Commander Matt Plaschka joined the Canadian Forces in 1983 under the Officer Candidate Training programme. He underwent naval training in Victoria, BC, and completed his professional naval qualification during his posting in HMCS KOOTENAY as a bridge watch-keeper. Cdr Plaschka then volunteered for, and subsequently joined, the Canadian Submarine Service in early 1986, performing various submarine-related sea and shore duties. He completed tours of duty in all three of Canada’s Oberon-class submarines throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 1996 he attended the Royal Australian Navy Submarine Attack Coordinator’s course during his tour as Operations Officer aboard HMCS ONONDAGA. Cdr Plaschka successfully achieved his Surface Ship Command qualification in January 1997, after which he assumed the position of Executive Officer in HMCS OJIBWA, completing a successful deployment to the Eastern Pacific that year.
In 2000, Cdr Plaschka returned to the surface fleet where he completed the Operations Room Officer Course. He was subsequently posted to HMCS OTTAWA as Operations Officer and participated in a deployment to the Gulf of Oman in support of Operation Apollo. This was followed by an exchange posting to the USN Submarine Fleet Staff in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Upon his return to Canada in 2003, Cdr Plaschka joined the staff of Maritime Forces Pacific headquarters as a senior staff officer for Underwater Warfare, Navigation, and Submarines. During this time he was awarded the US Navy Marine Commendation medal for his service with COMSUBPAC staff.
In mid-2005, Cdr Plaschka was selected to attend the University of Victoria to complete his Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography. This was followed by another academic year attending the Joint Command and Staff Course in Toronto, where he concurrently completed a professional Master’s degree in Defence Studies. In 2007, Cdr Plaschka was selected as Executive Officer of HMCS OTTAWA where he completed a busy year which included a 4 month deployment to Asia in support of Canadian naval and diplomatic objectives abroad as well as participating in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2008 exercise.
Upon returning to Canada from his deployment, Cdr Plaschka was promoted to his current rank in June 2008 and was subsequently posted to Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command as the Maritime Desk Officer and Advisor to the Commander. This was followed by a return posting to Esquimalt in 2010 where he was employed as the Deputy Chief of Staff Operations & Intelligence Fusion Centre. In July 2012 Cdr Plaschka was appointed as Captain of HMCS ATHABASKAN, taking up the best job in the world.