Captain Melissa C. Austin received her initial commission from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Unit at Vanderbilt University in 1996. She was designated a Surface Warfare Officer in 1998.
CAPT Austin completed her first sea tour aboard USS Sacramento (AOE 1) as the Assistant First Lieutenant and Main Propulsion Officer and deployed in support of Operation Southern Watch. She then served as the commissioning Training Department Officer aboard USS O’Kane (DDG 77). She completed a shore tour as a Tri-Command Protocol Officer at HQ NORAD, United States Space Command, and Air Force Space Command, before transitioning to the Selected Reserves and serving as the Training Officer for Commander, Naval Forces Europe Joint Task Force Contingency Unit 118 in anticipation of starting medical school. During this time, she earned a Master’s of Basic Science in Biology (Bioinformatics) from the University of Colorado.
CAPT Austin attended medical school under the Health Professions Scholarship Program at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Medical Corps in 2007. After completing a Transitional Internship at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, she returned to the surface Navy as the Group Medical Officer for Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31 in Pearl Harbor.
CAPT Austin completed her residency training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of Washington Medical Center under the Navy Active Duty Delay for Specialists program prior to being assigned as a Staff Pathologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, in 2014. She went on to serve as the Medical Director for Healthcare Operations and the Executive Assistant to the Director in addition to duties as the Medical Director for Clinical Chemistry and the Armed Services Blood Bank Center and as an Associate Program Director for the National Capital Consortium Pathology Residency Program. Transferring to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia, she served as the Director for Clinical Support Services and the Market Service Lead for Clinical Support Services for the National Capital Region through July of 2018. Most recently, she served as the Medical Corps Plans and Policy Officer in the Office of the Chief of the Medical Corps at the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Falls Church, Virginia.
CAPT Austin is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pathology and is Board Certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology. She is an Aresty Scholar and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business Executive Physician Leadership Academy and holds a faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. Her personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), and the Air Force Achievement Medal.
CAPT Austin assumed her current duties as the Executive Officer, Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Portsmouth and Chief of Staff, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in May of 2020.