Coast Guard Commander Bruce Melnick- USCG(Retired)-New Port Richey, FL

Education and Training:

  • Honorary Doctor of Science
    University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL
  • Master of Science, Aeronautical Systems University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL
  • Bachelor of Science , Engineering (Honors) U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT

Professional Employment History:

During his 20-year career with the U.S. Coast Guard, Melnick’s assignments included serving as operations officer aod chief test pilot at the Coast Guard Aircraft Program Office in Grand Prairie, Texas. lo that capacity, he conducted most of the developmeotal and all the acceptaoce test flights for the HH-65 helicopter, including sea trials aod wrote the Flight Manual. Duriog his Coast Guard service, Melnick received numerous awards, including two Department of Defense Superior Service Medals, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Secretary of Transportation Heroism Award.¬†

Professional Employment History Continued:

In 1992, he received the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Distinguished Alumni Award and in August 2000 was inducted into the United Coast Guard Aviation Hall of Fame. lo April 2005, Bruce was enshrined on the USCG Academy Wall of Gallantry and inducted into the Hall of Heroes in April of 2006. Melnick, an Academic All-American Football player while at the Coast Guard Academy, was inducted into the NCAA Academic All-American hall of Fame in 2013.

From 1987to 1992 he served in NASA’s astronaut corps and flew as a mission specialist on Discovery, STS-41, in 1990 and the first flight of Endeavour, STS-49, in 1992. He has logged more than 300 hours in space.

Commander Melnick retired from the U.S. Coast Guard and left NASA in July 1992. Selected by NASA in June 1987, Melnick became an astronaut in August 1988, qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Subsequent technical assignments included:

Astronaut Support Personnel (ASP) team at the Kennedy Space Center assigned to prepare Shuttle Orbiter cockpits and middeck prior to each flight; represented the Astronaut Office in the assembly and checkout of the new Space Shuttle Orbiter “Endeavour” (OV-105) at the contractor facilities in California; served as head of the flight software verification team in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL). During the five years he served in NASA’s astronaut corps, Melnick flew as a mission specialist on the Shuttle Discovery STS-41 (October 6-10, 1990) when the Ulysses spacecraft was deployed. He served as a flight engineer on STS-49 (May 7-16, 1992), which was the first flight of the Shuttle Endeavour. During that mission, astronauts rescued and repaired the Intelsat VI satellite. He has logged more than 300 hours in space.

Subsequent to his Coast Guard and NASA careers, Melnick was the Vice President for Boeing Florida Operations at the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Melnick’s organization, a part of the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems group, provided a variety of support services to Boeing programs in the state. Headquartered in Titusville, the organization has approximately 2,4-00 employees.

Services provided by Boeing in Florida include engineering, facilities and maintenance support to NASA and the Department of Defense for Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and Delta rocket programs. Melnick was also responsible for the pursuit of new business for the cmnpany in Florida. His leadership and hard work brought huge economic growth to the Space Coast.

Previously Melnick was the Boeing Company Vice President at KSC for NASA’s Payload Ground Operations Contract, with 1,600 employees. The contract included all the engineering and facilities support and maintenance activities related to preparing spacecraft and/or payloads for the Space Shuttle missions prior to launch and after landing. The division also provided support to NASA and its contractors for the International Space Station hardware.

Prior to joining Boeing (McDonnell Douglas at the time), Melnick was Vice President/Director for Shuttle Engineering at United Space Alliance. formely Lockheed Martin Space Operations, from 1994 to 1996. From 1992 to 1994, he was Director of Process Improvement Technology at Lockheed Space Operations Company. Melnick was also the Site Focal for Constellation Programs. The responsibilities in this additional assignment included working with the NASA customer in the execution of the Vision for Space Exploration while facilitating communication with Boeing employees in Florida about their future in the NASA Systems business.

Bruce Melnick joined Delaware North in January 2020, as the Director of Operational Excellence at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, near Titusville, Florida. In that capacity Bruce is responsible for providing visitors to the complex 811 exciting and memorable experience with veteran Astronauts. Additionally his vast experience in a multitude of disciplines and arenas will be utilized in supporting growth of the KSCVC and keeping pace with the advancements in human space flight and exploration.

Melnick received the National Management Association Silver Knight (2000) and Gold Knight (2003) Awards for management excellence, the 2004 Junior Achievement Spirit of Achievement Award and in 2006 the Dale Carnegie Leadership Award. In 2007 Bruce was selected as the NASA Kennedy Space Center Debus Award recipient for his noteworthy contributions to the space programs of the United States of America

Melnick received a master’s degree in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida and a bachelor’s degree in engineering with honors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of West Florida in 2001.

Advocacy on Behalf of Veterans:

Astronaut Melnick s role as a Veteran Advocate is too extensive to list in the limited space of this nomination package so I will list his work in bullets to encompass the breadth and depth of his commitment

Mr. Melnick’s premier position of speaking to Veteran Service Organizations as a highly respected international figure and to younger people throughout the United States gave him the pulpit to exude the inspiration of continued service to country. He has continued for his years following his military service to carry the torch for the United States Coast Guard in recruiting, and personnel self-improvement.

It would be near impossible to imagine the opportunities he has taken to inspire and teach Veterans and Military Members about having purpose and working at goal achievement. He commanded the podium to lead others to excellence. Vision of purpose and following your heart gave hope to the tens of thousands he has influenced over his tenure in service to country. Credibility served as his foundation through performance to execution of the next hurdle.

The level of achievement and the longevity of Mr. Melnick’s service to veterans is remarkable by anyone’s measure. These astonishing accomplishments, to list a few, which served to inspire Veterans are:

  • It would be very difficult to measure the number of Veterans and families who benefitted from the growth of the Space Coast, mostly due to Commander Melnick’s work within that economy
  • Performed more than 100 educational presentations, recognizing the Coast Guard at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
  • Conducted numerous interviews and informational meetings with high school individuals interested in joining the military
  • Participated as celebrity host at several Wounded Warrior fundraising events
  • Performed Coast Guard recruiting commercial on nationwide television networks
  • Gave commencement address at the University of West Florida
  • Lifetime member of the US Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association

Civic Activities and Contributions (Past and Present):

Board of Government:

  • Brevard Community College Foundation

Board of Directors:

  • Crosswinds Youth Services, Inc.
  • National Space Club
  • Florida Space Research Institute
  • Economic Development Commission
  • Association of Space Explorers

Board of Advisors:

  • University of Central Florida, College of Engineering
  • Florida Institute of Technology, College of Business
  • University of West Florida, Institute for Interdisciplinary Study of Human & Machine Cognition
  • Space Coast Cystic Fibrosis Foundation


  • USCG Academy Alumni Association
  • USCG Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl
  • USCG Aviation Hall of Fame
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Florida Sport Fishing Association
  • Missile, Space & Range Pioneers
  • National Management Association
  • Naval Aviation Museum Foundation
  • North American Hunters Club
  • United States Space Foundation
  • Civilian Military Council
  • Florida Chamber of Commerce

Awards and Honors:


  • Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (Two Awards)
  • Distinguished Flying Crosses (Two Awards)
  • Secretary of Transportation Heroism Award
  • USCG Commendation Medal with “O” Device (Two Awards)
  • USCG Achievement Medal
  • National Defense Medal (Two Awards)
  • S. Coast Guard Academy Distinguished Alumni Award
  • USCG Unit Commendation Award with “0” Device (Three Awards)


  • United Coast Guard Aviation Hall of Fame (2000)
  • Enshrined on the USCG Academy Wall of Gallantry (2005)
  • Inducted into the Coast Guard Academy Hall of Heroes (2006)
  • Sikorsky Helicopter Rescue Award (1980)
  • Inducted into the NCAA Academic All-American Hall of Fame (2013)
  • American Aeronautical Society Flight Achievement Award (! 993)
  • Navy Helicopter Association SAR Aircrew Award (1982)
  • American Academy of Achievement ‘Golden Plate’ Award (! 992)
  • NASA Space Flight Medal (Two Awards)
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal

Melnick received the National Management Association Silver Knight (2000) and Gold Knight (2003) Awards for management excellence, the 2004 Junior Achievement Spirit of Achievement Award and in 2006 the Dale Carnegie Leadership Award. In 2007 Bruce was selected as the NASA Kennedy Space Center Debus Award recipient for his noteworthy contributions to the space programs of the United States of America.

Nomination Narrative:

Mr. Melnick’, life, is characterized by service. This service was exemplified through his untiring commitment to God, country, and fellow citizen. A humble man, through meager beginning, Melnick volunteered to serve his country as a young man in the Coast Guard. His patriotism did not end with his active-duty service. For over 50 years he served the nation to shape and mature young men in the values that made our nation great. He is an untiring leader for the community and nation, serving countless veterans in many communities, and civic organizations. He led the way for the United States Coast Guard in space travel. He has been recognized for his contribution to manned space travel.

Bruce Melnick always made it a point to honor those who served our country and those who paid the ultimate price for freedom. His leadership in modeling the way for young people and Veterans is literally unparalleled by any other person in this world. He provided testimony through countless speeches to all hard work and application to succeed. His dogged determination in reaching his goals served as the challenge to the many successes of those who would follow him.

Bruce Melnick served his fellow veterans for close to 50 years, and then later as someone with the knowledge and expertise to navigate through bureaucratic processes for much needed and much deserved benefits. Through the years, his selfless efforts brought recognition from elected officials and senior leadership as well as the respect of his neighbors, family, and friends. A case in point was his nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic in making Kennedy Space Center visitations a reality for the countless numbers of students that would have their eyes opened to learning about science and technology and potential service in the military. You would have to go a long way to find a more deserving candidate for the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame.

I have the distinct honor of knowing Mr. Melnick’s reputation and his devotion to Veterans and Country. His energy and dedication to do the unthinkable for Country is without peer and I would challenge his accomplishments against anyone internationally. He has done the hard work of several and it was never about the personal gain. It is always about demonstrating the capability of a United States Veteran and what they represent.

As a United States Coast Guard Veteran, he continues his passion for service to others, especially those who served their country. Mr. Melnick unequivocally maintained his focus and energy as a staunch advocate in recognizing 8.Ild honoring a11 military veterans as a force that is vigilant throughout our nation.

Veterans will enjoy the incredible impact that this man has had for generations to come, and it is all due to the tireless, selfless hard work on.the part of Bruce Melnick.

Mr. Melnick served as an example for countless veterans through his dogged work ethic and counts each veteran that he had the pleasure of inspiring to achieve, or the family that stands alone without their warrior, to note his work with the Wounded Warrior Project, as those who provided their time and their life for their country. He is revered by the communities that were blessed to have him as a leader and his reputation is undisputed and unmatched by any.

Bruce Melnick’s dedication and devotion to the military is a matter of record of his distinguished life. His reach has touched countless in the past, present, and will do so in the future,

He continues to give his life to the service of the nation and young servicemen and women and Veterans that he taught along the way at every opportunity and has been since 1972. He IS, without question your first choice to represent the ranks in the distinguished Florida Veterans Hall of Fame. Bruce Melnick’s contributions in the name of veterans is a matter of record in state and international archives.

There is no denying his prodigious impact to the world, past, present, and educating those in the future who want to know how to continue service to their country.

Melnick was also responsible for the pursuit of new business for the company in Florida His leadership and hard work brought huge economic growth to the Space Coast.

His only reward was that of the heart in knowing that he had served his country. Bruce Melnick is the epitome of one who embodies all those admirable attributes that is a true Veteran Hall of Famer.

Grant his family the honor of knowing that this man’s service was the very best that one person could give. Select him now as a distinguished member of the Class of 2023