Commander Melissa Chope grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia and graduated from Shiloh High School in 1992. She enlisted in the Navy in May 1993 and attended boot camp and naval seamanship training at Recruit Training Command, Orlando, Florida.
Upon completion of recruit training, she reported to SHIPPINGPORT (ARDM 4) in Groton, Connecticut. It was during this tour that she chose the yeoman rate. Once designated as a yeoman, she reported to Surface Warfare Development Group, Virginia Beach, Virginia and advanced to yeoman third class. After completion of her first shore tour, she reported to PCU HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN 75). During this tour, she served as the XO Admin leading petty officer, advanced to yeoman second class and earned the enlisted surface warfare designation. After commissioning HARRY S TRUMAN, she reported to Naval Air Station Oceana as the administrative department leading petty officer. While in this role, she advanced to yeoman first class and applied for the flag writer program. In August 2001, she reported to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations for her first flag writer assignment and was selected for chief petty officer in 2002. After selection for chief petty officer, she served as the flag writer for the Naval Inspector General until her commissioning under the limited duty officer program in January 2004.
Upon commissioning, Commander Chope reported to USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) where she served as Ship’s Secretary until April 2006. Following this tour, she was selected to serve as Flag Secretary for Commander, Naval Network Warfare Command. In January 2009, she reported to U.S. Joint Forces Command, serving a year as the J3 administrative officer before being selected by the Commander to serve as his personal protocol officer. Upon completion of this tour, she reported to Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic where she served as the administrative officer. During this tour, she was selected for lieutenant commander and to serve as an officer in charge. In March 2015, she reported to Personnel Support Detachment Portsmouth for her first officer in charge tour. As a result of the Chief of Naval Personnel’s manpower, personnel, training and education initiative to consolidate PSDs, she successfully merged PSD Portsmouth with PSD Oceana and became the first officer in charge to lead two geographically separated PSDs. Upon completion of this tour, she reported to USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78) and served as the administrative officer until January 2020.
Commander Chope is the recipient of the 2018 U.S. Naval Air Forces Peer-Nominated Leadership Award awarded by the Navy and Marine Association. She has also been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement (three awards) Medal, Good Conduct Award (four awards) and various campaign and unit awards.
Commander Chope assumed the duties as Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Executive Officer in March 2020.