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Aged fifty by July 2553, Captain Melgar served the Gao Republic's Ministry of Protection as an officer within the ministry's naval fleet of patrol corvettes that were charged with the patrol and safety of Gao's borders. She served as the commanding officer of Esmeralda, the flagship of Minister of Protection Arlo Casille.
On July 5, 2553, while the United Nations Space Command's 717th Xeno-Materials Exploitation Battalion searched Gao for a Forerunner ancilla, Casille had arranged for the battalion to be attacked by the radical Keepers of the One Freedom. When a UNSC Navy battle group attempted to deploy Pelican dropships and D102 Owl insertion craft to aid the battalion, Casille considered it to be a violation of Gao's sovereignty and ordered for Melgar to fire at will. As the minister gave the order to other patrol corvettes within the fleet, Melgar ordered Gunnery Lieutenant Cardone to fire the corvette's entire complement of missiles to destroy the incoming aircraft, despite the lieutenant's reluctance. As the salvo of missiles destroyed several of the aircraft, the UNSC craft reluctantly retreated back to their battle group, unwilling to engage the patrol corvettes in fear of risking a civil war on Gao.
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