Chief Petty Officer Abby Malchow joined the U.S. Navy in August 2001. She was in boot camp when the events of 9/11 occurred. Malchow deployed twice with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Forty in 2004 and 2006 and deployed to Iraq in 2006. While in Iraq, she led a senior, all-male team as a junior Logistics Specialist.
During Malchow’s deployment to Iraq, she survived numerous RPG attacks, suicide bombers, and daily incoming fire in Ramadi. When Malchow returned home, she experienced the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). Once home, she lost her squad leader to suicide and her best friend, a fellow veteran. Malchow struggled with the symptoms of PTS for 15 years without reporting them or suspecting she had PTS. Finally, in 2018, she was officially diagnosed when her doctor referred her to a therapist.
Surviving and witnessing multiple traumas led Malchow to be a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. In 2014, she and 22 veterans were selected to advocate for the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans Act in front of Congress. The bill was signed into law by President Obama February 12, 2015.
In 2018, Abby was selected for the inaugural class of the Bush Institute’s Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program. She is currently the Senior Program Manager of Global Military Affairs at Amazon. In this role, she is leading Amazon’s new Military Entrepreneurship Program (MEP) that she created.
Too injured to continue long distance running, Malchow started cycling, both road and mountain bikes. She uses physical activity to help cope with symptoms of PTS, depression, and anxiety.
Currently, Malchow is also a Chief Petty Officer in U.S. Navy Reserves, serving for a total of 18 years, and resides in Seattle, WA. She holds a BBA (cum laude) from the University of San Diego and an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at University of Maryland.
Through her participation in Stand-To, Abby is dedicated to reducing suicide among her fellow veterans.