Melissa Ross

Commodore, Royal New Zealand Navy. Deputy Chief of Navy, New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Defence Force

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


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.

Captain 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.

Commodore Ross lives with her husband and two sons in Wellington and

enjoys watching her sons play soccer, basketball and touch rugby.