designing specific and selective chemical function at surfaces for heterogeneous catalysts and other applications. The chemical reactivity of single-site transition metals in on-surface coordination networks, which is essential to these applications, has not previously been fully characterized. Here, we demonstrate with a surface-supported, single-site V system that not only are these sites active toward dioxygen activation, but the products of that reaction show much higher selectivity than traditional vanadium nanoparticles, leading to only one V-oxo product. We have studied the chemical reactivity of one-dimensional metal–organic vanadium – 3,6-di(2-pyridyl)-1,2,4,5-tetrazine (DPTZ) chains with O$_2$. The electron-rich chains self-assemble through an on-surface redox process on the Au(100) surface and are characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy, and density functional theory. Reaction of V-DPTZ chains with O$_2$ causes an increase in V oxidation state from VII to VIV, resulting in a single strongly bonded (DPTZ$^{2–}$)VIVO product and spillover of O to the Au surface. DFT calculations confirm these products and also suggest new candidate intermediate states, providing mechanistic insight into this on-surface reaction. In contrast, the oxidation of ligand-free V is less complete and results in multiple oxygen-bound products. This demonstrates the high chemical selectivity of single-site metal centers in metal–ligand complexes at surfaces compared to metal nanoislands.