Melissa Boatwright

Public Affairs Officer, US Air Force Reserve

Melissa enlisted in the Air Force at 19 with every intention of, but no plan for, becoming a sportscaster. She spent 10 years on active duty jet-setting across the globe as a military journalist.

After finishing her undergrad during active duty, Melissa dove straight into securing her Masters in Integrated Marketing Communications. She also met her now-husband (and fellow BTV Board Member + Speaker), Cory, while on tour in Korea.

Following 12 years of enlisted service, Melissa obtained her commission. Despite fearing Officer Training School was a young person’s game, she graduated second in her class.

Although she had a wealth of education and military experience, Melissa balked at whether she would be competitive in the civilian space. After becoming a reservist and starting her transition in 2007, it took her five years and four promotions to believe that she was a competitive, valuable member of the corporate world.

Today, Melissa runs a team of business analysts for LinkedIn who help inform and drive client strategy with the ultimate goal of ensuring clients get the most out of their investment.

Like many great ideas, Battle-Tested Veterans formed out of a fine combination of adoration and frustration. A fierce advocate for veterans, Melissa was moved to give back to the community that brought her so much – her husband, her friends, and her education. She was also irritated and disheartened by the misunderstandings of transitioning veterans in the corporate space.

When her husband separated from the Air Force four years after she did, Melissa was able to see through his experience the challenges replayed from her own journey – doubt, lack of confidence, the loss of a strong support community, disorientation, and the absence of a strong civilian/corporate network. With a clear perspective, she realized it is simply not enough to say we support our troops – we must find ways to empower them to achieve their full potential in their post-service lives.

Moved by a mission to challenge veteran stereotypes and the compulsion to find a way to leverage her unique skills and abilities to help the veteran community, BTV came to be in 2015.

Melissa wants each and every person who experiences BTV to see part of themselves in the stories shared by veterans. For her fellow veterans, her hope is to have them understand that they are not alone in their journey and that there is more than one path to happiness and success. For hiring influencers, her goal is for them to abandon preconceived notions and see veterans as valuable corporate assets.

After bouncing from Charleston to Philadelphia, Team Boatwright headed west and now calls San Francisco home.

Location: Portland, Oregon, United States