Defence Forces Chief of Staff

Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM

Vice Admiral Mellett (DSM) is from Mayo and joined the Navy in 1976. 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.

Vice Admiral (VADM) Mellett has held a broad range of appointments in Naval Headquarters and more recently prior to to his appointment as Flag Officer in 2010 he was Officer Commanding Naval Operations Command. VADM Mellett was also Commandant of the Naval College and Associate Head of the National Maritime College of Ireland. Prior to his current position, VADM Mellett was the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces where he had responsibility for material and support functions, including personnel, finance and logistics in the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. He has thirty eight years service, much of it seagoing, including three naval commands.

Operational Experience & Awards

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’.


VADM Mellett is a founding member and champion of The Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC). IMERC is an institutional cluster encompassing University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology. IMERC aims inter alia to enhance Defence Forces capability while facilitating innovation, transformation and job creation.


VADM Mellett has a PhD (2009) in Oceans Governance from the National University of Ireland, Galway and M Com (2004) in Government and Public Policy from University College Cork. He is a distinguished graduate of the US Naval War College Newport RI (1999) where he was the top graduate of the thirty two attending countries. He was also the top graduate in both the Irish Command and Staff College (1998) and the Royal Naval College Greenwich (1989).


VADM Melett is married to Liz and has four children, Laura, Sean, Lisa and Patrick. He is very interested in physical fitness and is a qualified Naval Diver, in his spare time he enjoys running, cycling and gym work.

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The Badge Design

The Badge design (common to all Corps and Services and all orders of dress) is derived from the badge of the Irish Volunteers and was designed by Professor Eoin MacNeill, Chairman of the National Executive of the Irish Volunteers. This badge was originally adopted by the Irish Volunteers in October 1914. [Read more]