MCAS NEW RIVER, N.C. --
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Antonio L. Melendez, an administrative specialist, is Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River’s Go-Getter of the month. Melendez, a Cape Coral, Florida native, enlisted in the Marine Corps in February 2018 seeking to achieve a new milestone in life.
“I joined because I wasn't going to college,” said Melendez. “I didn't have any ambition and I needed a stepping stone so I joined the Marines.”
The Marine Corps turned out to be what Melendez needed; however, he faced setbacks along the way.
“I was going to be a Marine Corps Electrician when I signed my contract,” said Melendez. “And then when I got to MEPS [Military Entrance Processing Station], I found out I was colorblind.”
After finding out that he was color blind, Melendez chose to become an administration specialist and is now stationed with the Regional Personnel Administration Center (RPAC) on MCAS New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Although being an administration specialist wasn't his first choice, Melendez worked hard and graduated top three in his class. He continues to be diligent within his section and his unit as a whole.
“He continually seeks out how to better processes and contribute to the team,” said Gunnery Sgt. Clevon F. Clarke, a customer service staff noncommissioned officer in charge (SNCOIC) at RPAC. “His performance is beyond reproach.”
Described as a “fire and forget” Marine, not only does he excel at his job, but also cares for the Marines to his left and right. When asked what his imprint will be on the Marines around him and the Corps as a whole, he stated, “As for legacy, I just want to be remembered as the go-to guy and to know that they learned that they can do it themselves.”
This initiative and humility are what highlighted the interest of his SNCOIC. As he nears the end of his time in the Marine Corps, he has no less determination now than he did four years ago when he stepped on the hallowed yellow footprints of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.
All of this, along with Melendez's knowledge, hard work and consistent efforts to propel operations forward, have earned Melendez not only the Go-Getter award, but also advancement from the customer service section of RPAC to the quality control section.
“He is one of the strongest lance corporals here,” said Clarke. “He sets the example by his character, his drive and his determination.”