Major Jesus D. Soto Melendez is currently serving as the Deputy District Commander for the Antilles Area office, which covers Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in the Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
His most recent assignment was as Assistant Professor of Military Science for Texas A&M Central in Killeen, Texas as well as the University Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas, and Tarleton State University in Stephenville Texas from 2017 to 2019.
He Joined the U.S. Army on October 24, 2004 as an Aviation Operation Specialist and earned his commission as Combat Engineer Officer in January 2009, after completion of Officer Candidate School in Ft. Benning, Georgia,
Maj. Soto Melendez earned his master’s degree in Higher Education and Administration at the University of Louisville, Kentucky and completed Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
His previous assignments include 4th Infantry Division, G3 Air section, Fort Hood, Texas; Detachment Commander for the 49th Engineer Mine Dogs, 5th Engineer Battalion where he validated and certified the dog teams and pushed them forward in support of Operation Enduring Freedom; Company Commander, for Delta Company, 169th Engineer Battalion. He also served as the, at Wichita Falls, Shepard Air Force Base, in Texas.
Maj. Soto Melendez deployed three times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 he de-conflicted airspace for the Multi -National Division Baghdad, at Camp Victory and again in 2009-2010 when he oversaw the maintaining and repairing of the Improve Ribbon Bridges.
In 2012, he was assigned to the 94th Engineer Battalion, to lead out the first Infrastructure Transition Advisory Team, from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
His military awards and decorations include, one Meritorious Service Medal, four Army Commendation Medals, one Army Achievement Medals, a Meritorious Unit Citation, the Army Good Conduct Medal, Two National Defense Medals, the Iraqi and Afghanistan Campaign Medals, The NATO Medal, the Overseas Ribbon and the Aviation Badge.
Maj. Soto Melendez was born in Newark, New Jersey, but grew up in Morovis, Puerto Rico. He is married to Lorraine Soto, they have four children and five grandchildren.