laura, Sean, Lisa, and Patrick.
Rear Admiral Mellett will become the first Navy officer to take over the highest rank of Chief of Staff in the Irish Defence Forces.
His first command was the LÉ Orla in 1992 and he subsequently commanded the LÉ Ciara in 1997 and the Irish Naval Flagship LÉ Eithne in 2005.
Rear Admiral Mellett has held a broad range of appointments in naval headquarters and prior to his appointment as flag officer in 2010 he was Officer Commanding Naval Operations Command.
Rear Admiral Mellett was also Commandant of the Naval College and Associate Head of the National Maritime College of Ireland.
Besides citations for service in Afghanistan (2004 ) and Lebanon (1989 ), as Captain of LÉ Orla (1994 ) he was honoured by becoming the Navy’s second officer recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal (DSM ) in recognition of the role of his ship in the detention of the drug smuggling yacht Brime.
Rear Admiral Mellett is a founding member of the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC ) and a member of its governing authority.
Rear Admiral Mellett has a PHD (2009 ) in political science from the National University of Ireland Galway.