Missouri Guardsman, Sedalia native awarded Bronze Star in Middle East

Maj. Jamie P. Melchert, of Columbia, Mo. was awarded the Bronze Star Wednesday at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan for exceptional performance of his duties as commanding officer of the Missouri National Guard's 1138th Transportation Company. The unit is about to conclude a 10-month convoy operations mission in Afghanistan. (Spc. Oscar Carter photo)


Bill Phelan

BAGRAM AIRBASE, Afghanistan - A Missouri Army National Guardsman was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during ceremonies Wednesday at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan.

Maj. Jamie P. Melchert, the St. Louis-based 1138th Transportation Company commanding officer and Columbia, Mo. resident, is about to conclude a 10-month convoy operations mission in Afghanistan.

In the award certificate from Army Secretary John M. McHugh, Melchert is cited for his "exceptional meritorious service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and his outstanding performance and dedication to duty and to the success of the unit's mission."

Other 1138th Soldiers awarded the Bronze Star included 1st Sgt. Robert P. Wendell, of Holts Summit, Master Sgt. Jackie R. Acord, of Dixon and Sgt. 1st Class Vance D. Wilkins, of Nevada.

As part of Task Force 142, the 1138th conducted more than 90 convoy missions covering 29,000 miles, delivering critical supplies valued at $2.7 billion to forward operating bases across austere and treacherous terrain. In addition, the unit escorted more than 4,900 Afghan national trucks carrying critical vehicles and equipment in support of units throughout eastern Afghanistan, and helped dispose of unused ammunition.

Prior to the unit's deployment, Soldiers of the 1138th underwent two months of extensive convoy operations and combat training in Missouri, Kansas and Texas.

Maj. Melchert and his wife, Brenda, are the proud parents of two children.

Prior to joining the Missouri National Guard, Melchert, a Sedalia native, worked as a newspaper reporter and has a journalism degree from Central Missouri State University. He also holds degrees in applied science and business administration from Columbia College.

Melchert's full-time job is at the National Guard State Maintenance Office in Jefferson City.

The 1138th Transportation Company is headquartered at historic Jefferson Barracks in south St. Louis County and is a subordinate unit of the 311th Brigade Support Battalion, based in Lexington.

The 1138th is scheduled to return to the U.S. this spring.

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