Lieutenant-Commander Rob Gillis enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1988 and graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada with a degree in History. He joined the Fleet in 1993 and deployed with HMCS Terra Nova on Operation FORWARD ACTION to enforce United Nations sanctions against Haiti in 1994
The following year he sailed in HMCS Montreal as part of the NATO forces participating in Operation SHARP GUARD to enforce United Nations sanctions against former Yugoslavia. He subsequently sailed in HMCS Preserver before being selected for training as an Under Water Warfare Officer. He then served as the Under Water Warfare Officer in HMCS St. John’s, deploying with the Standing Naval Force Mediterranean in both 1997 and 1998.
Lieutenant-Commander Gillis went on to instruct at the Canadian Forces Naval Operations School and serve as Command and Control Information Systems Officer in HMCS St. John’s before commencing the Operations Room Officer Course in 2003. Upon successful completion of the course he served in HMCS Regina as the Operations Officer and as the Combat Officer.
From 2006 to 2009, Lieutenant-Commander Gillis was employed ashore in the Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters as the Senior Staff Officer for Above Water Readiness. In 2009, he was appointed as the Executive Assistant to Commander Maritime Forces Pacific during a period that included both the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and the celebration of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Centennial.
He was then selected to attend the Joint Command and Staff Programme at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. During this year long course, Lieutenant-Commander Gillis earned his Masters Diploma in Defence Studies. Following Staff College, Lieutenant-Commander Gillis was posted to the Strategic Joint Staff, and was employed as a staff officer in Expeditionary Operations.
Lieutenant-Commander Gillis was appointed Commanding Officer of HMCS Charlottetown in October 2012. He and his wife, Cherra, live in Ottawa with their three children.