A look inside the journey of an Army Reserve captain determined to use his love of boxing to bring awareness to a cause close to his heart. This story highlights how selfless service and persistence can make a difference.

Army Reserve Profile: Capt. Boyd 'Rainmaker' Melson

108th Training Command- Initial Entry Training
Story by Staff Sgt. Dee Jackson

In 2015, Capt. Boyd 'The Rainmaker' Melson became the World Boxing Council U.S. Junior Middleweight champion.

Melson an Army Reserve Officer with the 1st Mobilization Support Group in Fort Totten, New York, a West Point graduate, a four-time U.S. Army champion and a three time NCBA All-American Boxer strives to live the Army Values every day. 

Melson started his boxing career at West Point. Then in 2002, he met someone who has inspired him for over a decade to help raise awareness about chronic spinal cord injuries. 

“We formed an extraordinary bond, and her dream to walk again became my ultimate dream in this world,” said Melson.

“Although it started with her, and she remains the bedrock for my inspiration, ending (her) suffering is a large part of my inspiration,” he said.

By raising awareness, Melson saw the need for more research. This led him to begin his own efforts in raising money for continued research and trial experiments. 

Determined to make a difference, Melson elevated his boxing hobby to a more competitive level, earning more money for his fights. 

By his own resolution, he donates 100 percent of his winnings to spinal cord injuries research and awareness. 

“Boyd has given of himself, in a way no one else has” said Dr. Wise Young, Director, W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience.

“This is true service, service to human kind and he’s doing it because he really cares,” he said.

Melson gives to a charity called justadollarplease.org, a non-profit organization that raises money for the first U.S. spinal cord injury trial in using umbilical cord stem cells. Headed by Dr. Young, this trial aims to help people with spinal cord injuries regain some movement in their paralyzed extremities. 

Melson said, he was going to keep doing this (fighting) until he didn’t feel the calling anymore. So Melson keeps boxing in hopes of one day helping his longtime friend walk once more. 

“I need my friend to walk, she still can’t and when she does that’s when I’ll have my moment, that’s all that matters,” he said.

Melson along with his longtime friend have also started their own organization called Team Fight to walk, in hopes of increasing awareness for the need of Clinical Trials in the United States with the purpose of curing Spinal Cord Injuries as well as bringing this injury into the mainstream.

“The impact that he’s having on lives, to have the vision to say I’m going to donate 100 percent of my purses to charity is unbelievable” said Colonel Chris Hart, boxing coach at West Point.

“What a leader of character for our nation and he’s a young captain in the U.S. Army Reserve.”

Of all the Army values he has displayed, selfless service has definitely become the front-runner for him. The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort. 

So with each step in the ring, each punch he receives and each round he goes, Melson knows that he is one step closer to getting a treatment for spinal injuries. 

“We all share this planet, so hold on to a vision in your head that you want for yourself with a grip that a mother would hold on to her baby if someone were trying to take her baby from her” said Melson.

“Hold on to it until you die because although a storm is gigantic, there was that first raindrop that began that storm of change,” he said.