29 September 2015 - New Chief of Staff of The Defence Forces.

The new Chief of staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM* will formally take up the appointment from midnight tonight, having previously been proposed by the Minister for Defence Mr Simon Coveney TD and accepted by the Irish Government on the 30th of June. He will succeed the current Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Conor O’Boyle DSM and is the first Irish Naval Service Officer to hold the honour.

Speaking on his new role VADM Mellett DSM said;

"It is humbling to be Chief of Staff of Óglaigh na hÉireann, particularly in this landmark time for Ireland and the Irish people. I would like to thank my predecessor Lieutenant General Conor O'Boyle DSM for the direction and guidance he has brought to the Defence Forces and his mentoring to me over his tenure. I look forward to the continuance of this work through the pursuit of the goals laid out in the White Paper over the coming period."

Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, PhD

VADM Mark Mellett DSM is the Chief of Staff of Óglaigh na hÉireann, the Irish Defence Forces, having been promoted to the appointment by the Irish Government on the 29th of September 2015.

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.

VADM Mellett previously served as Flag Officer Commanding the Irish Naval Service. During shore rotations he held appointments in Naval Headquarters, Naval Operations and Support Commands. For over two decades he has been a change leader in the Irish Defence Forces, contributing to its ongoing transformation, positioning the forces in a post-modern setting. He has served as Head of Naval Plans and Policy, Commandant of the Naval College and Associate Head of the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI.)

*In addition to citations for service in Afghanistan (2004) and Lebanon (1989) in 1994 VADM Mellett was decorated by the Irish State, receiving "The Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)" for intercepting a major maritime narcotics shipment.

VADM Mellett is a founding member of the Irish Maritime and Energy resource Cluster (IMERC) and a member of its governing authority. IMERC serves as an 'Innovation Network,' and acts as a stimulant for enterprise and job creation in the maritime and renewable energy spheres. It has a particular focus on marine energy, shipping logistics and transport, maritime security and safety and yachting products and services.

VADM Mellett has a PhD (2009) in Political Science from the National University of Ireland, Galway and an M Com (2004) in Government and Public Policy from University College Cork. He has been a Visiting Professor at Liverpool Hope University (UK.) He is a distinguished graduate of the US Naval War College, Newport RI (1999); the Irish Command and Staff College (1998) and the Royal Naval College Greenwich (1989.) VADM Mellett has a keen interest in research and has been a member of the European Security research Innovation Forum (ESRIF.) He has published on innovation, security, governance and maritime affairs.

He is a former naval diver and enjoys running, cycling and fitness. He is married to Liz and has four children.

Press Release Date: 29 September 2015

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