Admiral Joseph "Joe" Meylan is the former captain of the USS Hayward, former Executive Officer of the USS Nathan James, and former Chief of Naval Operations.

Events of The Last ShipEdit

Joseph Meylan started his naval career as an engineer, eventually rising to the position of Chief Of Engineering/Chief Engineer ("Cheng,") before eventually commanding his own ship: USS Hayward. Captain Meylan was a Plankholder for the Hayward; a member of the ship's original crew when it is commissioned.

Season 3 Edit

The Hayward is seriously damaged during the mission to find the Chinese ship carrying the "green mist". Captain Meylan and two-thirds of his surviving crew subsequently board the Nathan James. (“Paradise”)

The Hayward is later scuttled during the episode as a result of the severe damage, something that distresses Meylan greatly to the point that he can't bring himself to detonate the scuttling charges and Tom Chandler has to do it. Meylan openly disagrees with Chandler's decisions, urging them to return to San Diego instead of going after Peng Wu.

Meylan later takes command of the Nathan James after he receives a flash order from St. Louis to place CNO Chandler under arrest for alleged war crimes, relieve Captain Slattery of his command of the ship, and return to the naval base in San Diego. As part of the plan to retake the ship, Chandler requests a court-martial, knowing Meylan will have no choice but to empanel judges since Chandler still outranks him. Meylan expresses concern about Chandler's actions to Slattery, knowing that things won't look good for him if it happens on the ship and expressing concern for Chandler's safety. Slattery brings up Chandler's decisions during the Red Flu pandemic as proof that they should trust Chandler's instincts and points out how suspicious the orders are. Meylan shows signs of doubt, but feels that he has no other choice but to proceed and urges Slattery to get Chandler to reconsider.

At the court-martial, Chandler makes a speech about his dedication to the service and the tough choice he has had to make while his crew retakes the ship. Meylan is relieved of his command of the ship when a team of Nathan James crew members led by Slattery himself arrest and sequester sailors loyal to Meylan, including Meylan himself. Meylan realizes the court-martial had always been about buying time instead of justice and tells Chandler that he'd had his doubts for a moment, but Chandler's actions have put those doubts to rest. Chandler promises Meylan that he will face the consequences for his decisions if that day comes, but from a higher power than Meylan. (“Scuttle”)

Meylan takes part in the planning briefing for the assault on Peng Wu's forces, pointedly correcting that the design of the Henan is ripped-off of the Arleigh-Burke class which Slattery accepts with grace. As the briefing breaks up, Meylan expresses dissatisfaction with standing around doing nothing and offers Chandler his help. Chandler puts Meylan in charge of the CIC during the operation while Andrea Garnett will command the bridge.

During the battle, after the captured Henan is compromised, Meylan briefly argues with Garnett over their course of action before a Henan crewmember fires the ship's missiles. Meylan quickly has Nathan James shoot down the missiles and prepares to engage the second Chinese destroyer. However, Slattery manages to use the Henan's weapons to take out the other destroyer before Nathan James can get a lock.

After the battle, Meylan reveals that Cobra team found proof that the Chinese knew where the Shackleton, Hayward and Nathan James were going to be and acknowledges that Chandler was right about them being betrayed. Meylan gives Chandler his full loyalty, offering to help contact people in the US he knows they can trust to help them. However, Meylan can't raise any of them and Chandler tells him that he couldn't raise an entire naval base either. Pointing to Allison Shaw's address, Chandler informs Meylan that it's a coup and those men are already dead. (“Legacy”)

Two weeks later, Meylan continues assisting Chandler and his crew in preparing to reclaim the United States and is disturbed to learn that the base in San Diego is commanded by a general in the California United Forces. Sasha Cooper explains step-by-step how you take down a government from the inside which the crew realizes matches exactly what has occurred with their own government. Meylan notes that they are planning on invading a country with a single ship, something that has never happened in the history of the world. Chandler rebuffs Meylan's statement as nothing is impossible if you have the will, courage and a good plan. After the Henan is destroyed when it is sent ahead as a distraction, Meylan notes that the bad guys want Chandler dead so bad they are willing to kill the entire crew to do it. Meylan remains in CIC during the mission to capture Manuel Castillo. (“Resistance”)

Meylan welcomes Chandler to the San Diego Emergency Shelter and later takes part in the meeting planning the attack on the remaining regional leaders. Meylan provides Chandler with intelligence he has gathered on each leader. After Shaw demands Chandler trade himself for his children, Meylan joins the team at the airfield, engaging in a standoff with Shaw's soldiers until Slattery convinces them to surrender. When Chandler resigns his commission and leaves the Navy, Meylan stands amongst the Nathan James crew as he departs. (“Don't Look Back”)

Season 4Edit

It is revealed in the Season 4 premiere episode "In Medias Res" that Meylan now serves aboard the Nathan James as Executive Officer, losing his command status due to the downsizing of the Navy as a result of the Red Rust. In "Endgame," Meylan gives Chandler and Sasha Cooper instructions on how to cripple the HS Triton and joins Slattery's makeshift boarding party since the Vulture team is too far away to help.

Season 5Edit

In Season 5, Meylan has been promoted to Admiral and Chief of Naval Operations. In "Honor," he sacrifices himself to save President Joshua Reiss from Octavio de la Paz.

In the series finale, CAPT Meylan is one of the characters with whom Tom had served (most of them deceased,) who appears in his hallucination as he is drowning, after Nathan James sinks ramming Gustavo's Battleship in order to end the war with Gran Colombia. Tom views, and then is part of, an award ceremony for him, which also serves as a change of command ceremony for Nathan James. When President Michener asks Tom if he is ready to be relieved (as commanding officer,) Tom hesitates and wonders aloud who he is passing responsibility onto. After many sailors who were in the audience for the ceremony (who are also Tom's close friends and allies,) stand and declare that they have the watch, Tom hears Joe's voice and sees that he is the master of ceremony. Since the actual version of this ceremony was never shown, it is unknown if Captain Meylan actually fulfilled this role. Upon realizing how many other brave and selfless people will be there to defend America and humanity, Tom is finally able to achieve peace and be able to mentally and emotionally let go of both Nathan James, and of the burdens he has carried around since the plague began, secure in the knowledge that others will always be there.

Ultimately, Tom decides to keep fighting, swim to the surface, and live.

Awards and DecorationsEdit

The following are the medals and service awards seen worn on Meylan's uniform in the show.

Other accoutrements
Surface Warfare Officer Insignia Surface Warfare insignia
Navy CaS Command at Sea insignia (in the post-completion position)

Trivia Edit

  • Before Meylan was promoted to captain and given a command he served the Navy as an engineer. His knowledge as an engineer still occasionally comes in handy such as when he gave instructions in "Endgame" on how to cripple the Triton.
  • He wears a wedding band which denotes he is married; the current status of his spouse is unknown.
  • According to Meylan, he was a plankholder when the Hayward was built and witnessed his ship's construction.
  • Despite Meylan taking control of the Nathan James in "Scuttle" and effectively acting as an antagonist in that episode, the crew of Nathan James is shown to bear him no ill will afterwards and he acts as a trusted member of the crew. Even in the next episode "Legacy," Chandler trusts Meylan enough to take his offer of help without reservations and to place Meylan in a position of power.
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