Commodore Melissa Ross joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in February 1993 as a Marine Engineering Officer. She has served in HMNZ Ships Manawanui, Southland, Waikato, Wellington, Te Kaha and the Logistics Ship, Canterbury.
She has deployed to the Arabian Gulf, Timor Leste and Israel/Lebanon. Commodore Ross held the position as the Private Secretary to the Minister of Defence from 2005-2007 and then posted to the position as the Project Director’s Representative for the Multi-Role Vessel (now HMNZS Canterbury).
She was the Engineer Officer onboard HMNZS Canterbury in July 2008 and attended amphibious exercises within New Zealand and abroad.
Commodore Ross was posted to the Defence Transformation Project in the role as Navy Engineering subject matter expert within the Logistics Change Project. She posted into the role of SO1 Logistics Strategy Execution in 2011 and following that position, moved to Australia to take up the role as an Instructor at the Australian Command and Staff College from 2013-2016. Commodore Ross was promoted and posted to the Headquarters Joint Force New Zealand as the Chief Staff Officer - Support (J4).
She also took up the role as Chief Staff Officer – Operations (J3) for a few months in 2017. Commodore Ross completed her Masters in Strategic Studies in 2009 and also holds a conjoint Bachelor of Business and Arts degree majoring in International Business and Chinese.
She completed a Masters in Strategy and Resource Management at Eisenhower School in Washington DC in 2019. On completion of her study, she was posted to Naval Staff Headquarters as the Assistant Chief of Navy – Strategy and Engagement.
In December 2019, Commodore Ross was promoted and took up her current role as the Deputy Chief of Navy.