Captain jesse  melton iii  usmc  mom s renewal ceremony 9 10 2005


  • Branch: Marines
  • Hometown/City: RANDALLSTOWN, MD
  • Date of Birth: 11-13-1978
  • Date of Death: 09-09-2008
  • Conflict: Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Port/Base: OKINAWA, JAPAN

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  • Jesse Melton III was raised in Randallstown, MD. He received his early academic education in Baltimore County public schools. He attended Randallstown High School where he excelled in all subjects, and simultaneously participated and demonstrated skill in extracurricular activities such as lacrosse and baseball. Jesse loved playing video games, martial arts, was an avid reader, and a sports fanatic. Football season was his favorite. He also loved playing video games, Fantasy Football; competing against his friends to build the best team. Jesse was a Christian. He tried to live his life placing God first, family second and career choices third. He was actively involved in the youth group at Colonial Baptist Church, where he displayed early on, his ability to lead, build and maintain relationships. After graduating with high school with honors in 1996, Jesse attended Messiah College in Grantham, PA in the fall of 1996. Jesse was one of the most popular students on campus. He became a resident advisor, was a recognized leader and was actively involved in a variety of programs. The drama program was a favorite and one which he enjoyed immensely. Jesse enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves on May 19, 1997 after his freshman year at Messiah. He was assigned to the 4th Combat Engineering Battalion Baltimore, MD. His decision to serve was influenced by his grandfather, a US Navy WWII Veteran that served during the Pearl Harbor Conflict and his father, a U.S Army Vietnam veteran. Jesse achieved the rank of Corporal during his reserve service. After his junior year in 1999, he successfully completed Officer Candidate School. Following his graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, in June 2000; he received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. He firmly believed that a good officer must lead by example. He stated, "I want the Marines on my team to follow me out of admiration, not obligation. I want them to know that are valued and respected." Jesse served in a variety of positions throughout his military service that included serving as a Series Commander at Parris Island SC, 2004. He also served overseas in Okinawa, and other countries. Jesse was promoted to the rank of Captain prior to being deployed to serve a tour in Iraq in 2005 where he served as a C6 Action Officer in the Multinational Corps. Captain Melton returned to the US where he attended and graduated from the Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS), Quantico Marine Corps base. During his military service salsa dancing and scuba diving were added to his favorite pastimes. He also earned his black belt in Martial Arts through the Marine Corps Martial Arts Course which was a dream of his since childhood. Shortly after completing EWS 2007, Jesse was again deployed to Okinawa, Japan. He was assigned to the 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, and III Marine Expeditionary Force Okinawa, Japan. After he was informed that Marines were needed to serve in Afghanistan, he volunteered. Jesse served as a Company Team Leader with the Embedded Training Team (ETT) 1-10; partnered with the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 201st Corps in Kapisa Province, Afghanistan. Jesse was embedded with an infantry company and was responsible for advising, mentoring, and training them. Prior to his deployment to Afghanistan Captain Melton told his mother Janice that he had a bad dream that he was either going to be wounded or killed, but that he was not afraid, because if he was killed, he would go home to be with the Lord early. "It will be a Win Win situation." Captain Melton said, "I want to go change the world and make a difference, to do something that will bring God Glory." Jesse served approximately seven months in Afghanistan. On September 9, 2008 Captain Jesse Melton III USMC along with; 1st Lt. Nicholas Madrazo, Combat Logistics Battalion 37, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan; and Navy Corpsman Eichman Strickland were killed in action while supporting combat Operations. They were returning from a mission when their Humvee rode over an improvised explosive device that was detonated by an enemy combatant. Jesse was killed two months prior to his 30th birthday. He was scheduled to be off duty but agreed to take the place of his fellow Marine. Two days later (9/11), the Marine whose place he took, daughter was born. Jesse’s family believes that his earthly mission was complete, so God transitioned him to heaven. Jesse’s parents praise God that Jesse ran well and finished well, and that God allowed his fellow Marine to live to care for his wife and child. Jesse’s mom believes that her son exemplifies the spirit of John 15:13; "Greater Love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends."

    Janice Chance, Mother
  • Jesse, you were and still are my best friend. When you were with us, I saw you grow into a Great Man. I admired your mettle, commitment, ambition and strength of character. I looked up to you and still do, bro. :) You have made everyone proud and you've left a legacy me and for us all to follow. You will forever remain in my heart and when God calls me home, I look forward to seeing you again!

    Derrick Peoples, Friend